The senior British generals of the Victorian era – men like Wolseley, Roberts, Gordon and Kitchener – were heroes of their time. As soldiers, administrators and battlefield commanders they represented the empire at the height of its power. But they were a disparate, sometimes fractious group of men. They exhibited many of the failings as well as the strengths of the British army of the late nineteenth-century. And now, when the Victorian period is being looked at more critically than before, the moment is right to reassess them as individuals and as soldiers. This balanced and perceptive study of these eminent military men gives a fascinating insight into their careers, into the British army of their day and into a now-remote period when Britain was a world power.
The group of Generals who commanded the British Army – usually with great success – in the high Victorian era between the Indian Mutiny and the end of the century were heroes of their own time, but are easily overlooked today. This group portrait of talented and charismatic if sometimes eccentric commanders includes Sir Garnett Wolseley, Bobs Roberts, Chinese Gordon of Khartoum, and the great Kitchener. Together they embodied the strengths and weaknesses of the British Army in an era when its main duty lay in policing the far-flung outposts of the British Empire. This book is a balanced examination of the men who held the rods of Empire at its height.