“Vittoria” has been written as a sequel to “The Leopard Wakes” which is an adventure/romance novel covering the Napoleonic wars from 1803 onwards. "Vittoria" starts at the disastrous retreat from Corunna, Spain, in January 1809. The main players are as follows:-
1. Artillery captain Jonathan West. He is attracted to Julia Brooks, a London socialite who does not know her own mind. Jonathan, despite being injured at Corunna, is still idealistic about pursuing the war against Napoleon and is influenced by his uncle, a colonel in the war department. For this reason he returns to Spain on special duties and then as a serving officer with his regiment.
2. Julia Brooks, sole daughter of a Chelsea broker. She is an accomplished horsewoman and has a wide circle of friends in Englandand Ireland.Initially she is attracted to Jonathan but her affection wavers during his prolonged absences in Spain and Portugal. Julia is swept off her feet by a family friend Hector Grant who becomes Jonathan’s commanding officer.
3. Hector Grant, widower and family friend of the Brooks family. He is an ambitious regular officer who succeeds in obtaining command of the horse artillery regiment and tries to steal Julia’s affections from Jonathan. Not popular with his men he is a blatant womaniser and has a dubious reputation at the gaming tables. He always sees Jonathan as a rival and this is reflected in his attitude to his junior officer.
4. Jacqueline Duval, daughter of a judge in Bordeaux. She is grateful to Jonathan, initially, for her rescue from Spanish guerrillas but this emotion becomes something more interesting between the two of them and the ending of the book is not what the reader might expect