19th Century

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When was Britain’s finest hour?

When was Britain’s finest hour? For most readers the answer is easy: the summer of 1940, when Britain stood alone in defiance of the Third Reich, urged on by the soaring rhetoric of Winston Churchill. Chris Bambery disagrees.

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War Reporters: Bennet Burleigh

At the time of his death in 1914, Bennet Burleigh was quite possibly the most famous war correspondent in the world. The Daily Telegraph, the paper for which he had spent a large part of his career reporting, published a full-page obituary chronicling his adventures – which ended up being several thousand words longer than the paper’s coverage of the death of Tennyson.

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The Seven Days, 1862

The American Civil War might easily have ended in 1862. In the event, it dragged on for three more years, claiming the lives of 600,000 men, more than all of America’s other wars combined. A strong case can be made that this outcome was the work of two very different men – George B McClellan and Robert E Lee. To what extent do individuals change the course of history?

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War of Words – ‘Waterloo’

‘Waterloo’ – and especially variations of the phrase ‘to meet one’s Waterloo’ – have come to signify a firm, conclusive end to a person or a thing.

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War Reporters: William Howard Russell

Seema Syeda on battlefield scoops throughout the ages. William Howard Russell was one of the most prolific and revolutionary journalists of his time. Best known for his reporting on the Crimean War, he narrated the events of the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, and Tennyson wrote his celebrated poem of the same name – now […]

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Grant and the Overland Campaign

Grant’s conduct of the Overland Campaign has sometimes been criticised as bludgeoning – lacking in tactical finesse, restricted to frontal attacks, callous about casualties. But is this assessment fair? Neil Faulkner weighs up the debate.

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