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An Honourable Man, By Gillian Slovo


As British forces join a fight against jihadi warriors in Africa, what better moment to read Gillian Slovo's action-packed - but humane and historically acute - novel about General Gordon and his doomed stand against the Mahdi in Sudan in 1884?

As you might expect from the daughter of two ANC leaders, Slovo's story bristles with awareness of the ironies and omissions in the legend of Gordon. However, this is no smug tract tinted by hindsight.

In a galloping adventure, her vivid attendant figures frame the weird hero at its heart.