M.M. Bennetts, who is married and lives in England, is a long-standing book critic for The Christian Science Monitor. Educated at Boston University and St Andrews, Bennetts is a specialist in the economic, social and military history of Napoleonic Europe. The author is a keen cross-country and dressage rider, as well as an accomplished pianist, regularly performing music of the era as both a soloist and accompanist. More than ten years in the researching, May 1812 was a labour of love arising from Bennetts' deep admiration for the men of that period and their stand against the tyranny of Napoleon in the first total war. It is one of the first works of historical fiction to draw on the eyewitness accounts of the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.