Rumours of War by Allan Mallinson 1826: Napoleon Bonaparte is dead, the Congress of Vienna's work is done, and there is peace in Europe. However, in Portugal there is the scent of civil war in the air following the death of King John VI. Newly returned from India, Matthew Hervey joins a party of officers sent to make an assessment and lend support to the Portuguese queen. His place on the expedition is secured with the help and influence of his new friend, Lady Katherine Greville. But the Peninsula is a place redolent with memories. For it was here as a seventeen-year-old cornet that Hervey had his first taste of military action. The French had forced the British army into a gruelling and ignominious retreat until, under the leadership of Sir John Moore, they made a defiant stand at Corunna.