Love and Honor
Implausible as it may seem, England sought to procure Russian troops to assist in putting down the American Revolution. While every American schoolchild is taught of the “Hessian” mercenaries who played a critical role in British military policy between 1775 and 1783, London’s dealings with Catherine the Great for 20,000 Russian soldiers remains largely unknown. Randall Wallace, screenwriter for Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, and Pearl Harbor, has taken this fact and crafted an extraordinarily exciting novel of military action and political intrigue. Virginian Kieran Selkirk is dispatched by Benjamin Franklin on a secret mission to convince the Tsarina of the folly of aiding London against the Colonies. Aided by his friend, the enigmatic Sergei Gorlov, the young American encounters an exotic world of court intrigue, feckless nobles, scheming courtiers of both genders, and marauding Cossacks. Tempted by fame and duplicitous noblewomen, Selkirk finds himself falling in love with a beautiful and resourceful Polish servant while simultaneously pursued by a smitten Catherine.
Some may scoff at the plot and the chances a young foreigner would have of seducing Catherine the Great, but the story of the British attempt to procure Russian troops is true – and Catherine was, shall we say, never known as a prude.