Karen M Edwards
A reader of Regency novels would most likely think that I was going to talk about prominent and successful balls from that period. A ball could be called a "crush" when so many people attended. But I'm going to talk about having crushes on historical figures.
Many women today are fangirls and have crushes on movie stars or singers. Historical fiction writers get crushes on historical figures. My current Regency crush is Sir John Moore though he was tragically killed in the Peninsular War.
When doing research writers need to find photos of people who lived in that time period so we can get a picture of what they looked like, their hairstyles and clothes. And, as I'm writing about the Peninsular War I've come across handsome men dressed in their fabulous military uniforms of the time period.
I've learnt a lot about the generals on both sides of the conflicts. Napoleon Bonaparte was actually a really good tactician though he made a real blunder in 1812 going to fight Russia in the winter. In fact, early on in the Napoleonic wars, many people in London admired him for his skills even though Britain was at war with France.
So here's a list and photos of various army marshals and generals on both sides. The Napoleonic Wars were not fought only by the British. There were a coalition of combatants on both sides. Poland, for example, joined with France. The British coalition included, Austria, Sweden, German states such as Hanover, Prussia, etc. (Germany didn't become a unified country until 1871) and various other kingdoms. There were many times of conflict for about 20 years and combatants sometimes changed depending on the political situation of the time. For example, Sweden was with the British coalition until 1810 but came under Napoleon's rule after that and declared war on Britain though there were never any battles between the two. They returned to the British side in 1812.
Napoleon disrupted all of Europe as well as Turkey and the French and British also fought in Egypt. The War of 1812 with the USA is considered part of the Napoleonic Wars in the UK. In some ways, the Napoleonic Wars were a sort of world war.
I mention Moore, Wellesley, and Graham in my book. As the battles continued over a long period my protagonist and other soldiers of the day would have been in various arenas with several of these officers. I also mention Soult, Victor, and Ney who were in northern and southern Spain and Sebastiani who was in Andalusia and not far from Gibraltar.
Left to right top row: Sir John Moore, Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington), Sir Ralph Abercrombie
Left to right second row: Frederick, Duke of York; Thomas Graham, Blucher (Prussia),
Left to right third row: Napoleon, Jean du Dieu Soult, Frederick, King of Netherlands
Left to right fourth row: Michel Ney, Sir David Baird, Claude Victor-Perrin
Last: Horace Sebastiani.