Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Reason Why

So, there were these two guys who were both dicks who really hated each other. However, they were incredibly brave and liked to ride their horses. And one day they were in a war in Crimea, where one of them lived in a tent and one of them lived on a yacht, and when they were given the order to charge one place at the side of a valley, they instead ran all the way down the valley, right into the enemy guns*. They both survived, but many of the people they took with them did not.

And then Lord Lucan said to Lord Cardigan "did you think I would leave you dying, when there's room..."

NO, that is not what happened!

The Reason Why is another amazing, tense, funny, descriptive, beautifully written narrative history from our heroine of history, Cecil Woodham Smith. It's a great book, which you might have been put off in the past because you don't care about military history and so your eye just glided over the pictures of beautifully turned out British cavalrymen on the front of it. In fact it's a wonderful social history that explains much about what the hell went wrong with the British army. It's great.

*except the slightly less mad of the two of them stopped halfway and said "bugger this, this is madness" and stopped.

Must get her book about Florence Nightingale now.

1 comment:

Manuel Estimulo said...

I read this book last year on the beach. Is a proper cracker. Yet not for one moment did I suspect that the Cecil is a woman! The subject matter of the book is so typically British Empire that I assume Cecil just must to be some upper-class English public schoolboy. Muchas gracias assent monkey for putting me straight.