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Lady Sale's Afghanistan: an Indomitable Victorian Lady's Account of the Retreat from Kabul During the First Afghan War
The hard road back to IndiaThere are few books that can truly be said to be unique, but this is one. Afghanistan has been a battleground since man has occupied its hostile landscape and others have sought to control it as the corridor between great continents. The British-conquerors of the Indian sub-continent-have found themselves fruitlessly bleeding...
The hard road back to IndiaThere are few books that can truly be said to be unique, but this is one. Afghanistan has been a battleground since man has occupied its hostile landscape and others have sought to control it as the corridor between great continents. The British-conquerors of the Indian sub-continent-have found themselves fruitlessly bleeding into its dry soil on several occasions. The first was in the mid-nineteenth century as they attempted to secure an unpopular puppet ruler on its throne. Error compounded error as Elphinstone, the British army's incompetent commander, compromised his strategic position in the capital and then, to extricate himself, instigated a forced retreat in winter as hostile tribesmen pressed in on all sides. History knows that this resulted in the annihilation of the entire army. Only a handful of people survived. One of these was Lady Sale, the formidable wife of Robert Sale whose brigade was fighting its own war locked inside Jellalabad. Incredibly Lady Sale kept a daily diary of her experience of the entire appalling catastrophe. It illuminates the events of the retreat uniquely and provides an inspiring view of a woman rising to the demands of extreme adversity that has no parallels.
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