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An Infamous Army (Alastair-Audley #4)

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,661 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
When the beautiful and outrageous Lady Barbara Childe meets Charles Audley her joie de vivre knows no bounds -- until the eve of the fateful Battle of Waterloo.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hardcover, "Cheap Edition", 595 pages
Published 1939 by William Heinemann Ltd (first published 1937)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This was a bit of a mash-up: part romance with an unpleasantly self-absorbed heroine, part history lesson, meticulously researched and well told.

The story opens in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo as British and allied European forces prepare to confront a resurgent Napoleon. The Duke of Wellington is in command of the British troops, who are too few and unseasoned. Heyer captures the sense of feverish gaiety that grips this city on the brink of war. Wellington's staff work madly t
Jul 15, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
Although I had read three other Georgette Heyer novels before this one, those were all detective stories, instead of the historical romances that she's more well-known for. I found this one in a bookstore a few weeks ago and thought that it would be a good introduction to Heyer's other body of work - although her mysteries aren't the best I've ever read, her characters are always well-formed and the writing is witty and clever, so I was looking forward to seeing how she applied this skill to ano ...more
Dec 29, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly the bracing kind of story I needed. Jolly good fun, as the general population of characters in this book would say. Georgette Heyer has always been good at adventure stories set amongst the British upper class, but in this she has far outdone herself. Her research is astounding. The second half of the book largely consists of an enormously through (about 150 pages long) play by play account of the battle of Waterloo, and its' immediate lead up and aftermath. Heyer seems to know e ...more
 Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔
Warning; there may be spoilers for Regency Buck & Devil's Cub in this review,as GH uses characters from both in this book.

My good GR friend Hana has covered the historical side of reviewing the book, & I don't feel I can better her comments. This is her review (linked to with her permission) I will mention that GH was meticulous in her research - at the back of the book is what she calls the "short" bibliography & that runs to two & a half
Jane Stewart
I read Heyer for romance. This book was not what I expected. Too much military and hard to understand.

I think it might be better to READ this book rather than LISTEN to it as an audiobook. It was hard to understand all the military planning and battle action. I needed to see diagrams and pictures. It was also hard to follow the various officers’ names by listening as opposed to reading. I understand the author did a lot of research in order to be accurate about the “Battle of
Kenny Sullins
This was the first book I have ever read that was written by Georgette Heyer. I can see why her work is so loved. It was very well written and much attention was given to detail, which I always enjoy. She put much work it into it while still allowing me to use my imagination to a point that was satisfactory for me!

While I'm far from an expert on the Duke of Wellington or Waterloo, I still think the military aspects of the story were very well written and appreciate the research Heyer put into i
What did I know about the battle of Waterloo prior to reading this novel? Nothing. Nothing at all. I didn't even know who the Duke of Wellington was! But thanks to this wonderful masterpiece by Heyer, I now feel a lot more educated!:) This was just brilliant. The main character, Captain Audley, was in my opinion extremely appealing and the wonder is that he fell in love so quickly with the outrageous Lady Barbara. Bab was an excellent character (and in true Alastair fashion, incredibly notorious ...more
Jul 02, 2007 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was possibly Georgette Heyer's greatest book. Her research into the battle of Waterloo was so detailed and accurate that it is on the recommended reading list for officer cadets at Sandhurst. Even if you're not into battles (and you can easily skip these sections) there's plenty more here, not just the usual love story but an amazing telling of how the citizens of the town coped with the influx of wounded, the fear, the honourable and dishonourable behaviour of people in a war zone. When We ...more
I loved this book. Of course, keep in mind that I am a serious fan/student of the Napoleonic era. This is an in depth look at the Battle of Waterloo. I recommend this book at work to men who read the Richard Sharpe novels of Bernard Cornwell and the Jack Aubrey novels of Patrick O'Brian. The romance is not the central element of the story, and what there is, is relatively low key. In other words, not enough to make a guy think he's reading a romance. There is a lot of battle tactics here. It is ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a child, I read lots of Georgette Heyer Regency romances, but as an older teenager turned to fantasy and other genres. It wasn't until recently that I discovered her two novels of the Napoleanic wars, "The Spanish Bride" and "An Infamous Army." Both have incredible historic detail. She said in her forward to one of these books that she had read every diarist (English soldiers) of these wars, in addition to all Wellington's dispatches.
Jan 31, 2011 Jennefer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the love story of the scandalous Bab Childe and her Colonel Charles Audley... but not really. It's a story about learning to be self aware, and how times of struggle and strengthen and mature a person.... kind of. This is about how frivolous people can be in times of impending doom.... in a way. This is really the story of the battle of Waterloo..... but not really that either.

