Tides of War

A Novel

Stella Tillyard

Henry Holt and Co.

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A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011

An epic novel about love and war, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War (1812-15), by the acclaimed historian and bestselling author of Aristocrats

Tides of War opens in England with the recently married, charmingly unconventional Harriet preparing to say goodbye to her husband, James, as he leaves to join the Duke of Wellington's troops in Spain.

Harriet and James's interwoven stories of love and betrayal propel this sweeping and dramatic novel as it moves between Regency London on the cusp of modernity—a city in love with science, the machine, money—and the shocking violence of war in Spain. With dazzling skill Stella Tillyard explores not only the effects of war on the men at the front but also the freedoms it offers the women left behind. As Harriet befriends the older and protective Kitty, Lady Wellington, her life begins to change in unexpected ways. Meanwhile, James is seduced by the violence of battle, and then by love in Seville.

As the novel moves between war and peace, Spain and London, its large cast of characters includes the serial adulterer and war hero the Duke of Wellington, and the émigrés Nathan Rothschild and Frederic Winsor who will usher in the future, creating a world brightly lit by gaslight where credit and financial speculation rule. Whether describing the daily lives and desires of strong female characters or the horror of battle, Tides of War is set to be the fiction debut of the year.

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Book Excerpts

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Part One

1

Suffolk, London and Spain

February 1812

‘Now, what am I looking for?’

Harriet scanned the stoppered phials on the shelves, putting a finger to the label of each one. Some of the bottles were dusty, some had marks of recent use. In her father’s day the laboratory never had this abandoned look. Sir William Guest’s large cabinet stood by the door, its drawers open. Delicate instruments, magnets, loose nails and coils of wire lay jumbled inside. Larger pieces of apparatus and machines were grouped without order against the end wall.

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Stella Tillyard on writing her book Tides of War

Hear author Stella Tillyard talk about her novel Tides of War, an epic historical novel about love and war, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War (1812-15), by the acclaimed historian and bestselling author of Aristocrats.

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Reviews

Praise for Tides of War

"In short, war is as transformative for those who remain at home as for those who fight it, and historian Tillyard, making her fiction debut, does a superb job of portraying those transformations with deft, economical prose and metaphors that are as instructive as they are descriptive. This sophisticated, unusual portrait of Regency society will appeal to all readers of historical fiction, especially admirers of Bernard Cornwell."Library Journal, Starred Review

"Tillyard is at her best with historical figures and when depicting the era; readers share Harriet's discovery of the waltz, Jane Austen, and ice cream, and witness cutting-edge battlefield surgeries under real-life Surgeon Gen. James McGrigor."Publishers Weekly

"Dazzling—I love this book. It's beautifully written, the characters are deeply involving and the historical settings so right—in short, Tides of War is a triumph."—Simon Schama

"Stella Tillyard is famous for the bravura of her writing, so it should come as no surprise that her fifth book is not a biography but a historical novel… The result suggests that history's loss will be fiction's gain; Tides of War is one of the most assured literary debuts in years… Stella Tillyard has written a modern novel that is the perfect answer to anyone who believes that the past is out of date."—Amanda Foreman, Financial Times

"A remarkably instructive novel. Tillyard embellishes a plot too intricate for summary with a plethora of detail. Readers…will find much to fascinate them... Tillyard is a fluent and attractive chronicler of historical detail and some of her imaginative liberties are ingenious… An entertaining fictional debut."The Telegraph (UK)

"Hugely enjoyable… In its intelligent, classy, entertaining way, the book is reminiscent of that other fine novelist of the Napoleonic wars, Patrick O'Brian."—Angus Clarke, The Times (UK)

"Love, betrayal, war and peace charge this powerful debut."—Fanny Blake, Woman and Home (UK)

"This novel is packed with marvelous period detail… Tillyard writes in fluid, largely understated prose, and her descriptions are wonderful."—Lucy Atkins, The Sunday Times (UK)

"Seldom, since reading Jane Austen, have I wanted to slip between the pages of a book and become one of its characters. But in Tides of War, Stella Tillyard’s first novel, the clever, messy heroine who prefers chemistry to needlework filled me with roughly the same longing I felt when reading Emma as a teenager…. With Tides of War, she makes fiction as real as history and considerably more compelling."—Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times


In the Press

Stella Tillyard’s ‘Tides of War,’ Napoleonic Novel - Review - NYTimes.com
The biographer Stella Tillyard’s first novel, “Tides of War,” set in Napoleonic times, numbers the Duke of Wellington in its cast of characters.
- The New York Times

TIDES OF WAR by Stella TillyardKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of TIDES OF WAR . Set in the pre-Waterloo days of the peninsula campaign, Tillyard's narrative explores both military and personal maneuvers as Wellington seeks victory on the battlefields and some of his officers seek victory in the bedrooms.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Stella Tillyard

Stella Tillyard has been described by Simon Schama as "dazzling . . . a phenomenally gifted writer." Her books include Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832; Citizen Lord: Edward Fitzgerald, 1763-1798; and most recently A Royal Affair: George III and his Troublesome Siblings. She has lived in the United States and Italy and now lives in London.

Stella Tillyard

Stella Tillyard

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Available Formats and Book Details

Tides of War
A Novel
Stella Tillyard

Award

Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
October 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805094572
ISBN10: 0805094571
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 368 pages
$27.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250002815
ISBN10: 1250002818
5 3/4 x 8 15/16 inches, 368 pages, Includes one b&w map and a family tree
$17.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
October 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429996990
ISBN10: 1429996994
368 pages
$9.99
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From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

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