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The Nile Campaign, 1884-1885 (Hardback)

The Letters and Sketches of Rudolph de Lisle RN

Military P&S History > By Century > 19th Century

By Gerard De Lisle
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 60 colour illustrations, 60 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399058360
Published: 18th June 2024


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Rudolph de Lisle RN entered Naval College in 1868 aged 13, and was only 31 when he died, ironically for a naval officer, in the Sudanese desert at the Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885.

An inveterate letter writer and talented artist, he consistently documented his eventful naval career as he travelled the world. His letters home were embellished with stunning sketches and watercolours.

In August 1884, Rudolph was selected to join the Naval Brigade in the Gordon Relief Expedition led by General Sir Garnet Wolseley. His principal role was to help drag troop boats over the six cataracts that blocked their way up the Nile to Khartoum.

Rudolph’s letters graphically describe this historic journey. We read of the struggles and ingenuity of the officers and men, the hardships and the daily dangers, and the shambolic, sometimes comic, chaos peculiar to the seemingly impossible task. His sketches, some of which were published in the Illustrated London News, vividly portray the challenges facing the Expedition.

Gerard de Lisle, Rudolph's great nephew, has edited and compiled this superb collection, so that it can be appreciated by a wider audience and provide a fascinating insight into this famous yet too long overlooked military campaign. The result will appeal widely and particularly to art collectors and naval historians.

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