Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A colonial library

Some of my favorite readings about the colonial period were the books by Don Featherstone based on the original correspondences by the Illustrated London News. I really enjoyed the journalistic style - sometimes a few remarks may sound inappropriate for the modern sensibilities, but I always found very exciting the sense of freshness and sincere marvel that exudes from those contemporary writings.
It was in this spirit that, the day before my trip to New York state, I downloaded and printed from the online library 'Project Gutenberg'"The Reconquest of the Soudan", an old book by Bennet Burleigh, the war correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. A truly enjoyable reading, as I mentioned here.
Yesterday night I did some further research. I did not find much more in Project Gutenberg, although I was very happy to find Winston Churchill's "River War", which I read years ago in Italian and I will be very happy to read again in original language.
The real surprise, though, came from another online library, or repository of freely available books in PDF format: Google Book. I had heard about, but I never spent much time exploring it. Big mistake, because this is really a resource full of surprises and treasures.
I have now saved on my hard-disk some exceptionally intriguing texts, and I just limited my search to the topic of Egypt, Sudan, and Abyssinia!

Here's the list, in alphabetical order by author:

Towards Khartoum: The Story of the Soudan War of 1896. With Maps, Ports., and Numerous Illus. from Photos
By Andrew Hilliard Atteridge
Published by A. D. Innes, 1897

The River Column: A Narrative of the Advance of the River Column of the Nile Expeditionary Force, and Its Return Down the Rapids
By Henry Brackenbury
Published by W. Blackwood, 1885
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Sep 26, 2007
291 pages

Desert Warfare: Being the Chronicle of the Eastern Soudan Campaign
By Bennet Burleigh
Published by Chapman and Hall, 1884
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Sep 27, 2007
320 pages

Khartoum Campaign, 1898, Or, The Re-conquest of the Soudan
By Bennet Burleigh
Published by Chapman & Hall, 1899
340 pages

The march to Magdala
By George Alfred Henty
Published by , 1868
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Jun 27, 2006

Suakin, 1885: Being a Sketch of the Campaign of this Year
By Ernest Gambier Parry
Published by K. Paul, Trench & Co., 1886
Original from the University of California
Digitized Nov 19, 2007
271 pages

The Egyptian Campaigns, 1882 to 1885
By Charles Royle
Published by Hurst and Blackett, limited, 1900
606 pages

Coomassie and Magdala: The Story of Two British Campaigns in Africa
By Henry Morton Stanley
Published by Harper & Brothers, 1874
510 pages

Magdala: The Story of the Abyssinian Campaign of 1866-7
By Henry Morton Stanley

Published by S. Low, Marston & Company Limited, 1896
Original from the New York Public Library
Digitized Aug 23, 2007
190 pages

Not bad, uh? I am particularly excited by the two books by Stanley -- I confess my ignorance, I did not know he had followed the Napier expedition in Abyssinia. In general, I think this is a strong lot that will provide hours of happy reading, and several ideas for scenarios and campaigns.

3 comments:

Major Wittering said...

Yes - a fantastic resource, both for dipping into and for more "scholarly" research. It looks like there could be some great texts available here.

Noel

Donogh McCarthy said...

Nice one!
Thanks for the Up the Nile reference too. Now that Baccus6mm are doing Mahdists this period is looking oh-so tempting

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Adik - brilliant - thanks for sharing those... I'm on my way!