The Life of Field Marshal Lord Roberts (Hardback)
  • The Life of Field Marshal Lord Roberts (Hardback)
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The Life of Field Marshal Lord Roberts (Hardback)

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£90.00
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 20/11/2014
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This biography of Field Marshal Lord Roberts charts a remarkable life that spanned the apogee of the British Empire. During a diverse career, Roberts won the Victoria Cross, planned the strategic defence of India, turned the tide of war in South Africa, introduced army reform and campaigned for National Service before 1914. Rodney Atwood explores his military career, in particular his role as a tactician and strategist in Afghanistan, Burma, the North-West frontier, South Africa and Europe, but also looks at Roberts as a symbol of Empire and explores his celebration in British culture.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781780936765
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 694 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[Uses] the most recent studies and selected primary source material to achieve a more balanced and nuanced portrayal of the "Indian" general. The result has been to put a dent of humanity, authenticity, and historical veracity in the facade of heroic infallibility previously propagated by Roberts himself and his circle of acolytes. * International Journal of Military History and Historiography *
Frederick Roberts, one of the commanding military figures of the Victorian and Edwardian era, has been ill served by two previous modern biographies in 1954 and 1972 that failed both to reveal the complexity of the real character behind the popular image of 'Bobs', and also to analyse the proper military, political and social context in which Roberts climbed to the top of his profession. Rodney Atwood has now provided a balanced re-assessment of the often controversial role of Roberts, from campaigns in Afghanistan and South Africa to that for conscription before the First World War. It is an indispensable contribution to the historiography of the Victorian and Edwardian army. * Ian Beckett, Professor of Military History, University of Kent, UK *
Revisionist is often used as a coded insult amongst historians. However in the case of Rodney Atwood's latest book it truly is revisionist in the best sense of the word, causing us to re-evaluate much of what we thought we knew about one of the most influential figures of the Victorian era. This biography goes back to the original documents, where they still exist, rather than relying on Lord Robert's autobiography Forty-one Years in India as so many biographers have. Rudyard Kipling said that Forty-one Years was remarkable "...for the things he does not say". Many of these `things' have now been said by Rodney Atwood. As a consequence we have a biography that examines Lord Robert's weaknesses, his prejudices and his vulnerability alongside his better known strengths to give us perhaps our best insight to date into the life of a remarkable man. * Christopher Brice, author of The Thinking Man's Soldier: The Life and Career of General Sir Henry Brackenbury 1837-1914 (2012) *
To mark the hundredth anniversary of Lord Roberts' death, Rodney Atwood has written a compelling biography of a soldier who bestrode the late Victorian military stage. 'Bobs', as he was affectionately known, became the general to whom politicians turned in a crisis and, in both Afghanistan and South Africa, Roberts succeeded where others had failed. The author expertly documents Roberts' triumphs, yet does not shy away from revealing how an essentially kindly man could on occasion display extreme ruthlessness in his dealings with the enemy. Capable of inspiring great loyalty, he at the same time infuriated his critics (and envious rivals within the British Army) with his rampant ambition and assiduous self-promotion. An archetypal popular hero of the British Empire at its zenith, Roberts emerges as so much more in this latest book from the skilful pen of Rodney Atwood. * Dr Alastair Massie, Head of Academic Access at the National Army Museum, UK *
Rodney Atwood's new biography, The Life of Field Marshal Lord Roberts, is an essential read for all those interested in the British army and Imperial expansion during the Victorian era. A fresh interpretation of Roberts' transformation into one of Britain's leading military figures has been long overdue. Atwood examines Roberts with great care highlighting his military successes in India, Afghanistan, and South Africa, his reforms as Commander in Chief, and the variety of controversies that surrounded his long career. As Atwood successfully demonstrates, "Little Bobs" was truly a remarkable officer. * Stephen Miller, Professor of History, University of Maine, USA *
Clearly written and carefully researched, Atwood's book provides numerous insights into the career of one of Britain's most famous generals, as well as the institution that he rose to command. * History: Reviews of New Books *

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