This is a big portmanteau of a novel stuffed with history and adventure; humour and romance. It is set in Europe between 1810 and 1813 in French-occupied northern Italy, Austria and France.
Xavier Fortin, a young French forester, is sent to Italy and travels along the Piave valley to Longarone where there is a small French garrison.Fortin is a civilian caught up in momentous events and he has no way of knowing just how much his life is about to change. France plans to rebuild its shattered navy and urgently needs timber for masts.As Venice is under British blockade a most secret plan is devised for the smuggling of the masts along the river systems of Northern Italy; their final destination being the great shipyard at Toulon in Southern France.The plan is the brainchild of a French naval engineer based in Venice, a hotbed of plotting, intrigue and unrest.
In Vienna, Maria, the scheming wife of the feeble Austrian Kaiser, Francis, loathes the French who have taken the southern provinces of the Austrian Empire from them. Maria, from Modena in Italy, pulls the strings behind the scenes whenever the generals meet in Vienna in order to hasten the day when Northern Italy is part of the restored Austrian Empire.
But not all matters in Vienna are concerned with war and politics.At the family home in Gumpendorfer Strasse, Karl Reithoffer is swotting for entry to the University.Unknown to Karl his father has other plans relating to his son’s future career; should war break out again between Austria and France, the young man will be bought a commission in the army and become the pride of the family…
Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century. You may examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here. The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters. It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide. The second post of this blog provides links to maps, etc.