Letters from Kimberley

Eyewitness Accounts from the South African War

Date Published :
February 2014
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Editor :
Edward Spiers
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848326576
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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‘Full of new material, fresh insights and perceptive analysis.’ Ian Knight

The defense of Kimberley – and the mission to relieve it – was one of the great dramatic sagas of the South African War. The actual relief, following a spectacular cavalry charge, represented the first decisive upturn in the fortunes of the British war effort, soon followed by a crushing defeat of the Boers at the battle of Paardeberg. Within Kimberley citizens suffered from dwindling food stocks and enemy shelling, but even more controversial were the tensions that erupted between the siege commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Kekewich, and Kimberley’s leading citizen, Cecil Rhodes.

In this illuminating new history, Edward Spiers, presents a selection of firsthand accounts of this epic siege. The 260 letters were published originally in British metropolitan and provincial newspapers and they provide crucial insights into the perceptions of civilians caught up in the siege; the desperate and bloody attempts to relieve the town; and the experiences of junior officers and other ranks as they struggled to cope with the demands of modern warfare. Full of human incident, drama and pathos, these fascinating eyewitness testimonies make for compelling reading and add richly to our understanding of the events in Cape Colony.

About The Author

EDWARD M. SPIERS is the Professor of Strategic Studies at the School of History, University of Leeds. He is the author of several books and articles on military history, including _Letters from Ladysmith_ and _The Late Victorian Army_, and co-editor of _A Military History of Scotland_ which won the Saltire Prize for the best book on Scottish history in 2012.

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