An epic fight for survival in the age of Napoleon -
“Stanislaus-August Poniatowski, by the Grace of God and the Will of the People, Elected King of the Republic of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Mazowia, Samogita, Kiev, Wolyn, Podolia, Podlasie, Livonia, Smolensk, Sever and Czernihov...” Et cetera!
This was Stanislaus-August. Amongst his subjects he was called ‘the Bullock,’ so named for his emblem, a red calf, on his coat of arms. Lamentably, he is known to history as the Last King of Poland. Poor, foolish Poniatowski! An empty, windy creature, redolent of macassar, with a soft stomach and a head full of French books and nonsense.
The Bullock was the cast-off lover of Catherine, Tsarina of Russia, Satan’s illegitimate daughter, herself. She had forced us to elect him as our king – at gunpoint – as a payment for services rendered, after terminating their carnal affair. That tells you how much our throne was worth in those grim days!”
A young cavalryman in the Polish army, Ignatius Blumer found himself in the Polish King’s guard of honour, on the fateful Third of May. On that day in 1791, King Stanislaus-August signed the Polish Constitution. This benevolent and enlightened document, the Polish equivalent of the Magna Carta or the Declaration of the Rights of Man, gave democratic rights to all Polish citizens. It promised equality, freedom, and religious tolerance, and is still celebrated as a national holiday in Poland today.
But Catherine the Great, the terrifying Empress of Russia – and the King’s ex-girlfriend – was furious. Together with her allies, Prussia and Austria, she sent a massive army to crush all opposition against her tyrannical rule. Poland was conquered. Exiled and hunted, and with a price on their heads, Blumer and his comrades joined the Legions of Napoleon, fighting in Italy for the French Revolutionaries against their common enemy. But will Napoleon restore Poland’s freedom, or will he betray the Legion?
‘Song of the Legions’ is the first book in a brand new series. It is the first novel in the English language to follow the story of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Polish Legion, one of the most tragic and heroic tales in military history. This was the forerunner of the legendary French regiment that still bears the name they were given by their enemies – ‘The Foreign Legion’. It is the great untold story of the Napoleonic Wars.
It is also the true story of Ignatius Blumer, a half-Irish, half-Polish gentleman soldier, mercenary and pirate. A man with a thirst for glory and adventure – and for drink, gambling, and womanising!
About Michael Large
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Published May 2, 2011
by Bayonet Books Limited.
History, War, Literature & Fiction.