James Burke is an agent with British Intelligence.
The time period is the late 1700s through early 1800s, a time when England was going through a tremendous growth period, even though it had recently lost the American colonies, and a time when her historical rivals, France and Spain, were undergoing tremendous change themselves.
When we first meet Burke, he is a lieutenant in His Majesty's Army, leading a company of red-clad infantry on the steaming island of Haiti but he will not stay there long as someone of his grit and his impressive skills is needed for a secret mission elsewhere. Suddenly, he dreams of serving in the Army long enough to achieve some semblance of "gentleman" status to make a better life for himself gets a huge change in direction.
More on this series when I have finished the books.