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Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan (Paperback)
  • Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan (Paperback)
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Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan (Paperback)

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£10.99
Paperback 608 Pages / Published: 30/01/2014
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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.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408831595
Number of pages: 608
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This sorry saga has been recounted many times, but never that I can recall as well as by Dalrymple. He is a master story-teller, whose special gift lies in the use of indigenous sources, so often neglected by imperial chroniclers -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times *
Enchantingly written ... In Dalrymple's usual happy style of historical narrative, applied to a fascinating, neat and highly suggestive series of events, this long and involved book will be a great success, and bring the famous story to a large new audience -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
Of the books swooped into being by his scholarship (to which he himself has applied the adjective "obsessive"), this one is the most magnificent ... His account is so perceptive and so warmly humane that one is never tempted to break away ... This book would be compulsive reading even if it were not a uniquely valuable history, which it is, because Dalrymple has uncovered sources never used before -- Diana Athill * Guardian *

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Reviews

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“Empire building and white elephants.”

I first came across the 19th Century Afghan War in Philip Hensher's The Mulberry Empire, when the lead character finds himself standing on a plain of skulls, this book will tell you how they got there.
However, I... More

Paperback edition
31st January 2014
Helpful? Upvote 37

“TORTUOUS”

A very detailed history that was tedious to read and very depressing in content (as it reveals just how incompetent that the political and military leaders of the time were, and how the same defects reappear time... More

Paperback edition
30th March 2015
Helpful? Upvote 32

“Historians delight”

William Dalrymple is an intelligent articulate author who retells the story of Britain’s first invasion of Afghanistan in a way that keeps the reader hooked. He has researched so many new sources in order to improve... More

Paperback edition
31st January 2014
Helpful? Upvote 17

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