Return of a King

Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan

History , Asian History
Paperback Published on: 30/01/2014
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE 2013'As taut and richly embroidered as a great novel . . . a masterpiece' Sunday Telegraph'Dazzling' Sunday Times | 'Magnificent' Guardian | 'Sparkling' Daily TelegraphA towering history of the first Afghan War by bestselling historian William Dalrymple.In the spring of 1839, Britain invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk.On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after two years of occupation, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into violent rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain's greatest military humiliation of the nineteenth century: an entire army of the then most powerful nation in the world ambushed in retreat and utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen.Using a range of forgotten Afghan and Indian sources, William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's greatest imperial disaster is a powerful parable of colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris. Return of a King is history at its most urgent and important.

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • ISBN: 9781408831595
  • Number of pages: 608
  • Weight: 544g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

Customer Reviews

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Return of a King
Empire building and white elephants.
I first came across the 19th Century Afghan War in Philip Hensher's The Mulberry Empire, when the lead character finds himself standing on a plain of skull... READ MORE
Nicholas Hayes
Return of a King
A very detailed history that was tedious to read and very depressing in content (as it reveals just how incompetent that the political and military leaders... READ MORE
Ted Venn
Return of a King
Historians delight
William Dalrymple is an intelligent articulate author who retells the story of Britain’s first invasion of Afghanistan in a way that keeps the reader hooke... READ MORE
Return of a King
Bad Company
When the England cricket team used to travel abroad, they were quaintly and eccentrically known as the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club). The England that wen... READ MORE
The oaks
Return of a King
If there is anyone who asks what the point of studying history is... well, read this book! A stunning account of the First Afghan War - which rings unnervi... READ MORE
Chained Bear