A Journal of the First Afghan War

A Journal of the First Afghan War

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The first Afghan War of 1838-1842 witnessed one of the greatest defeats ever inflicted upon the British by an Asian enemy. This was the retreat from Kabul. On 6 January 1842, a force that with its followers numbered some 16,000 marched from Kabul under an illusory safe conduct; one week later Surgeon William Brydon rode alone into Jellalabad - apart from the few prisoners, the only British survivor. The rest, men, women, and children, lay dead along the ninety mile route, some killed by the ruthless Afghan enemy, the rest frozen to death in the snow. Of all the participants in the tragedy none has told the story better than Florentia, Lady Sale. Almost the archetype of the 'General's Lady', she was the wife of the doughty second-in-command at Kabul, Sir Robert Sale. Her journal begins in September 1841 when the whole position of the British, and the butterfly social existence they led in the Kabul cantonments, was menaced both by Afghan intrigue and by the incompetence of their own command. The journal ends a year later with the romantically appropriate rescue of Florentia by her own husband from nine months' captivity in Afghan hands. In the intervening period she had undergone the dangers of siege, the shame of capitulation and the horror of retreat; had witnessed battle, murder, and sudden death, had been exposed to freezing cold and burning heat, had endured the discomforts of vermin-infested lodgings and the terror of incessant earthquakes. All that humanity and nature could do to molest her was recorded with a laconic imperturbability and an occasional flash of sardonic humour.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 214 pages
  • 124.46 x 246.38 x 15.24mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Two maps; one photograph; one figure
  • 0192803905
  • 9780192803900
  • 2,042,790

About Lady Florentia Sale

Florentia Sale was a heroine of the First Afghan War. Patrick Macrory was the author of The Siege of Derry and Kabul Catastrophe. Jane Robinson is author of Wayward Women: A Guide to Women Travellers, and editor of Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers and Parrot Pie for Breakfast: An Anthology of Women Pioneers.show more

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9 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2)
4 33% (3)
3 44% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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