Tuesday 4 May 2010

Did Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids Make History?

Another guest blogger today, Jean Hart Stewart, who makes a stop on her virtual book tour with an interesting musing on the quirks of history and a look at her historical romance, The Third Rose:  

Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids

I’ve been fascinated by a book of that name, written by Paul Mason. It’s packed with unusual and interesting bits of information. Its basic premise is that much of history was accidental, the result of a chance happening and luck. I can’t begin to tell you about all of them, but here are two. Although it’s a page turner of a book as he exposes a lot of myths. 
Now to the Napoleon story. Napoleon has long suffered from hemorrhoids and the day of last battle of Waterloo he was unable to mount his horse. His doctors accidentally overdosed him with laudanum, and it’s possible this is what caused the fatal delay of starting the battle. I write about this in The Third Rose so of course I loved this bit of historical gossip. It’s pretty well established that if Napoleon had begun the battle earlier Wellington would not have been able to join forces with Blucher and the battle would probably have been lost.
Another story that is a gripper. Marie Antoinette might have avoided execution if she hadn’t changed escape plans at the last minute. Louis IV had planned to leave alone in a small carriage and she would follow. Marie, however, insisted they travel together. They left at night, after she got lost in the Tuileries gardens and delayed the start by a half hour. A broken wheel on the larger carriage and the slower pace also delayed them, and so they were three hours late for the planned rendezvous with their armed guards. They were finally caught, only 25 miles from Belgium and safety.
What if? It seems from reading even snatches of this book you can’t help but wonder about the fate that rules us all.
As I say, I was enthralled. There’s a tidbit in the book about almost any famous man. If you have a favorite event of historical personage I’ll look it up for you.

Author Website:  http://www.jeanhartstewart.com/index2.htm

For the full schedule of Jean's tour stops:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2010/04/virtual-book-tour-third-rose.html?zx=eb73ec2b8a6b4cf4

The Third Rose:

When Sara Coverly hides in Lord Wolverton’s bedroom to avenge him for the rape of her friend, she is determined to shoot him so he can never ruin another female. Instead she finds herself wondering if she’s picked the wrong man! Wolf decides he needs a token fiancée to cover his tracks as he searches for a spy, and soon Sara finds herself helping him. And falling deeply in love.

Wolf’s espionage duties bring danger to them both. When he
decodes a message threatening the assassination of Wellington at Waterloo, they both set out for Brussels to catch the villain.

Can their growing love endure through war, a desperate villain who is out to stop them, and Wolf’s determination to save Wellington at any cost?


At last. The bastard had come home. He must have lit more candles, as the room became brighter. She could see a large man, elegantly dressed, stride across the room. Double drat! He moved out of her vision, and she did not dare part the draperies any further. She waited, breath suspended, as he re-appeared and sat on the bed. He arched one long muscled leg, bending over to tug at his boot. His face was in shadow, but his build was powerful, that of a more than adequate sportsman. His size didn’t worry her. A gun was a great equalizer.
He meant to take his boots off himself? She was surprised he didn’t require his valet to wait up for him. An unusual bit of consideration for a servant, one she’d not expected. She’d thought she’d have to stay hidden until the valet had come and gone. Perhaps this was better, since at least he was decently clothed. Not that she’d let any missish tendencies deter her. Actually seeing a large nude male might be educational.
Now was the time.
She cocked the gun and stepped out in front of him, the barrel pointed directly at him.
“You will please rise, my lord. I do not intend to shoot a seated villain.” She felt pride in the composure of her voice. She’d worried a little about that.
Wolverton did not appear unduly upset, although his eyebrows arched upward. He bent the long leg stretched on the bed and clasped both hands around his knee.
“A woman. How interesting. I admit you make a very fetching young man dressed in those breeches, but your voice is definitely female. Might I inquire why you have your gun pointed at me?”
She had to give him his due. His tone seemed as cool as hers, and she certainly must have been a nasty surprise. Although come to think of it, he probably often found women accosting him in his bedchamber. But surely for more pleasurable purposes, cad that he was.
“Stand up, my lord.”
Neither her voice nor the hand holding the gun on him wavered, as Joshua Sinclair, Earl of Wolverton, slowly placed both his boots on the luxurious Aubusson carpet and rose to his feet.
“Is there anything I can do for you, madam?” he inquired, as politely as if he were asking her if she took milk with her tea.
She shook her head slowly, carefully lowering the gun a trifle. What a shame he was such a handsome devil, but then she should have expected no less from a despoiler of virgins.
She was pleased to see him blanch a little as he realized where she aimed.
“Can I persuade you to raise your gun a little? I don’t mind being shot in the chest nearly as much as if you hit the most valued part of my anatomy.”

You can find The Third Rose at Red Rose Publishing.


PT Dilloway said...

What if scenarios are always fascinating to us because we like to think the grass is always greener on the other side. If we'd turned left instead of right everything would have worked out. Me being cynical just assumes that whatever I do is wrong so it doesn't matter.

A. F. Stewart said...

Spoken like a true, fellow pessimist!

Pauline said...

what a fun excerpt! LOL! I like him already!

SilverWolf said...

Now that's an excerpt just begging the reader to buy it to find out what happens. Got to admit it crabs your attention. I have added this book to my TBR list.

SilverWolf said...

I have to agree "what if's" are a pain. I didn't mind answering my sons questions until they got to the "What If" questions then I was done. Some of their questions were so dumb I don't know that I could have answered them. Although I have been quilty of asking myself "I wonder what would have happened if only?" I quess that is the same kind of question in the long run. I never really had the answers to thoses questions either. ...LOL...

Sheila Deeth said...

What if's can be such fun. The book sounds great fun too.

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