Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket

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9780002570978: Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket

'Redcoat is a wonderful book, doing justice to men who have long deserved a chronicler of Richard Holmes' skill. It is not just a work of history - but of enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge.' BERNARD CORNWELL Redcoat combines a first-class military historian famous as a TV personality with a Schama-esque approach to one of the most enduring and magnetic subjects of British history. It has all the makings of a big autumn best-seller. Richard Holmes is famous as TV's military historian, the writer and presenter of War Walks and author of Firing Line and Riding the Retreat. Red Coat marks his return to serious writing.Drawing on a wealth of original source material - diaries, letters, memoirs - Red Coat is an anecdotal history of the British soldier from 1700 to 1900, a period in which methods of warfare and the social makeup of the British army changed little, and in which the Empire was forged. Similar in style to Katie Hickman's Daughters of Britannia, or Simon Schama's Citizens, Red Coat gives a rich and wonderful portrait of the men who donned the red uniform, charged in the Light Brigade, dug in at Rourke's Drift, fought Napoleon at Waterloo, Washington in America, were stabbed by Afghans, annihilated by Zulus and turned the atlas pink.

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About the Author:

Richard Holmes was one of Britain's most distinguished and eminent military historians and broadcasters. For many years Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University and the Royal Military College of Science, he also taught military history at Sandhurst. He was the author of many best-selling and widely acclaimed books including Redcoat, Tommy, Marlborough and Wellington, and famous for his BBC series such as War Walks, In the Footsteps of Churchill and Wellington. He served in the Territorial Army, retiring as a brigadier and Britain's most senior reservist, and was Colonel of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment from 1999 to 2007. Richard Holmes died suddenly in April 2011 from pneumonia. He had been suffering from non-Hodgkins' Lymphoma. Writer and historian Hugh Bicheno is a former intelligence officer and anti-terrorism consultant, who after many years living in the Americas now lives in Cambridge. His previous books include Gettysburg, Midway and Crescent and Cross.

Review:

'I have never met Richard Holmes, but I am deeply jealous of him for Redcoat opens with the re-enactment of a Napoleonic battle that I wish I had written myself... The redcoat and his family were never appreciated, but Richard Holmes has written them a marvellous memorial. Redcoat is a wonderful book, full of anecdote and good sense. Anyone who has enjoyed a Sharpe story will love it, anyone who likes history will want to own it and anyone who cherishes good writing will read it with pleasure.' BERNARD CORNWELL, Daily Mail

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