Did you know about the other war which was raging during the Regency Era?
Were you aware that while Napoleon sweeps Europe into a long and bitter military conflagration, far away, across the Atlantic the new world is embroiled in the War of 1812? Yes, Great Britain is at war with the newly formed United States. However, this war is hardly ever mentioned in regency novels. It is considered much less dramatic and quite less romantic.
Readers of Regency Romance are usually well aware of the war against France on the European continent. They frequently come across references to the various devastating battles at sea and on the Iberian Peninsula. And, while the plot usually leads the reader to the glittering London ballrooms or to the beautiful country estates, the atrocities of the battlefields, the casualties and the wounded are often in the background.
The Duke of Rye, the hero of my novel, is a physically and emotionally wounded national war hero. He is one of the four characters who form a War Office group of operatives. Another member of the group, Lord Montague, is missing in action. He ends up on the Russian front and barely makes it back home.
However, while the continental wars are clearly mentioned in the novels, not much is said about the military conflict in the colonies. Across the Atlantic, on the other front, Britain is fighting the newly independent United States. The Union, which is trying to stay neutral in the conflict between England and France, finds itself, nevertheless, harassed by both. Each of the imperial powers is trying to limit American trade with the other. Britain which has command of the seas and which is forever hungry for more sailors, resort to the custom of “impressment.”
The British navy would seize Union merchant ships and capture American sailors of British descent to force into service on His Majesty’s naval battleships. This blatant disregard for the sovereignty of the United States, marks the British failure to fully accept the loss of their American colonies. During the war of 1812, Britain invades Washington and burns down the White House.
Around the year of 1815, my heroin, Lady Katherine, secures the Duke of Rye’s promise to fund her voyage to America when the time comes for their liaison to end. Fortunately, it does not come to that, as their liaison turns into true love.