Author David Ebsworth
January 26-February 4
Release date: January 1, 2015
at SilverWood Books
Ebsworth dispatches the reader to the bowels of The Battle of Waterloo complete with bloodshed, carnage and harsh conditions. His accomplished and vivid writing depicts battle scenes with such a powerful force you’ll visualize the mayhem and madness ensuing before your very eyes as well as the remnants left behind – squinting your eyes closed as blood spills from the pages. The drama takes on a life of its own, far from theatrical, you’re as near to combat a civilian can be from the safety of their armchair. Affecting, especially given he explores this historical battle from the ‘rears’ focusing on two incredible female protagonists. The brutality of war is graphic adding to the narrative, the trenches are unkind as we experience in his interpretation addressing mental, emotional along with physical demands battle claims.
Selecting two amazing female characters create an unforgettable force. Learning of their experiences, their reasons for joining the campaign, their thoughts and feelings exposed and explored as they are amidst and bear witness to the cruelty and butchery. Ebsworth is detailed covering all angles, an intimate account of females embroiled in battle yet showing their strength and vulnerability as women.
“She had simply been Marie, or maybe Anne, back at the beginning. But by the time both she and the Revolution were three years old, the name Marianne had come to symbolise the entire Republic. The folk of Provence sang of “Marianne’s Cure”, a hymn to Liberty and Reason. And there were legends. About the woman of the barricades, wearing red cap and clogs, pike and musket in hand, leading the common people to their destiny.”
Masterfully crafted, balanced perfectly between the ravages of battle and the emotional investment the reader with honor the two formidable female protagonists plucking at your heartstrings. Excellent delving into a historical event portrayed from the ‘rears’ through their eyes, actions, sacrifices and suffering, the toughness of women examined and presented in an indelible manner. A grandiose historical event delivered in animated form by a skilled author. Looking forward to more of David Ebsworth’s stellar genius.
June 1815. Bonaparte has returned from Elba and marches with his army to defeat the Prussian and English enemies of France. Within his ranks is Marianne Tambour, a battle-weary canteen mistress for a battalion of the Imperial Guard’s Foot Grenadiers. Just one of the many cantinières who provide the lads with their brandy and home comforts, both in camp and also in the thick of the fight.
Marianne is determined that, after this one last campaign, she will make a new life for herself and her young daughter, since neither of them has ever known anything but the rigours of warfare. But she has not reckoned on the complications that will arise from a chance encounter with another of the army’s women, Liberté Dumont – Dragoon trooper and sometimes spy for the Machiavellian French Minister of Police, Fouché. And Marianne wonders what she really wants, this hawk-faced trooper with her visions, dreams and fancies.
Yet, for now, Liberté Dumont is the least of Marianne’s worries. Her position as canteen mistress has not been easily won and she has made enemies in the process. Lethal enemies. And creating a new life, breaking with the army, needs money. Lots of money. So when Hawk-face Dumont accidentally provides an opening for Marianne to rid herself of a dangerous rival and also extends the possibility of fortunes to be made, it looks like an opportunity too good to be refused.
The battles that both women must survive, however, at Ligny and Quatre Bras, create their own problems. The closer they come to the English Goddams, the more Marianne is haunted by the memory of the way her adopted mother was butchered at their hands just a few years earlier, in Spain. Thoughts of revenge torment her, distract her from her goals. But her daughter’s capture by the Prussians, and Liberté Dumont’s help in the quest to find the girl creates new and very different bonds, between mother and daughter, and between the two women themselves.
The climax will take place on the blood-soaked fields of Waterloo, where Marianne Tambour and Liberté Dumont must each confront their deadliest foes, their worst nightmares, find answers to the secrets of their respective pasts, and try to simply survive the slaughter. Yet the fortunes of war are not easily won, and the fates may, after all, only allow one of these women to see the next day’s dawn.
David Ebsworth’s story, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour: A Novel of Waterloo, is based upon the real-life exploits of two women who fought, in their own right, within Bonaparte’s army. (provided by the author)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall,
a former negotiator and Regional Secretary
for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union.
He was born in Liverpool (UK) but has lived for the past thirty years in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife, Ann. Since their retirement in 2008, the couple have spent about six months of each year in southern Spain. Dave began to write seriously in the following year, 2009,
and The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour is his fourth novel.
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