A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

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A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby Harry83 » 25 Apr 2017 08:53

Hi all. I am considering reading Florentia Sale's "A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan 1841 - 42". I've had an interest in the First Anglo Afghan War since reading the first Flashman novel and I would like to broaden my knowledge of the campaign. So I was wondering if anybody else here has read and could recommend it as good source of info. Or are there other manuscripts that you would recommend over this one. I've did a bit of searching around online on http://www.for-sale.co.uk and I see that Sale's journal is now in the public domain and can be read for free. I'll probably end looking for a hard copy for sale though, to be fair. (I doubt it is available on Kindle). One other question I have is about the readability of the journal. Is it hard going or relatively reader friendly? Not that this matters much but thought I would ask. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Last edited by Harry83 on 26 Apr 2017 06:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby Maureene » 25 Apr 2017 14:21

A online edition of the above book from Google Books
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uXYIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PR3

Other online books may be found linked from the FIBIS Fibiwiki page 1st Afghan War
https://wiki.fibis.org/w/1st_Afghan_War (note the webpage seems very slow at the moment)

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby bill wright » 25 Apr 2017 21:41

Lady Sale is an excellent source on the 1st Afghan War. If you fancy owning a hardback copy but don`t want to spend too much and also want to miss out any of the dull stuff, then I recommend the 1969 reprint from Longmans Green/Archon Books which you can find on abebooks website for just a few pounds. It is edited by Patrick Macrory, who wrote a very good book himself on the 1st Afghan War. Skilfully he cut out the less entertaining stuff.......There are many good first-hand accounts of the war. I have a soft spot for Lieutenant Greenwood who wrote an account of the march back into Afghanistan with Pollock`s avenging army. Greenwood is just a wonderful (very un-modern or politically correct) man of his times. He hates absolutely everything about the East, even Calcutta seems bad to him ! He is definitely a "wogs start at Calais" type of man. But he writes very vividly of what he sees. His description of finding the heaps of bones of the British dead (from the retreat the previous year) cannot be bettered. If you want an alternative to Sale among those who suffered Kabul and the retreat then your obvious choice is Lieutenant Vincent Eyre whose book is also available in online version. Just as good and by an officer.
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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby Harry83 » 26 Apr 2017 06:47

Maureene wrote:A online edition of the above book from Google Books
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uXYIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PR3

Other online books may be found linked from the FIBIS Fibiwiki page 1st Afghan War
https://wiki.fibis.org/w/1st_Afghan_War (note the webpage seems very slow at the moment)

Cheers
Maureen


bill wright wrote:Lady Sale is an excellent source on the 1st Afghan War. If you fancy owning a hardback copy but don`t want to spend too much and also want to miss out any of the dull stuff, then I recommend the 1969 reprint from Longmans Green/Archon Books which you can find on abebooks website for just a few pounds. It is edited by Patrick Macrory, who wrote a very good book himself on the 1st Afghan War. Skilfully he cut out the less entertaining stuff.......There are many good first-hand accounts of the war. I have a soft spot for Lieutenant Greenwood who wrote an account of the march back into Afghanistan with Pollock`s avenging army. Greenwood is just a wonderful (very un-modern or politically correct) man of his times. He hates absolutely everything about the East, even Calcutta seems bad to him ! He is definitely a "wogs start at Calais" type of man. But he writes very vividly of what he sees. His description of finding the heaps of bones of the British dead (from the retreat the previous year) cannot be bettered. If you want an alternative to Sale among those who suffered Kabul and the retreat then your obvious choice is Lieutenant Vincent Eyre whose book is also available in online version. Just as good and by an officer.


Thanks Maureen & Bill. I'll check out all of your recommendations. The Greenwood account sounds especially intriguing. I'll get reading. Thanks again.
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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby Liz » 26 Apr 2017 14:41

Harry83 wrote:I see that Sale's journal is now in the public domain and can be read for free. I'll probably end looking for a hard copy for sale though, to be fair. (I doubt it is available on Kindle).

Several editions are available online free in PDF, EPUB, MOBI and probably other formats. It can be useful to compare editions if you are trying to track a particular person - there are differences even in the early editions.

Harry83 wrote:One other question I have is about the readability of the journal. Is it hard going or relatively reader friendly? Not that this matters much but thought I would ask. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

Compared to other sources from this period, I find the journal reader friendly and interesting. For some short excerpts and discussion see http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=533&hilit=Lady+Sale.

(By the way, Lady Sale kept journals all her life and also did "wonderful" pencil drawings and watercolours, but few if any of these have been published. Her notebooks/sketchbooks from Agra in 1832 are held by the UK National Archives.)
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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby Mark » 28 Apr 2017 13:12

As already said, Sale's book is an excellent resource and a must-read if you have a strong interest in the First Anglo-Afghan War. Highly recommended.

I have a PDF version of the book but need to invest in a printed copy.

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Re: A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan

Postby stoneaxe » 04 May 2017 05:53

I can also recommend Patrick Macory's "Retreat from Kabul".
And thank you all for the other recommendations!
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