Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review of Queen Victoria's Little Wars by Byron Farwell

Author:  Byron Farwell.
Title:  Queen Victoria's Little Wars.
Publisher:  Pen & Sword.
Pages:  394.
Copyright:  2006 (originally published in 1973).
Price:  16.99 British Pound Sterling.

I bought this book several years ago and read parts of it.  I then remember finishing one Xmas.  I started reading it again thinking I hadn't read it.  But I then realized I had!

This book covers all the military campaigns fought by Queen Victoria's armies during her long reign.  If you're looking for campaign ideas, the list is endless.  Crimea, Sudan, Egypt, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Gold Coast, and Canada are a few places where the British fought and expanded their empire. 

Many of the chapters are devoted to the Indian Mutiny and Afghanistan.  In reading about the places the British fought and died, an eery familiarity can be seen today with the international forces stationed in the county.  The terrain is the same.  The occupiers are new. 

But getting back to Queen Victoria's Little Wars, the last major war covered was the Second Boer War.  The British fought two different campaigns in the Sudan before conquering it.  I look at all these military campaigns and say what ever became of them besides imperialistic glory chasing.  All the places the British ruled are governed by a common language and customs.  But what was all this gained at what cost?  As Farwell noted, people would rather be misruled by their own leaders than justly governed by another country.  That's just one of the perversities of history in looking at the Victorian era...

Recommended reading for a global view of the British Empire at its height. 

No comments:

Post a Comment