Redcoat : The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket

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Magnificent history of the common British soldier from 1700 to 1900 by one of Britain's best-known and accomplished military writers and broadcasters. Red Coat is non-fiction Sharpe, filled with anecdote and humour as well as historical analysis.
`Redcoat is a wonderful book. It is not just a work of history - but one of enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge.' BERNARD CORNWELL
Redcoat is the story of the British soldier from c.1760 until c.1860 - surely one of the most enduring and magnetic subjects of the British past. Solidly based on the letters and diaries of the men who served and the women who followed them, the book is rich in the history of the period. It charts Wolfe's victory and death at Quebec, the American War of Independence, the Duke of York's campaign in Flanders, Wellington's Peninsular War, Waterloo,the retreat from Kabul, the Sikh wars in 1845-9, the Crimean war and the Indian Mutiny.The focus of Redcoat, however, is the individual recollection and experience of the ordinary soldiers serving in the wars fought by Georgian and early Victorian England.Through their stories and anecdotes - of uniforms, equipment,'taking the King's shilling', flogging, wounds, food, barrack life, courage, comradeship, death, love and loss - Richard Holmes provides a comprehensive portrait of a fallible but extraordinarily successful fighting force.
'Such a scene of mortal strife from the fire of fifty men was never witnessed...' writes Harry Smith of the 95th Rifles, recounting the death of a brother officer in Spain in 1813. 'I wept over his remains with a bursting heart as, with his company who adored him, I consigned to the grave the last external appearance of Daniel Cadoux. His fame can never die.' Smith's account is typical of the emotions and experiences of the men who appear on every page of this book, sporting their red uniforms to fight for King and country.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 38mm | 439.99g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • Index
  • 0006531520
  • 9780006531524
  • 166,690

Review quote

'I have never met Richard Holmes, but I am deeply jealous of him for Redcoat opens with the re-enactment of a Napoleonic battle that I wish I had written myself... The redcoat and his family were never appreciated, but Richard Holmes has written them a marvellous memorial. Redcoat is a wonderful book, full of anecdote and good sense. Anyone who has enjoyed a Sharpe story will love it, anyone who likes history will want to own it and anyone who cherishes good writing will read it with pleasure.' BERNARD CORNWELL, Daily Mail
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About Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes was one of Britain's most distinguished and eminent military historians and broadcasters. For many years Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal Military College of Science, he also taught military history at Sandhurst. He was the author of many best-selling and widely acclaimed books including Redcoat, Tommy, Marlborough and Wellington, and famous for his BBC series such as War Walks, In the Footsteps of Churchill and Wellington. He served in the Territorial Army, retiring as a brigadier and Britain's most senior reservist, and was Colonel of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment from 1999 to 2007. Richard Holmes died suddenly in April 2011 from pneumonia. He had been suffering from non-Hodgkins' Lymphoma.
Writer and historian Hugh Bicheno is a former intelligence officer and anti-terrorism consultant, who after many years living in the Americas now lives in Cambridge. His previous books include Gettysburg, Midway and Crescent and Cross.
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Rating details

445 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 32% (142)
4 47% (208)
3 17% (75)
2 4% (17)
1 1% (3)
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