Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: David W. Wilkin

Thanks for having me at the Parlour and putting togeher this anthology centered around the anniversary of the victory at Waterloo. Should the allied forces have lost there, Napoleon defeating them in detail, then perhaps we would be celebrating the 200th anniverary of the end of the Napoleonic wars in 2018 or later. Had Napoleon succeeded on the day it would have bought him time, but the revolution had too many other issues working against it to succeed.

I found it interesting as the project evolved that I was the only man in the group. There are several other men who write not only in the period, but with some dabbling in the romantic aspect of a Regency era novel. And when able to write about such a battle as Waterloo, that the result would cause a historical change (though the revolution had to fail and Bonaparte doomed to lose, when and how cause streams in the way history resolves itself). Waterloo has been a battle that one might think of many heroic moments that come and go. But the day was a shoving match by the French with their numerous charges and the British standing stolidly defiant that the French would not break them. The Prince of Orange and his troops leaving the field early in the battle. My first thought was to take the example of the heroism of the defenders in La Haye Sainte, but I changed my mind (Baring, who commanded the defense there was a Hanoverian and I wanted to have my hero be completely British) and decided to tell the story of the men under Sir Frederick Adam, with some embellishments. It was one of the regiments in his brigade, that put the nail in the coffin of Napoleon’s efforts and finished the battle.

two peas in a podEstablishing what part of the battle I was going to focus on, gave me my base to then meld in my romance. The officers of the army had at this time been fighting for a number of years, many of the leaders under Wellington had been in Egypt defeating Napoleon then when the served under Ralph Abercrombie. That is a long time at war and I saw in that a parallel to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. These men who now were generals, colonels, had not been so 15 years before that. Then they had not the promotions, titles, or wealth that they had at Waterloo. And so my story developed with love denied to love united, but with a giant, horrible, deadly, battle between.

shattered mirrorIn other works, I have explored some other issues with the Battle of Waterloo. In my Two Peas in a Pod, identical brothers serve at the battle in the opening chapter, to then return to London in the months after and consider their futures, and being identical, their love lives which revolve around their exchanging their identities. In The Shattered Mirror I explore a different hero of the Napoleonic Wars, a sea captain who has returned home to England, his last ship when engaged against the enemy took damage and his leg, shattered so that he walks with a limp, but hidden by his trousers is the disfigured limb. One that he is sure would prevent the love of a woman from ever accepting.

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Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles: 

A Celebration of Waterloo

waterloo_cover_best web

June 18, 1815 was the day Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée was definitively routed by the ragtag band of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington’s Allied Army in a little Belgian town called Waterloo. The cost in men’s lives was high—22,000 dead or wounded for the Allied Army and 24,000 for the French. But the war with Napoleon that had dragged on for a dozen years was over for good, and the British people once more felt secure on their island shores.

The bicentenary of the famous battle seemed like an excellent opportunity to use that setting for a story, and before we knew it, we had nine authors eager to join in, and on April 1, 2015 our Waterloo-themed anthology was released to the world.

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You are all invited to

Our Stories

Jillian Chantal: Jeremiah’s Charge

Emmaline Rothesay has her eye on Jeremiah Denby as a potential suitor. When Captain Denby experiences a life-altering incident during the course of events surrounding the Battle of Waterloo, it throws a damper on Emmaline’s plans.

Téa Cooper: The Caper Merchant

The moon in Gemini is a fertile field of dreams, ideas and adventure and Pandora Wellingham is more than ready to spread her wings. When Monsieur Cagneaux, caper merchant to the rich and famous, introduces her to the handsome dragoon she believes her stars have aligned.

Susana Ellis: Lost and Found Lady

Catalina and Rupert fell in love in Spain in the aftermath of a battle, only to be separated by circumstances. Years later, they find each other again, just as another battle is brewing, but is it too late?

Aileen Fish: Captain Lumley’s Angel

Charged with the duty of keeping his friend’s widow safe, Captain Sam Lumley watches over Ellen Staverton as she recovers from her loss, growing fonder of her as each month passes. When Ellen takes a position as a companion, Sam must confront his feelings before she’s completely gone from his life.

Victoria Hinshaw: Folie Bleue

On the night of the 30th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Aimée, Lady Prescott, reminisces about meeting her husband in Bruxelles on the eve of the fighting. She had avoided the dashing scarlet-clad British officers, but she could not resist the tempting smile and spellbinding charm of Captain Robert Prescott of the 16th Light Dragoons who— dangerously to Aimée— wore blue.

Heather King: Copenhagen’s Last Charge

When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy – until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgment that jeopardizes their budding friendship…

Christa Paige: One Last Kiss

The moment Colin held Beatrice in his arms he wanted one last kiss to take with him into battle and an uncertain future. Despite the threat of a soldier’s death, he must survive, for he promises to return to her because one kiss from Beatrice would never be enough.

Sophia Strathmore: A Soldier Lay Dying

Amelia and Anne Evans find themselves orphaned when their father, General Evans, dies. With no other options available, Amelia accepts the deathbed proposal of Oliver Brighton, Earl of Montford, a long time family friend. When Lord Montford recovers from his battle wounds, can the two find lasting love?

David W. Wilkin: Not a Close Run Thing at All

Years, a decade. And now, Robert had come back into her life. Shortly before battle was to bring together more than three hundred thousand soldiers. They had but moments after all those years, and now, would they have any more after?

About Not a Close Run Thing at All

Samantha, Lady Worcester had thought love was over for her, much like the war should have been. The Bastille had fallen shortly after she had been born. Her entire life the French and their Revolution had affected her and all whom she knew. Even to having determined who she married, though her husband now had been dead and buried these eight years.

Yet now Robert Barnes, a major-general in command of one of Wellington’s brigades, had appeared before her, years since he had been forgotten and dismissed. The man she had once loved, but because he had only been a captain with no fortune, her father had shown him the door.

With a battle at hand, she could not let down the defenses that surrounded her heart. Could she? As her father’s hostess, she had travelled with him to Brussels where he served with the British delegation. Duty had taken her that night to the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. The last man she ever expected to see was Robert, who as a young captain of few prospects, had offered for her, only to be turned out by her father so that she could make an alliance with a much older, and better positioned (wealthy), aristocrat.Now, their forces were sure to engage Napoleon and the resurgent Grande Armée. Meeting Robert again just before he was to be pulled into such a horrific maelstrom surely was Fate’s cruelest trick ever. A fate her heart could not possibly withstand.

About the Author

David3An award winning author, Mr. Wilkin is a graduate in history. He has been writing in various genres for thirty years. Extensive study of premodern civilizations, including years as a re-enactor of medieval, renaissance and regency times has given Mr. Wilkin an insight into such antiquated cultures.

Trained in fighting forms as well as his background in history lends his fantasy work to encompass mores beyond simple hero quests to add the depth of the world and political forms to his tales.

Throughout his involvement with various periods of long ago days, he has also learned the dances of those times. Not only becoming proficient at them but also teaching thousands how to do them as well.

Mr. Wilkin regularly posts about Regency history at his blog (see below), and as a member of English Historical Fiction Authors. You can read that blog at http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/ His very first article was published while in college, and though that magazine is defunct, he still waits patiently for the few dollars the publisher owes him for the piece.

Mr. Wilkin is also the author of several Regency romances, and including a sequel to the epic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. His recent work, Beggars Can’t Be Choosier, has won the prestigious Outstanding Historical Romance award from Romance Reviews Magazine.

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