The empire in question being Napoleon's. Brigadier [in this story, still Lieutenant] Gerard has a supporting role in this adventure story.
Three and a half stars.
Essentially a Dickens novel. Long, full of many dilatory passages that don't really move the plot forward, an orphan, evil guardian, thwarted suitor, sweet innocent heiress, etc.
Goes to show how Dickens actually was good at what he did.
Historical action/adventure short stories. Kind of lightweight writing for magazine publication, I guess.
Nowhere near as penetrating or gripping as the Holmes stories, so goes to show why they were the wildly popular ones instead.
Above average, nonetheless.
Not too bad a little action/romance in (yes) Napoleonic times, a Brigadier Gerard farce, and a nautical escapade.