Go Strong into the Desert

For all discussions relating to the Egyptian and Sudanese campaigns fought between 1882 and 1898.

Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby roconn » 18 Sep 2010 22:12

mike snook wrote:Thanks John. You're a gentleman sir. Glad to know the ship made it through the u-boat packs!

Regards

Mike

Indeed a happy day in the colonies - a package from Perry's arrived and I must agree with ED from LA -- the front cover is definitely worthy of framing!

Regarding the interior - a masterful job Effendi, a masterful job --- without further ado - a pint of Scotch and a bucket of water for the horses - no movement from the reading room tonight!

regards
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 19 Sep 2010 00:12

Thank you sahib. Whiskey and history....perfect.

M
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby fantomark » 20 Sep 2010 11:33

Hi, Mike!

having now read through more than half the book, I realize that possibly it best asset are your fantastic battlefield photos carefully explaining disposition of forces on the actual ground where the events were happening..
I have often dreamed of visiting the the Sudan Campaign battlefields to bettere understand my reading.
Your "in situ" research and the clearly captioned Battlefields photos are second only to the (unlikely for most common mortals), chance of being there! And even for those lucky few that might have a chance of visiting these remote lands, would greatly benefit from your painstakingly accurate survey, when trying to make sense of a very difficult an barren terrain!

I can really had read virtually all had been written on Abu Klea, Taamai, etc, from contemporary accounts to modern books, but it is only thanks to your photos and analyitc battle reconstructions that I can now put all I had read in the right context, having now a much clear undrstanding of the events on the ground. As you rghtly say any military history accounts must start from an analysis of the battlefields.

Congratulation again.

Mark
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Gordon's remark to his Italian lieutenant, Romolo Gessi
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 20 Sep 2010 22:19

Thanks Marco. It was a fantastic experience to actually get to those places - though it was a constant challenge to get around, for political reasons, (hence men with guns and indifferent manners), which are best left unremarked here. The names of the officers who came with me are recorded in the acknowledgements - and I reiterate my debt to them here...in fact it is a debt that everybody with an interest in Queen Victoria's wars owes them. When I saw Abu Klea, and just how different it was to anything I had ever imagined, I immediately felt a compulsion and strong sense of public duty to survey the place properly and get some photos into the public domain. The map on page 96 of the zareba position is very important and, until its reproduction in GSITD, very rare. It informed my ground surveys and enabled the overlaid photo at the top of p105. You will quickly see how they relate to one another. The protuding spur of the diagram is half way up the right edge of the photo.

The photos show, however, that what was drawn in the diagram as a single hill, is in fact two hills - the picture of the MICR defensive wall (sorry about being in it!) on top of p106 best illustrates this. See also the photo on the facing page. One can't know this without actually having been there. When you look at the pictures of the valley and just how black it is, Capt Lord Cochrane's (later Brig-Gen Lord Dundonald of Spion Kop/Ladysmith campaign fame) remark about the Valley of the Shadow (see text p94) really fall into place, don 't they.

Anyway I'm glad you like them. It was enthusiasts like you I had in mind when I was actually doing the fieldwork..so it's personally fulfilling now to find people like you enjoying and appreciating what we did. Thanks for the kind words.

As ever

Mike

P.S. Forgot to say you should be able to relate the zareba photography to the Prior sketch at the bottom of p 95.
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 21 Sep 2010 07:20

Regarding the Geoffrey Douglas Giles paintings on page 73 and74....

Hello everybody.
For those of you who do not have the book, this probably won't mean much to you. But for us who have loved these two paintings, this is good news and probably new news. These two paintings of the battle of Tamai are not the only paintings he did of this engagement. He did at least one other and maybe more if these paintings were meant to be part of a Victorian era narative series.
Go to http://www.artnet.com/artist/20766/geof ... giles.html.
I discovered this about four years ago. The picture is pixilated to protect the image. For $50 dollars US, you can get the auction price and just maybe an un-pixilated image. Or maybe not. I am tempted to drop the $50.
Is anybody already aware of this image and are there more? These are big paintings in size.
This image is just pixulated enough to blur the image, but not enough to mask the sense of tension and excitement of this painting. Sure would like to see the full un-blurred image.
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 21 Sep 2010 19:06

ED

That is the painting Giles did for the Marling family of Lt Percy Marling winning the VC by rescuing a wounded man of the MI.

Regards

Mike
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby Gary Aardahl » 22 Sep 2010 04:57

My copy of the book arrived here in southern California safe and sound! Mike, this is a phenomenal work. I have only glanced through it so far and will dive into it when I can set aside a weekend to do so. Your dedication to the subject and to the memory of the men that fought and died during that brief but bloody campaign shows through every page. The engravings, sketches and paintings are marvelous and help the narrative come alive. Your on-site photographs are a treasure in themselves and will really help in getting mental images of what happened there. Many thanks to yourself and to those who accompanied you in your ranging. Bravo and well done!
Gary
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 22 Sep 2010 14:43

Thanks Gary. Kind words, much appreciated. Do enjoy.

Regards

Mike
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby zuluneil » 26 Sep 2010 19:42

Mike
Picked up my copy from the Perry twins, a pint and alot of chin wagging later I slinked away from work for an hour to marvel!, OK, no sand or leather binding, but hell Mike, I have spent the weekend as a virtual recluse...........thanks.

PS Thanks for the mention and the pics, Gin on me March 2011. (Now booked)
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 26 Sep 2010 20:28

Cool. I'll get some tonic in, mucker!

As ever

M
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby roconn » 27 Sep 2010 02:08

Mike:

Now I've spent a week reading & re-reading GSID --- did you not mention you've another book in the works as a sequel to this?
This is really good information if true!
Haven't had so much fun in a long time going over all the wealth of details!

regards

roconn
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby mike snook » 28 Sep 2010 23:33

Hello Roconn and thanks. Glad you've enjoyed it;there is indeed a lot of stuff in there which has not been covered before, and I've got more up my sleeve. Yes, its true, it's not a sequel, a prequel or any other sort of quel, nor will it be in the same style, nor is for the same publisher, but I am doing a straight history book on the relief expdition. But not before next year - and I don't mean new year's day either!!

As a Canadian you'll be interested to know that two of your countrymen accompanied me up and down the Sixth Cataract and to Wad Habeshi and Mernat in a small boat I chartered - and that one of them was descended from one of the original voyageurs!

As ever

Mike
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby AZ1 » 14 Oct 2010 19:07

Couldn't possibly resist any longer and ordered it (and some Sudan British 8) ) at Perry Miniatures yesterday.
Hope it doesn't take too long now...I am so looking forward to this after reading HCMDB.

Cheers

AZ
PAX QUÆRITUR BELLO
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby Theo » 21 Feb 2011 21:19

Hi Mike et al,

Just got mine today. It is a handsome production - as you'd expect from the Perries! I'm delighted and alreday looking forward to the fuller account published next month.

Best Wishes

Theo
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Re: Go Strong into the Desert

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 21 Feb 2011 21:38

What fuller account is Theo refering to? Mikes next book is still a year or more away...right? Do I need to purchase a book I am not aware is being published? So many questions...so little time.
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