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 take place in an alternate history. In my world, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped final exile, avoids his great reward by two decades, and the Napoleonic Wars continue, 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.
My 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. Cochrane was the 10th Earl of Dundonald, 1st Marquess of Maranhão and lived the sort of life that would not be credible were it presented as fiction. His father, the 9th Earl of Dundonald, was a scientist who created 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 would 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 in courts squabbling over how they were won instead of accepting the rewards and moving forward.
I'm no historian, only an enthusiastic amateur and most of my research comes from secondary sources. I've made 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 have tried 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 you, my gentle 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