Return of a King by William Dalrymple

Return of a King

By William Dalrymple

  • Release Date: 2013-02-04
  • Genre: History
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Description

In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk.

On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after two years of occupation, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into violent rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain's greatest military humiliation of the nineteenth century: an entire army of the then most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat and utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2013, Return of a King is the definitive analysis of the First Afghan War, told through the lives of unforgettable characters on all sides and using for the first time contemporary Afghan accounts of the conflict. Prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's greatest imperial disaster is a powerful and important parable of colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.

Reviews

  • Return of a King

    5
    By The Skater....
    An in depth history, as an easy read. I particularly enjoyed the detail. The Professor who needed an elephant to carry his books, The Brigadier who needed 50 camels for his kit. The baggage train of 30,000 camels. The Military wine cellar that required 300 camels.

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