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The Spanish Bride    by Georgette Heyer order for
Spanish Bride
by Georgette Heyer
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2008 (1940)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

The Spanish Bride is based on the true story of British Brigade-Major Harry Smith and his young Spanish bride Juana. They met and married during the Peninsular Wars when Juana was fourteen years of age. During the Peninsular Wars, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom allied against France. The war began when France occupied Portugal in 1807 and Spain in 1808, and lasted until Napoleon was defeated in 1814.

Juana followed the drum, marching at the the back of the troops for a period of three years. She earned the respect and friendship of the soldiers with her charming personality. She loved to cook and sew for the men, and nursed and comforted the wounded. She adored the military life and never complained about the hardships she had to endure. She loved Harry but they had a very stormy relationship. He was a flirt, and she was very jealous.

When Harry was sent to America to fight in the war on Washington, Juana traveled to London to stay with his father and sisters. There she learned to speak some English and re-connected with a few friends from their division. She awaited Harry's return to England. Though The Spanish Bride is very rich in history, I found the book lacking in a plot, leaving me feeling as if I had read a history book for school.

Editor's Note: Find another perspective on the novel in The Spanish Bride: Truth & Fiction.

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