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Tides of War Hardcover – 5 May 2011

30 customer reviews

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£12.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701183179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701183172
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 578,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`a perfectly sprung novel of the sort that owes more to Hilary Mantel and David Mitchell than Patrick O'Brian or Bernard Cornwall' --Telegraph, Toby Clements: `A Page in the Life' interview, May 2011

'Hugely enjoyable... In its intelligent, classy, entertaining way, the book is reminiscent of that other fine novelist of the Napoleonic wars, Patrick O'Brian.' --Times

`Love, betrayal, war and peace charge this powerful debut.' --Woman & Home

`One of the most assured literary debuts in years... a modern novel that is the perfect answer to anyone who thinks the past is out of date.' --Financial Times

`Tillyard writes in fluid, largely understated prose and her descriptions are wonderful.'
--Sunday Times

`Tillyard is a fluent and attractive chronicler of detail and some of her imaginative liberties are ingenious.' --Sunday Telegraph, Jane Shilling

`This saga of lives swept up in the Peninsular War recalls Georgette Heyer at her best'...'impossible to put down'
--Saga

`This saga of lives swept up in the Peninsular War recalls Georgette Heyer at her best...impossible to put down'
--Saga

`Tides of War is elegantly written, with passages of verve and ... poignancy' --Independant

`A thrilling romance brought to life with exquisite detail' --Prima

`a prodigious talent able to combine meticulous research with novelistic devices...there is much to enjoy and admire'
--The Times Literary Supplement

`Seldom, since reading Jane Austen, have I wanted to slip between the pages of a book and become one of its characters. But in Tides of War, Stella Tillyard's first novel, the clever, messy heroine who prefers chemistry to needlework filled me with roughly the same longing I felt when reading Emma as a teenager...Tillyard's Aristocrats made history slip down as easily as fiction; with Tides of War she makes fiction as real as history and considerably more compelling.' --The Financial Times

`Fluently written and impeccably researched' --The Lady

`It is time we stopped thinking of the historical novel as a genre, and an inferior one at that. If its ostensible subject matter means that it doesn't attempt to tell us how we live now, nevertheless a novel set back in time may, if it is good, say as much about what it is to be alive as one set in the next street or another country today. Tides of War is such a novel. It is diverting, but not a diversion.'
--The Spectator

'gripping' --Easy Living

`a well written, engaging read'...'beautifully observed' --History Today

`a well written, engaging read...beautifully observed' --History Today

`a vivid account of a couple of years in the Peninsula Campaign and a sympathetic portrait of those left behind' --Literary Review

`a delicious novel by an experienced author who captures the scientific atmosphere of the early 19th century with a devastating study of infidelity' --Oxford Times

'Great Fun' --Mail on Sunday

Book Description

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012, Tides of War is an epic romance - a sweeping, panoramic novel by the best-selling historian, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War, 1812-15

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Harriet Raven is newly married and her husband James is off to war in Spain in the Duke of Wellington's forces. Like any military wife she must deal with his absence as best she can. Harriet is an unusual woman as she is interested in science having helped her father Sir William Guest with his experiments. While her husband is absent she goes to London to spend time with her aunt and makes friend with Kitty, the Duke of Wellington's wife, who is also uninterested in the usual womanly interests of the time.

I though Harriet was an interesting character and I would have preferred it if the book had focussed more on her life than it actually did. There are just too many characters and too many strands to this novel and this reader was left wanting to know more about Harriet and her relationship with Kitty. Instead the book skips about between Europe and England and follows several characters meaning nothing is covered in depth.

The historical details are excellent and very well written but to my mind there were just too many of them and they tended to drown out the human element. Historical personages appearing in a novel can at times result in a feeling that the story is encased in a straight-jacket and I definitely had this feeling while reading this book. More time spent following the fictional characters would have made the book more readable for me at any rate. I felt as though the author really wanted to write history rather than an historical novel
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debs VINE VOICE on 24 July 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am sure that there are people out there who will enjoy this book, and I am loathe to criticise an author purely because I have not enjoyed his / her particular style of writing; after all, just because it isn't the style for me, doesn't mean that the writing is poor in quality. However, this book just did not do it for me. It felt like a snail on amphetamines. The snail metaphor refers to the extremely slow pace of the book, while the amphetamine metaphor refers to the rapid changes in character. Now I don't mind a book that is told from multiple character views, in fact I enjoy them as they enable the reader to experience the story from a variety of angles and perspectives. However, this book changed character with no warning. One paragraph I would be reading about one character, and in the next, just like our hyperactive snail, it changed tack and I found myself reading about a completely different character. It just didn't do it for me. There was a good story in there somewhere but the pace was so slow that I found I lost interest very quickly and I never heard enough about any one particular character to engage with them and to be interested in their fortune and fate. However, I am sure that there are many who will enjoy the gradual build-up of atmosphere - it's all down to personal choice really.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Mankin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The historical knowledge of the author has certainly imbued this novel with a high degree of authenticity. It is an impressive debut novel by Stella Tillyard. She is excellent at evoking the period and this is probably the principal strength of the book. Her attention to detail is extremely thorough; although, arguably, she is too thorough at times. Whilst her principal characters are believable the male protagonist, James Raven is not as well developed as his wife Harriet who is by far the more interesting of the two. Perhaps this was the intention of the author? I don't know the answer to that one. The essentials of the plot are relatively straightforward but sufficiently intriguing to sustain the reader to the end of the story. Overall, an impressive debut which bodes well for future novels. Highly recommended, especially for those who enjoy quality historical fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'Now, what am I looking for?
Harriet scanned the stoppered phials on the shelves, putting a finger to the label of each one.'

Stella Tillyard's novel of the end of the Penisula war starts with Harriet Raven conducting a chemical experiment and remembering fondly how she and her father worked together in the lab whilst quoting Shakespeare. On the second page, her husband James come to find her and it is revealed that he is leaving for the war the next day and that Harriet will miss him. 'Harriet looked at James, the breadth of his shoulders and the strong push of his calves against the backs of this trousers. Desire flashed up her body like the twist of a fish underwater.' Tillyard is surely signally early that her protagonist shares many feminist qualities with which a modern woman will empathise in the midst of historical characters such as the Duke of Wellington, Nathan Rothschild and Frederick Winsor. For me, Harriet's character development is perhaps one of the disappointments of the novel and I found Tillyard's fictionalised accounts of the historical characters such a Kitty Wellington more convincing.

I got this novel because I enjoyed Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox 1740 - 1832 hugely and was intrigued to read her debut novel. Vanity Fair (Wordsworth Classics) is one of my favourite novels and that and my reading of all of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels have provided my literary background in this period.
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