Monday, July 14, 2008

Omdurman, 1898:The Eyewitnesses Speak edited by Frederic Sharf and Peter Harrington

Omdurman, 1898:The Eyewitnesses Speak: The British Conquest of the Sudan as Described by Participants in Letters, Diaries, Photos, and Drawings edited by Frederic Sharf and Peter Harrington that's one long title. It also gives an excellent summary of just what it is we are dealing with here.

This book grew out of an exhibition of art on the campaign. The editors thought that a collection of sources would be useful. All of the accounts are from officers. Strangely they say the descriptions written by non-officers have been collected somewhere else but don't actually say where. If anyone knows let me know in comments. There are also dispatches from newspaper reporters. These seem a little out of place although they are nice to have.

Most of the major phases of the campaign are dealt with including the lead up to the battle, the battle itself and the aftermath. Each selection is prefaced by a biographical note about the author. Several come from archival sources that would be impossible to find anywhere else. If you are interested in this campaign this is a must-have.

Highly recommended!

Is available through Abebooks.

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