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!Tention A Story of Boy-Life during the Peninsular War   By: (1831-1909)

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In "Tention: A Story of Boy-Life during the Peninsular War" by George Manville Fenn, readers are transported back to the tumultuous times of the Peninsular War. This historical fiction novel follows the adventures of young protagonist Tom Tention as he navigates life during this harsh period.

Fenn skillfully blends historical accuracy with riveting storytelling, enveloping readers in the vividly depicted scenes of war-torn Spain. From the very first chapter, the author establishes a gripping atmosphere of danger and uncertainty, immediately capturing the reader's attention. The Peninsular War serves as a rich backdrop for the narrative, and Fenn's meticulous research lends authenticity to the details of battle, camaraderie, and the political climate of the time.

What sets "Tention" apart is its focus on boy-life during the war, providing a refreshing perspective on the conflict. Tom Tention, the young protagonist, is thrown into the chaos at a tender age, and readers witness his growth and development as he faces unimaginable challenges. Fenn beautifully captures the essence of boyhood, with Tom's dreams, fears, and aspirations serving as a relatable anchor for readers. Tom's journey is one of courage, resilience, and the coming-of-age struggles that many young readers will undoubtedly empathize with.

Fenn's writing style is engaging and accessible, making this historical novel suitable for a wide range of readers. Descriptions are vivid, allowing readers to visualize the vibrant landscapes, bustling towns, and grim battlefields. The author's attention to detail heightens the emotional impact of the story, immersing readers in the characters' experiences.

The characters themselves are expertly crafted, each with their unique voice and personality. Tom is a likeable and relatable protagonist, but the supporting cast is equally compelling. Fenn ensures that each character plays a crucial role in the overall narrative, bringing added depth and complexities to the story. The diverse range of individuals, from fellow soldiers to local villagers, highlights the impact of war on various communities and creates a rich tapestry of perspectives.

Although the novel primarily focuses on Tom's personal journey, Fenn also weaves in historical events seamlessly. This balance allows readers to gain a deeper understanding of the war's overarching impact while keeping them invested in the individual storylines. The author deftly handles the historical context, never overwhelming the reader with excessive details but providing enough information to satisfy both history enthusiasts and casual readers alike.

"Tention: A Story of Boy-Life during the Peninsular War" is a captivating historical fiction novel that effortlessly transports readers to a bygone era. Fenn's expertise in blending history and storytelling makes for an immersive reading experience. Through Tom Tention's eyes, readers witness the human cost of war, but also the resilience and spirit of those who face it head-on. Filled with adventure, heart, and a powerful sense of time and place, this novel is a testament to the enduring spirit of youth even amidst the darkest circumstances.

First Page:

!Tention, a Story of Boy Life during the Peninsular War, by George Manville Fenn.

A young private, Penton Gray, known as Pen, is injured during an engagement in the Peninsular War. When he comes to he finds that the boy bugler, Punch, from his regiment, is lying injured close by. The British troops are near, but the area where the boys are is occupied by the French, who are the enemy. The boys need to recover from their wounds, and then to get back to their regiment. They have numerous adventures, and meet several people who help them, including the deposed Spanish King.

Eventually they reach their regiment where they are interviewed by the commanding officer, who realises that the young private has actually had the education normally needed for an officer, and that he has the knowledge needful to lead the troops through the mountains to take the French in the rear. This engagement is very successful, leading to the routing of the French. As a result Private Gray is made up to officer rank.

The book is well written, and is an enjoyable read or listen.


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