Ugh! Apparently this is one of the most historically accurate tellings of the Battle of Waterloo in all of fict
Hannah Cobb
I have to admit I read this Heyer just because it continues the Alistair storyline. I found An Infamous Army to be both more and less than These Old Shades and Devil's Cub; An Infamous Army is (rather to my surprise) largely an account of the battle of Waterloo. On the plus side, I learned a lot about the major players in this famous historical conflict--though from what I've gleaned it looks like Heyer lifted a lot of Wellington's dialogue straight from various primary sources of that period. T ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Mei-Lu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Infamous Army was the novel Georgette Heyer was most proud of. It tells the story of a romance set during Waterloo. Heyer is famous for her attention to detail and her research but in this book she absolutely surpassed herself in learning every detail of the the circumstances leading up to Waterloo and of the battle itself. At one point, the book was studied at Sandringham for its excellent descriptions of the battle. Unfortunately, this book just did not work for me. I applaud its ambition b ...more
This was a difficult book for me. For starters, I didn't go into it expecting (as I should have) such a strong focus on Waterloo and the war; I was expecting perhaps more focus on the war than in other Heyer books, but still primarily a romance novel. This is not that. This is primarily a story of the war, with a romance on the side.

There are characters that are mentioned briefly, painted in hasty strokes, then referred to later with the full expectation that you'll remember them. There are wei
2012 SOA Listening Challenge: Historical 1/4

Part romance and part history, this is a truly incredible novel. I listened to the entire 15 hours over two days. I couldn't stop. I have put off listening to this book for a couple of years because I was afraid I'd find the details of the battles boring, but I needn't have worried. It's true I was a little overwhelmed at times by the sheer amount of information presented, but I was always fascinated. Even when I w
Susan Ferguson
I love Georgette Heyer and so love all of her books. But this one is extra special. It's not only the 3rd in the Alistair series, but the sequel to Regency Buck. In fact, it begins with Judith and Julian Worth in Brussells with their child and Judith's brother Peregrine and his wife Harriet and their children. The Worths are in Brussells at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and Napoleon has escaped from Elba and is trying to regain his empire. The Royalists in France have fled to Brussells and eve ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Hazel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hazel by: David
Dec 20th
This is an interesting combination of historical romance and detailed history. So far, I'm not too impressed with the love story. The hero is unremarkable. Well, you know, he's a brave and principled and dutiful officer, as you'd expect. And he's tall and handsome, too. Yawn. The leading lady is remarkable for the emotional maturity and self-control of a two-year-old. It's love-at-first-sight, essentially, with no apparent reason for the attachment, and no sense so far, of a developing r
Jamie Collins
This is a strange hybrid of a romance novel and a detailed historical account of the Battle of Waterloo. Very detailed. I read a biography of Wellington not long ago, so I'm slightly familiar with the relevant people and events, and Heyer was still throwing out the names of people, places and regiments faster than I could process them.

The scenes with Wellington were very nice, and supposedly every bit of his dialogue comes from his letters or recorded conversations. I enjoyed the accounts of the
Nov 03, 2012 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pauline Ross
Jan 09, 2016 Pauline Ross marked it as abandoned-unread  ·  review of another edition
I set out to read all of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances in publication order, and here I am at the second book, written in 1937, and already I’m refusing to jump. The opening is a whole confusion of characters, so, naturally, I turned to the Goodreads reviews for advice. And find that this book is more of a historical treatise on the Battle of Waterloo than fiction. It is, apparently, still required reading for the officer training school at Sandhurst.

Well, it may be picky of me, but I read
Nicholas Whyte
Jun 21, 2015 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Heyer is of course one of the twentieth century's most prolific and best-known romance novelists, and many people whose opinions I respect hold her in high regard. It's not a genre I know, and I'd never previously read any of her work. I understand that An Infamous Army is fairly standalone in Heyer's historical timeline, with just a few characters shared with other books - the second written of her famous Regency romances.

