Mrs Duberly’s War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854–6 by Christine Kelly (ed) - review by Jane Ridley

Jane Ridley

Chilblains and Petticoats

Mrs Duberly’s War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854–6

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Oxford University Press 355pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

Fanny Duberly was the horse-loving wife of a Victorian cavalry officer. When the Crimean War broke out in 1854 she was twenty-six, cheerful, childless and strong-minded. She was among the handful of officers’ wives who sailed with their husbands’ regiments to the Black Sea. Lord Lucan, who commanded the cavalry, forbade her from entering the war zone, but Fanny defied him. She insisted on accompanying her husband Henry, and she stayed with the army throughout the war.

Fanny kept a journal of the war, as well as writing letters home to her family. Her journal was published in 1855, and it is reprinted here by Christine Kelly for the first time, along with her letters. Because the journal came out so close to the events it describes,

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