Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hougoumont and Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress

Diane Gaston here. In Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress, my September release, Captain Allan Landon rescues Marian Pallant as the Battle of Waterloo is about to commence. He takes her to Hougoumont farm for safe keeping. It is rather like taking her from the frying pan into the fire.

Hougoumont was pivotal in the battle. It was essential to Wellington that the Hougoumont farm not be taken by the French, leaving Wellington’s entire right flank unprotected. British Foot Guards, a Netherlands Nassau battalion and German soldiers defended the walled in group of farm buildings. The Waterloo battle began with an attack on Hougoumont and the fighting there lasted all day. Before the battle was over Prince Jerome, Napoleon’s brother, had sent over 15,000 troops to the attack Hougoumont. Throughout it all, the Allies held.

One of the most enjoyable parts of writing historical romance is trying to fit the real history into the story. It is fun to insert real people into the story, like Colonel MacDonnell commanding Hougoumont’s defense. Or the huge ax-wielding French soldier who is one of the few enemy to break through the gates. When Marian helps to push the gates to Hougoumont closed, she is participating in a real event. When Allan looks out from where his Royal Scots regiment is fighting and sees the Hougoumont chateau burning, the timing was as exact as I could get it.

After the battle, Wellington said, “The success of the Battle of Waterloo turned on the closing of the gates (at Hougoumont).” It was my pleasure to place my characters exactly at that important event, that pivotal place in history.

Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress is available for sale, both the paperback and the ebook. It is book #2 of my Three Soldiers Series, following Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady. Next is Gabriel’s story. I’ll announce that book title and release date as soon as they are set.

I’ll be posting on this blog every third Wednesday of the month. For more from me, see my Risky Regencies blog every Monday or my Diane’s Blog every Thursday.

And now a question. Do you like to see real historical events threaded in to historical romances or are you content to have your historical built entirely on fictitious events?

*This blog also appears every third Wednesday on eHarlquin's Harlequin Historical Blog.


Anonymous said...

I love to see real events incorporated into stories. It brings a level of realism, making it more personal. I knew you took seriously your historical accuracy, but knowing those events really happened, with the fiction being the addition of your characters, increases my appreciation of the story.

Diane Gaston said...

Thanks, Judy! It was fun to fit the story to the real events.

Annie Madison said...

Real history, please. "The Spanish Bride" is one of my favorite Heyers.