Christmas 1826 finds Major Matthew Hervey of the 6th Light Dragoons alone and isolated. A prisoner of the Spanish, he is locked up in the notorious fortress of Badajoz, with little means of outside communication. He must escape; but as he lays his plans, his thoughts return to 1812, when he was a young cornet with Wellington's Peninsular army. Badajoz was then of huge strategic importance, and French resistance at its bloodiest. Twice the Duke laid siege to the fortress and twice he failed. At the third attempt, Cornet Matthew Hervey sees scenes that will stay with him for ever. What Hervey does not know, as he paces his prison cell fourteen years later, is that in Lisbon, his close friends - including the beautiful Isabella Delgado - are rushing to his aid. The escape they plan is audacious in the extreme...
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Author Biography - Allan Mallinson
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.