Lieutenant and Mrs. Lockwood

Written by Mark Bois
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1815, Lt. James Lockwood is an officer of the First Battalion, 27th Regiment of Foot, also known as the Inniskilling Regiment. The regiment is manned by Irishmen and, upon hearing of Napoleon’s escape from the island of Elba, they return from Port Royal, Jamaica, to Europe facing a possible engagement with the French army. They had previously served the British Army well while stationed in Halifax, Canada.

The story revolves around the lives of both James Lockwood and his wife Brigid, along with her five children, who live in Clonakilty, Ireland. They are both faced with hardships. James has not been home in three years, and Brigid must deal with the misfortune of being both Irish and Catholic in a country where the Protestants and English are in control.

This novel is a page-turner up to and including the climax at the Battle of Waterloo, where the battle scenes are exciting, authentic, and obviously gruesome. The author provides understanding of the contentious relationship between the Irish and the British during this time period, while showing the pain and grief felt by Brigid Lockwood. All the characters are fully fleshed out; one can feel the tension build between Mrs. Lockwood and her neighbors. The author knows his history and has a good command of the turmoil in Ireland during the early 19th century. I especially recommend this book for those who enjoy reading about Irish history.