Jonathan Hopkins

Biography

When my father died, one of the things he left me was a box of Bernard Cornwell’s ‘Sharpe’ novels. I’d watched the TV series, of course, but never read any of the books. And much to my surprise, not being a history buff, I enjoyed them.

But one thing grated. Sharpe was very critical of his British cavalry comrades; something that didn’t sit well with one who’s been involved with horses for much of his life. They could not have been that inept, could they? So I started to read more about horsemen in the Duke of Wellington’s day; contemporary and modern histories, diaries, newspaper and magazine articles, anything relevant I could find, in fact. And what I mostly found was the same old disparaging attitude.

In the meantime, fed up with typical wife-grumbles (‘you’re not romantic anymore/never buy me flowers/we don’t do anything different etc, etc.) I decided the most effective riposte would be to deliver flowers, on our anniversary, on horseback, dressed as a 19th century hussar, followed by a carriage drive to lunch. This entailed making a full set of reproduction period horse-tack, a job I thought would not be too difficult for someone who works with leather. However, I soon discovered that patterns for equipment available in the early 1800’s were non-existent, forcing me to work from period illustrations and paintings. A useful knock-on effect of this turned out to be requests from historical re-enactors for other reproduction leather items – my latest project is a crupper (strap to stop the saddle sliding forward) to fit an 1805 pattern hussar saddle.

All the extra research I’d done to enable me to make a Napoleonic hussar’s equipment convinced me I was right: that historians’ attitudes to the cavalry of the time were grossly unfair. And because I’m no historian, but have always believed I can tell a good story, I thought I must write something to challenge the Duke of Wellington’s often-quoted view that his cavalry were an uncontrolled rabble who merely resorted to ‘charging at everything’.

Unfair comment based on misinformation, and widely reported: that is the reason I started to write what became ‘Walls of Jericho.’

And I'm still writing. See the second book in the series (published by Bretwalda Books) here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/343318

Where to find Jonathan Hopkins online


Where to buy in print


Books

Leopardkill - A Cavalry Tale
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 112,810. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2013 by Bretwalda Books. Category: Fiction » Adventure » War & military
A thrilling war novel set against the dramatic backdrop of the Peninsular War that saw a small British force pitched against Napoleon’s Grande Armee.
Walls of Jericho - A Cavalry Tale
By
Series: Cavalry Tales, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 112,920. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2010. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
Farrier's apprentice Joshua Lock saves a boy from a swirling winter torrent, unwittingly beginning an unlikely friendship despite the conflicts which will force both to face their differences head-on. And soon duty pitches them into a bitter battle against Napoleon's army, where both must find a way to save their regiment from destruction in the first great cavalry charge of the Peninsular War

Jonathan Hopkins’s tag cloud

action    adventure    british army    cavalry    fiction    historical    horse    napoleon    napoleonic wars    peninsula    peninsular war    soult    thriller    war    wellington