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I knew going in that this was not a light Regency like so many of Heyer's best books. But I found Heyer's account of the Battle of Waterloo in An Infamous Army not only entertaining but educational, so thought I would give this a try as well. And if you like your historical fiction heavy on history and light on plot, you will like this book.
Interestingly, unlike An Infamous Army, where the main characters were fictional but surrounded by real historical figures, in this book, even the main characters were real people. And it sounds like they were fascinating people, or at least they led a fascinating life together. Sir Harry Smith seems to be a real life Forest Gump or Zelig. He somehow managed to be on every continent and just in time to be in every major battle over the course of 30 years. He must have spent half his life on ships. And while I am sure Heyer embellished Lady Smith's character somewhat, the fact that she was a 14 year old war orphan just out of a Spanish convent when she met and married Harry Smith, that she followed Harry throughout his soldier's career and that there are so many towns named after her in Africa makes her a fascinating creature.
It gets a little dry as we slog through battle after battle in Portugal, Spain and France during the Peninsula war, but Heyer infused the journey with humor and graphic descriptions of the conditions.
I did not enjoy this as much as my favorite Heyer novels, but I found it very readable. I recommend.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Spanish Bride again? Why?
I'd possibly listen to this again in years to come. Heyer is so easy to listen to. I am not a Historian and remember trying to read this book many years ago, but finding it too heavy on the battles. However I did remember this and bought the audio version to see how it would be to listen to while driving. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Knowing Harry and Juana were real people (and according to my mother, Georgette Heyer has kept very close to facts!!) I found this a very enjoyable listen ... and history lesson!.
What did you like best about this story?
I liked the story telling which made it very easy to LIVE the battles. However this definitely isn't Heyer's usual light humorous style.
Any additional comments?
Pleased to give this 5 stars as liked the narration too (except Juana's voice).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A great saga with a lot of history - more history than is usual for a Heyer novel but interesting.