Jan 30 2009
author of Redcoats Against Napoleon, Inside the Regiment, and Napoleonic Lives
My name is Carole Divall. I have an interest in history, particularly in the Napoleonic era (an interest which extends to include the politics and literature of the period as well as the military). This interest stems principally from studies for my first degree, English and History combined honours at Southampton, but the fact that my maternal grandfather was a professional soldier probably has some bearing on the military slant, since I grew up hearing his soldiers’ tales.
People often ask: “Why Napoleonic, and especially why the 30th Foot?”. The simple answer is that I am not entirely sure, other than the fact that some years ago I decided to turn a general interest in the military history of the period into something more specific and I just seemed to focus on this particular regiment. Once I began to explore the records of the regiment, however, I was hooked, and I now feel that I know some of the men almost as well as my “real” friends and family. Of course, with so much information, it was probably inevitable that I would want to write a book, and Redcoats against Napoleon is the result.
“Redcoats” turned out to be the first of two books based on the 30th Foot, and my third book, Napoleonic Lives has just been published.
On a personal basis, I can tell you that I am married with three grown-up children. I live in Lincolnshire, and for a long time I was head of English at a local girls’ high school. Yes, English - despite having studied a combined degree course, I kept the history interest as a hobby. Having now retired from the classroom I now work full-time as a writer, lecturer and researcher specialising in all military aspects of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras.