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On The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK“, To The Douro by David J Blackmore is the first book in the new historical fiction series, Wellington’s Dragoon about a young soldier fighting in the war against Napoleon.

David Blackmore’s To The Douro introduces Michael Roberts.  Following the death of his parents in a shipwreck, Roberts’ decision to join the 16th Light Dragoons leads him on a life of adventure during the war against Napoleon in Portugal and Spain;  and the chance to play a key role for the future Duke of Wellington.

To The Douro

Just six months after Bernard Cornwell’s decision to bring Sharpe out of retirement after a fifteen year hiatus, David Blackmore’s new military hero, Michael Roberts, is a worthy contender to knock Richard Sharpe from his longstanding position as everyone’s favourite soldier.

To The Douro, David J Blackmore, The Table Read
To The Douro

In this debut work of fiction, and first instalment of Blackmore’s forthcoming ‘Wellington’s Dragoon’ series, the author uses his far-reaching military expertise to beguile readers with a story that finds his protagonist embarking on a life of adventure, espionage, love, loss and more.

Napoleon

Set against the backdrop of life in the 16th Light Dragoon at the height of Napoleon’s invasion of Portugal and Spain, this fast-paced adventure has its origins in military facts and whilst several of the main characters (including Roberts) stem from the author’s imagination. Other military dragoons, NCOs, and officers actually served in the regiment, and are known to the author due to the diary written by William Tomkinson, a cavalry officer who served at the time.

If this first instalment is a taster of what readers can expect in future ‘Wellington Dragoon’ episodes, congratulations must go to the author, who quite conceivably has a best-selling series on his hands.

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About David J Blackmore

“The main events in this book did occur, in particular the crossing of the Douro. No one has ever been able to quite explain where the four wine barges came from. Similarly, most of the characters were real people. Michael’s story is carefully interwoven through the historic record of events. In addition, the use of the sabre, the management of the horses, the drill used, and the uniforms mentioned are all correct.”

David Blackmore has a PhD in military history, which has been published as Destructive and Formidable; British Infantry Firepower, 1642 – 1765. He has written three other books, Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars, British Cavalry of the Mid-18th Century, and So Bloody a Day, The 16th Light Dragoons in the Waterloo Campaign. In addition there are more articles and book contributions than he can remember.

David J Blackmore, To The Douro, The Table Read
David J Blackmore

He had a long career with the Royal Armouries Museum, for most of which he was their Registrar, and was heavily involved in the creation of the new museum in Leeds.

Reading Never Goes Out of Style

16th Light Dragoons

David started re-enacting in 1973, and now claims to have retired from that. He served for six years as the Lord General of the Roundhead Association, and more lately has been very involved in running and commanding various cavalry units.

The latest was B Troop of the 16th Light Dragoons, which he took to the Waterloo 200 re-enactment in 2015, where he had command of all the British light dragoons. He still helps out the troop with their training. It was this experience that gave him the technical knowledge that made the Wellington’s Dragoon Series possible.

He rides two or three times a week, frequently on a horse called Johnny, who is the basis for the hero’s horse in the book.

Find more now:

Published by Brindle Books, To The Douro (ISBN: 1739864867) is available on Amazon as follows:

Hardcover (£20.00) – https://amzn.to/3PpLDTx

Paperback (£8.99) – https://amzn.to/3a8VvkF

Kindle format (£3.99) – https://amzn.to/38BDR8q

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