The Age of Sail & Steam was a generation in which the world saw a pairing of old and new technologies before one would render obsolete the other. My stories of Napoleon's South America are set in an alternate history that revolves around that period of time. In the world I have created, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped final exile, avoids his great reward by two decades, and the Napoleonic Wars continued on, moving from the Old World to the New. Inspired by the stories of C.S. Forester, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, Richard Woodman, and many others, I wanted to carry the great naval adventures of the Napoleonic Wars into the Age of Sail & Steam.
The inspiration came from a brief passage in Donald Thomas’ Cochrane, Britannia’s Last Sea King, a highly detailed and engaging examination of Lord Thomas Cochrane's extraordinary life. Lord Cochrane's life was one that would not be credible were it presented as fiction. His father was a scientist who brought the world gas lighting and tar pitch hulls. Cochrane inherited his father's ingenuity and imagination. His mind was fertile and energetic. He saw the potential of the steam engine years before the technology could actually implement it.
Unfortunately, he also inherited his father's prickly and obstinate nature. Neither father nor son could accept victory unless it was won entirely on their own terms. Thus, the father never received credit nor fortune for his inventions that changed the way we live. Likewise, the younger Cochrane squandered his many achievements; spending years squabbling over the conditions under which they were achieved.
I'm no historian, just an enthusiastic amateur and all of my research comes from secondary sources. I make no serious attempt to predict 'What If . . .,' only to write a 'ripping good yarn'; a setting in which Napoleonic adventures continue into the Age of Sail and Steam - the great sea battles of the early nineteenth century fought using paddle wheel steamers.
While many of the most significant overall historical events have changed, I have tried to remain faithful to the cultural and societal context and historical details that would not otherwise be effected by Napoleon's South America. I also try to reasonably and logically extrapolate those details that would be changed. As for those details that do not seem reasonably extrapolated or are just plain wrong, hearing about those from my readers is the fun of writing them. I try to create logical reasons for these issues within the context of my world, but am also happy to admit when I get it wrong - well, maybe not happy. Comments and criticisms, constructive or otherwise are appreciated.
My books are published by Third Millennium Publishing and can be purchased from their web site. They are also available through Amazon.com and are in Amazon Kindle format.
I am a member of the Historical Novel Society. They have a wonderful website and I encourage you to check it out: http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/.
Click here to buy Scott Langley's books directly from Third Millennium Publishing
Comments and criticism, constructive or
otherwise, are appreciated. Please