I must say that I thoroughly en
This was really in between 2 and 3 stars for me.
The first half of the book even barely made it to 2 stars. I liked finding back the characters from the previous book, Regency Buck. But I kept thinking "why did the nice and friendly fall in love with such an awful shrew?", because to say the least, the heroine, Barbara has absolutely nothing to defend herself. I kept wondering what horrific events had happened in her previous marriage to make her so disillusioned, so waspish, so cruel. Well, noth
Kat Powell
Jan 02, 2015 Kat Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I expected this to be romance story with a little bit of war thrown in but in reality it's a war story with a love story thrown in for good measure.

I knew nothing of Waterloo, apart from the outcome and that it involved the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, which I suspect was all I remembered from reading Vanity Fair as I didn't learn anything about it at school. But apparently Heyer's description is historically spot on. I admit it was hard going, I admit I skimmed the war scene
This is almost more non-fiction than fiction. Ms Heyer delves into the social history immediately preceding the Battle of Waterloo, thunders through the battle itself and it's only in the aftermath that romance and history truly meet. It's a fictionalised and extremely well-researched account of Waterloo built around what seems to be a doomed romance between notorious widow, Lady Barbara Childe a heartbreaker at the centre of the social whirl in Brussels where the English have set up their own f ...more
This book has two sides. In other words, you will find two books inside.

1) It is definitely a tribute to Duke of Wellington and his army which fought at Waterloo. And, it is great tribute. Heyer had to spend many hours to get so historically accurate descriptions. Really, I don't even know what I can say more. If someone likes to read about wars, war strategies and so on, he will think of this book like of a jewel. I love historical fiction. Nonetheless, although I appreciate value of Heyer's wo
Maggie Craig
Nov 07, 2013 Maggie Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think there was anything more to be said about the incomparable Georgette Heyer and her Regency novels. I was wrong. An Infamous Army has all the usual wonderful components: the spirited heroine and the irresistible hero, the sparkling dialogue, the entertaining cast of characters who interact with and circle around the main lovers, the sumptuous clothes and the way GH used her deep knowledge of those and other aspects of the period. She gave us a treat too, showing us Dominic and Mary ...more
Kathy Davie
Not one of my favorites even if half of it is about the warm-up to the Battle at Waterloo between Napoleon and Wellington. In this particular story, Colonel Charles Audley (Lord Worth’s brother and Judith Taverner’s brother-in-law; Regency Buck) is smitten with Lady Barbara Childe, the granddaughter of the Duke of Avon, Dominic Alistair (Devil’s Cub) when he meets her on a dance floor in Brussels.

Bab Childe has a bad reputation and Judith is horrified at the thought of Lady Barbara ruining Charl
. Heyer's forte was historical research and it really shines through in this book. The last 1/3 of the novel consists of a detailed play by play description of the Battle of Waterloo complete with troop movements and every gory death exactly as it occurred. What happens to the characters during the battle is blended in with the real-life events and will keep the reader turning pages until the fictional history is resolved. Lady Barbara is entirely unlikeable in most of the novel. She's the femin ...more
Feb 07, 2013 J E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of the eve of Waterloo. Several relationships are tracked in it with the usual intricacies and misunderstandings found in romance novels. But also it provides fascinating insight into the feelings in Brussels after Napoleon escaped from exile on Elba. Scenes of heroism and cowardliness, pain and glory, love and friendship are all intermixed with the story of the Duke of Wellington and the days before the final show down between the Duke and Napoleon . . . and the days a ...more
This must have been a real labor of love for Georgette Heyer. The book is a combination of the kind of romance she's known for, detailed aristocratic world, and a play by play enactment of the Battle of Waterloo. The battle definitely stands alongside other literary descriptions like the one in Les Mis. In Heyer's version you get a real sense of how these noblemen bring their drawing room personalities onto the battlefields. Even at their lowest moments, they never lose their wit--though without ...more
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Georgette Heyer Fans: An Infamous Army. Spoilers thread 109 35 Sep 17, 2015 10:48AM  
Georgette Heyer Fans: An Infamous Army Chapters 13-25 35 21 Jul 23, 2015 05:55PM  
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Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

More about Georgette Heyer...

Other Books in the Series

Alastair-Audley (4 books)
  • These Old Shades (Alastair, #1)
  • Devil's Cub (Alastair, #2)
  • Regency Buck (Alastair, #3)

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“The devil you have! There, it is off at last! You may have perceived that I have been tugging at your ring for the last ten minutes. It should, of course, have been cast at your feet some time ago, but the confounded thing was always too tight. Take it!” 5 likes
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