SONG OF THE LEGIONS The story so far...

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The year is 1791. In England, Jane Austen is writing her novels. But Europe is torn by war and revolution. France is in the grip of the Terror of Robespierre. The old world of kings and empires is clashing with the modern world of science, democracy, and progress.

Not to be outdone, the Republic of Poland decides to have its own peaceful revolution... So on the Third of May in 1791, King Stanislaus-August, the Elected King of Poland, signed the Polish Constitution. It promised equality, freedom, and religious tolerance.

Naturally Catherine the Great, the terrifying Empress of Russia – and the King’s ex-girlfriend – was furious. Together with her allies, Prussia and Austria, she sent a massive army to crush all opposition against her tyrannical rule.

A young cavalryman in the Polish army, on the very first day of his career, Blumer finds himself in the Polish King’s guard of honour, on the fateful Third of May…

Three years of desperate and unequal war began.

By 1794 Poland was conquered and erased from the map. Her very name was banned by secret treaty between the Empires of Russia, Prussia and Austria.

Exiled and hunted, and with a price on their heads, Blumer and his comrades fled into exile. They joined the Legions of Napoleon, fighting in Italy for the French Revolutionaries against their common enemies. They became ‘The Foreign Legion’.

But will Napoleon restore Poland’s freedom, or will he betray the Legion?

Picture: Cyprian Godebski, poet, Blumer’s comrade

Blumer is buried in an opulent marble tomb in Warsaw, with his first wife and the love of his life, the Italian Countess Marianne Cecciopieri.

The Song of the Legions was written by Jozef Wybicki, a lawyer turned soldier, and the assistant to General Dabrowski, the commander of the Polish Legion. Dabrowski’s Mazurka – The Song of the Legions – is now Poland’s national anthem. This novel tells its story.