Penguin, £12.99, 575pp£11.69 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Crimea, By Orlando Figes
Friday 02 September 2011
Mainly remembered today in Victorian street and pub names, the Crimea was "the earliest example of a truly modern war" though conducted by "old codes of chivalry".
Fought on a global scale and involving the death of over 750,000 soldiers, it evolved from Waterloo-style battles such as Alma (commemorated in Paris's Alma Bridge where Diana died) to the industrial warfare of Sevastopol. In this sweeping account, Figes corrects deep misapprehensions produced by this largely faith-driven conflict.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was "in some ways a success" (casualties were less than half the 600 reported), while the wounded and sick tended by Florence Nightingale at Scutari "would have had a better chance of survival in any Turkish village".
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Glastonbury 2015: The best bits you missed from Lionel Richie and the Dalai Lama to The Libertines' secret set
Glastonbury 2015: The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James' Twitter Q&A didn't exactly go as planned
Guillaume Tell gang-rape scene causes uproar at the Royal Opera House
Glastonbury 2015: Shocking scenes of rubbish left strewn across campsite as clean-up begins
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS