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At the heart of this sweeping, panoramic novel, set in Regency London and Spain during the Peninsular War, stands the lively, outspoken Harriet, poised on the threshold of the adult world. Her new husband, James, is setting off to join the Duke of Wellington’s troops in Spain. Left in London, she is taken under the wing of Kitty, Lady Wellington. While the women plunge into new worlds of politics, finance and science, the men face the bloody reality of the battlefield, testing their endurance to the hilt. There are betrayals on both sides, and at times it seems their love cannot endure. Their dramatic stories whirl us through the tumult of the Regency at home and abroad.
Tides of War is drenched in an unforgettable atmosphere, from the mantillas and palms of Seville to gas-lamps in foggy London. It carries us deep into the anguish of men at war, the taste of freedom offered to the women left behind, the passions of scientists, doctors and inventors and the burning drive of émigrés in a society on the cusp of change. As Harriet and James pursue their destinies, facing hope and heartache in equal measure, this stunning novel returns us all to the vivid, lost world of the past.
‘Dazzling – I love this book. It’s beautifully written, the characters are deeply involving and the historical settings so right – in short, Tides of War is a triumph.’ SIMON SCHAMA