Stephen Brumwell

A Real Cliffhanger

Death or Victory: The Battle of Quebec and the Birth of Empire


HarperPress 538pp £25 order from our bookshop

In 1769, an unemployed British Army captain published two volumes recounting his recent experience of the brutal struggle to destroy French power in North America. Reduced to his officer’s half-pay, John Knox must have been gratified by the favourable reviews that soon emerged in London’s leading literary journals. As the Monthly Review critic noted, the highlight of Knox’s Historical Journal was its coverage of the ‘ever memorable’ siege of Quebec, the zenith of Britain’s annus mirabilis of 1759.

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