Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan

By William Dalrymple

From the prizewinning historian, a masterly retelling of the 1st Afghan struggle, maybe the West's maximum imperial catastrophe within the East: a major parable of neocolonial ambition and cultural collision, folly, and hubris.

In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the 1st time. Led through lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, approximately 20,000 British and East India corporation troops poured throughout the excessive mountain passes and re-established at the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk.

On the way in which in, the British confronted little resistance. yet after years of profession, the Afghan humans rose in solution to the decision for jihad and the rustic exploded into violent uprising. the 1st Anglo-Afghan conflict led to Britain's maximum army humiliation of the 19th century: a whole military of the then strongest country on this planet ambushed in retreat and totally routed through poorly built tribesmen.

Return of a King is the definitive research of the 1st Afghan battle, instructed during the lives of unforgettable characters on either side and utilizing for the 1st time modern Afghan bills of the clash, together with an important new fabric in Russian, Urdu and Persian from information in South Asia. Prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's maximum imperial catastrophe is a strong and significant parable of colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.

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I, p. 122. 37 Hough, March and Operations of the military of the Indus, p. sixty eight. 38 George Lawrence, recollections of 43 Years in India, London, 1875, p. 7. 39 Sita Ram Panday, From Sepoy to Subedar, trans. Lt. Col. J. T. Norgate, London, 1873, pp. 88–9. this is often an impossible to resist textual content, but additionally a a bit complex one. The Hindustani unique, supposedly written down in Devanagari via Sita Ram in retirement, hasn't ever come to gentle, and the earliest model of it seemed in English within the 1870s. It was once then translated again into Arabic-script Hindustani (as the Khwab o Khiyal) to be used as an exam textual content for the Indian Civil carrier (ICS).

49–56 Popalzai, Aziz ud-Din, Durrat uz-Zaman, Kabul, 1959 Priestly, Henry (trans. ), Afghanistan and its population, Translated from the Hayat-i-Afghani of Muhammad Hayat Khan, Lahore, 1874 Qalandar, Turk Ali Shah Turk, Tadhkira-i Sukhunwaran-Chashm-Didah, n. d. Shuja, Shah, Waqiat-i-Shah Shuja (Memoirs of Shah Shuja), written in 1836, complement by way of Mohammad Husain Herati, 1861, pub. as Waqiat-i Shah-Shuja. Daftar-i avval, duvvum: az Shah-Shuja. Daftar-i sivvum: az Muhammad-Husain Harati, Kabul, 1333 AH/1954 (Nashrat-i Anjuman-i tarikh-i Afghanistan, No.

Purely whilst the get together reached Teheran did Vitkevitch’s spirits revive. For the following Simonitch proficient Vitkevitch of 2 items of intelligence which enormously excited the Pole. the 1st – which later grew to become out to be fake – was once that Mirza Hussein Ali’s undertaking had already aroused the suspicion of British intelligence, which, acknowledged Simonitch, had tailed the 2 travelers all of the manner from Kabul. Simonitch additional warned him that for this reason he could now be a goal for ‘intrigues and provocations through British agents’.

This present day, road urchins and alley rats Play together with your rolling head as if it have been a ball?. . . . . . come again, O proud conqueror! You exalted the very crown and throne that have been yours yet in Kabul this day, upon the dirt of the line Lies your physique with no head, and your head with out a crown’3 but any sympathy expressed by way of the Maulana was once tempered by way of a walk in the park that the extreme pace of the autumn of the as soon as strong British was once due peculiarly to divine displeasure: the mendacity, deceitful Kafirs had received their simply deserts.

As soon as the hostage visitors had reached Laghman, spacious residences have been put aside for the women, with serving women in attendance. foodstuff too was once generously supplied: grains and meat, the fats sheeps’ tails, chickens, eggs, in addition to all types of dried and clean end result. 24 what's possibly extra fantastic is that whereas a few British debts do be aware of the sufferings of the prisoners of conflict, many additionally commend Akbar for his care of them. Pottinger officially wrote to basic Pollock to guarantee him ‘that within the Afghan style, we got each realization which prisoners may well count on, and that any incivility we obtained used to be from the inferior brokers opposed to the want of Mahomed Akbar Khan who on grievance gave redress so far as lay in his power’.

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