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  • Published: 15 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409044451
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

On His Majesty's Service

(Matthew Hervey 11)




In the Eastern Balkans, Matthew Hervey faces bloody war with the Turks

January 1829: George IV is on the throne, Wellington is England's prime-minister, and snow is falling thickly on the London streets as Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Hervey is summoned to the Horse Guards in the expectation of command of his regiment, the 6th Light Dragoons.But the benefits of long-term peace at home mean cuts in the army, and Hervey is told that the Sixth are to be reduced to a single squadron. With his long-term plans in disarray, he undertakes instead a six-month assignment as an observer with the Russian army, an undertaking at the personal request of the commander-in-chief, Lord Hill.

Soon Hervey, his friend Edward Fairbrother and his faithful groom, Private Johnson, are sailing north to St Petersburg, and from there on to the Eastern Balkans, seat of the ferocious war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

Hervey is meant to be an impartial spectator in the campaign, but soon the circumstances - and his own nature - propel him into a more active role. In the climactic Battle of Kulewtscha, in which more troops were engaged than in any battle since Waterloo, Hervey and Fairbrother find themselves in the thick of the action.

For Hervey, the stakes have never been higher - or more personal.

  • Published: 15 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409044451
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the author

Allan Mallinson

Allan Mallinson was a soldier for thirty-five years, serving first with the infantry and then the cavalry. He began writing while still serving. His first book was a history of four regiments of British light dragoons, one of whose descendant regiments he commanded. It was followed by A Close Run Thing, the first novel in the acclaimed and bestselling series chronicling the life of a fictitious cavalry officer, Matthew Hervey, before and after Waterloo. His The Making of the British Army was shortlisted for several prizes, while his centenary history, 1914: Fight the Good Fight – Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War won the British Army's Book of the Year Award. Its sequel, Too Important for the Generals, is a provocative look at leadership during the Great War. Allan Mallinson also writes for The Times, is history editor for Unherd.com and reviews for the TLS and the Spectator. He lives on Salisbury Plain.

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Praise for On His Majesty's Service

What is left to be said about Allan Mallinson? Only this perhaps: he has done for the British army what C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian did for the royal navy, and his novels are every bit as addictive as theirs - indeed more addictive for those of us who prefer land to sea war, and find the details of military life more compelling than those of life on board ship. On His Majesty's Service is the tenth of his Matthew Hervey novels. The Napoleonic wars are long over: it is 1828. Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform are in the air. There are riots in the country and talk of reducing the military establishment.Hervey, however, is sent, with his friend Captain Fairbrother, the illegitimate son of a Jamaican slave-owner, as an observer of the Russian army engaged in war against the Ottoman empire. It is unlikely that he will be long content merely to observe; he will also meet the future Prussian Field-Marshal von Moltke, architect of the wars which led to the recreation of imperial Germany, and at that time advising the Turks. Splendid, irresistible stuff, and not for addicts only.

Allan Massie, Spectator

As a history of a little-known conflict, this is a fascinating lively romp.

THE TIMES, Saturday Review

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