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The Crimean War is one of the most compelling subjects in British history. Everyone knows about the Charge of the Light Brigade and men like Raglan and Cardigan, have become household names. The story of Florence Nightingale, 'the Lady with the Lamp', and the heroic reporting of William Russell, THE TIMES' intrepid correspondent, and the sonorous names of the battles, are ingrained deep within the British military consciousness - Sebastopol, Inkerman, Balaclava and the Alma. Trevor Royle demonstrates how the Crimean War was a watershed in world history: coming between the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 and the opening shots of the First World War in 1914 it pointed the way to what mass warfare would be like for soldiers in the twentieth century.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349112848
ISBN-10: 0349112843
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 38mm)
Pages: 576
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Royle provides a full account of the war of 1854-56 that broke almost 40 years of European peace, putting it into its historical context - 200 pages pass before the British army fires a shot - and explaining why the fighting men suffered so from the now proverbial incompetence of the supply services. Diplomacy and war are treated with equal firmness of grasp and lightness of touch. A good sort of book from which to start liking history. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A thorough, engaging account of the causes, events, and consequences of the Crimean War by Sunday Herald journalist and popular historian Royle (Precipitous City, 1980, etc.)Royle acknowledges in his first sentence that the war, so often chronicled, is either one of history?s bad jokes or one of the compulsive subjects of historical writing. He covers not just the military, but also the political, social, and even religious aspects of the war that pitted Russia against the allied forces of France, England, and the Ottoman Empire. Royle does a splendid job of handling his complex subject and succeeds in fairly representing all sides. The war featured a cast of characters stunning in their subsequent celebrity: Napoleon III (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte), Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Florence Nightingale, Queen Victoria, Czar Alexander II. They all figure in the horrors that began as a dispute over the key to the main door of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and ended with the loss of thousands of lives on the Black Sea peninsula. Less well known, though ably animated here, are the various military leaders involved in the cause, principally Lord Raglan (a Waterloo veteran who died of illness during the conflict), the Earl of Cardigan (who led the Charge of the Light Brigade), Omar Pasha (an Ottoman leader), Gen. Saint-Arnaud (a French commander), and Gorchakov and Paskevich and Menshikov (the principal Russian commanders). Royle is especially effective at demonstrating the effects of the press on the conflict (for this was the first war in which newspaper correspondents figured prominently), and at identifying the rapidly changing technology of warfare (telegraph, semaphore, railways, and balloons emerged as important tools of battle).Royle has fashioned what will be the standard popular work on the subject. (16 pages b&w photos, 8 maps) (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Trevor Royle

Trevor Royle is a well-known writer and broadcaster on military history. His previous books include Orde Wingate, Crimea, Civil War and The Wars of the Roses. He is a columnist for the Sunday Herald, writing on international affairs and defence-related topics, and also writes scripts for the BBC. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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