Despatches from the Crimea (Hardback)
William Russell's despatches to The Times revolutionised war reporting, and hence the public's perception of war. Each piece was written with a bludgeoning honesty, a refusal to compromise and with the meticulous detail of someone who cared deeply for what they were doing. From the first sailing of the expedition, to the final surrender of Sebastopol, Russell witnessed the battles of the Alma, Inkerman, Balaklava and the Tchernaya. He saw the tragic charge of the Light Brigade and the carnage at the Malakoff and the Redan. His descriptions are graphic, and still come across as extraordinarily modern. The despatches allowed the public to read about the reality of warfare, diminishing the distance between the home front and remote battlefields. Within the space of just a few months, Russell became a national figure in Britain. Shocked and outraged, the public's backlash from his reports led the Government to vastly improve soldiers' living standards and inspired Florence Nightingale to lead 38 volunteer nurses to Balaklava to improve sanitation for the wounded soldiers.
I would recommend the book to anyone. The sheer virtuosity of his prose uplifts the reader - wonderfully composed and illustrative.The Journal of The Royal Artillery - Autumn 2008
Those who know of Russell and the fullness of his accounts will doubtless be aware of his unmatched style, the understated simplicity of his writing and his descriptive phrase. The sheer virtuosity of his prose uplifts his reader; his use of language beguiles us. So wonderfully composed and illustrative it is...The Journal of the Royal Artillery -Autumn 2008
I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to those who have only read the odd line or two of Russell. It is recommended too, to irate readers and editors who bemoan the profusion of abbreviated-cluttered articles in all sorts of military publications. Such a joy to read an entire military book without a single abbreviation.