Badajoz: Christmas 1826 Matthew Hervey of the 6th Light Dragoons is a prisoner of the Spanish, incarcerated in the infamous fortress of Badajoz. As he plans his escape, his thoughts return to the year 1812 when he was a cornet in Wellington's Peninsular Army. He and the Sixth had survived Corunna to endure three more years of brutal fighting that would culminate in one of the most vital and vicious confrontations of the campaign - the siege of Badajoz. While Hervey paces his prison cell, and re-lives the bloodshed of battles past, friends from expected quarters rush to his aid ...'As good on the details of the workings of a cavalry regiment in 1820 as ever Patrick O'Brian was on the workings of an 1820 warship.' Spectator
At seventeen, Allan Mallinson gave up the promise of an exhibition at Brasenose College, Oxford to go instead to theological college. After three years he decided to take a break in training with a short-service commission in the army. He served with the infantry worldwide, and then, on deciding to make the army a career, transferred to the cavalry. He began writing while still serving - first, a history of the antecedent regiments of that which he commanded, and then the Matthew Hervey series of novels chronicling the life of a fictitious cavalry officer before and after Waterloo. He left the army in 2004 as a brigadier to write full time, including defence comment for the Daily Telegraph and then The Times. In 2009 his The Making of the British Army, a survey of the army's history and development since 1660, was shortlisted for several prizes and chosen by Jeremy Paxman for the Observer's 'Books of the Year'. An updated edition, with a commentary on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, was published in 2011. His centenary history, 1914: Fight the Good Fight - Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War was shortlisted for the Westminster Medal and won the Army Book of the Year Award 2013. Its sequel, Too Important for the Generals, examines the failure of Allied generals and politicians to find a less bloody strategy for victory in the First World War and will be published in June 2016. Allan Mallinson lives with his wife, Sue, a dressage trainer, on Salisbury Plain.
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