Vyvyen Brendon

Bearded and Brave

Sahib: The British Soldier in India 1750–1914


HarperCollins 551pp £20 order from our bookshop

In the course of this scholarly book, Richard Holmes tells us that he rose from private to senior serving officer in the Territorial Army – without becoming a freemason. As his fans know, he has combined martial expertise with vigorous presentation to illuminate many a battle on the television screen. High soldierly qualities are also evident in this history of the men who conquered and defended India. Holmes has a sound knowledge of the terrain, he marches at a brisk pace, and he carries a good supply of meat and spirits in his knapsack.

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