Letters from Ladysmith (Hardback)
Eyewitness Accounts from the South African War
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Edward Spiers, a leading authority on the Victorian British army, presents here a select edition of letters from the siege of Ladysmith (1899–1900) that have not been seen since their original publication in metropolitan and provincial newspapers. The 250 letters were published in different British newspapers and provide crucial insights into contemporary perceptions of the battles that preceded the siege, the onset of the siege itself, and the desperate and bloody attempts to relieve the town. Subsequent efforts to defend Ladysmith – and to march to its relief – became the great dramatic saga of the early phase of the Anglo–Boer War, providing the context for a series of dramatic battles that embarrassed the Empire and destroyed established reputations. Much has been written about the failings of the British commanders but it is clear that in no other theatre in the war were the practical difficulties so real – or the stakes so high. These letters reflect vividly the feelings of junior officers and other ranks as they struggled to cope with the demands of modern warfare, These eyewitness testimonies provide first-hand commentary upon the events in Natal that shattered the pre-war confidence in Britain.
Its value is twofold. Meticulously edited collection of around 250 eyewitness letters. The immediacy of letter-writers who spoke in many different British voices. Richly revealing. Informatively annotated, clustered carefully into themes and topped and tailed with a crisp introduction. Striking concluding retrospective commentary. Letters from Ladysmith gives us a valuable worm's eye view of an imperial war that had become constipated.Historia – Journal for Associations of South Africa
For any researchers involved with ancestors involved in the siege or its relief this book will give a much more relevant, personal and very different view of the events than a traditional military history book.FGS Forum
Edward Spiers' Letters from Ladysmith is well worth reading, and a significant addition to the literature on the Boer WarSoldiers of the Queen Magazine
This book is a carefully chosen selection of letters from the siege of Ladysmith (1899-1900) that have not been seen since their original publication in metropolitan and provincial newspapers. It provides crucial insights into contemporary perceptions of the battles that preceded the siege. This excellent study gives us an opportunity to share the experiences of the junior officer, the NCO and the private soldier as warfare entered the modern era. Mandatory reading for the student of the 2nd Boer War.Book Reviews
A select edition of letters from the Siege of Ladysmith (1899-1900) that provide a crucial insight into the battles that preceded the siege, the onset of the siege itself, and the desperate, bloody attempts to relieve the town.www.military-times.co.uk