This is the entwined story of three Victorians. Two of these men were brothers - Sir Samuel Baker, the irrepressible explorer; and Valentine Baker, reckoned to be the leading cavalry officer of the British Army before disgrace overwhelmed him. The third is the troubled Charles "Chinese" Gordon, murdered by the Mahdi's forces in Khartoum. "Imperial Vanities" is an adventure story in the high tradition, ranging from the Upper Nile, to Ceylon, Egypt and the slave markets of the Balkans. In his second book on Victorian life, Brian Thompson recounts the beginnings of the end of British Empire through the story of three men - the explorer Samuel Baker, whose second wife was a slave; his brother Valentine, who indecently assaulted a girl on a train and their friend Gordon of Khartoum, who preferred the company of men and the Bible.
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Brian Thompson is a novelist and playwright. His first work of non-fiction, A Monkey Amongst Crocodiles: The Disastrous Life of Mrs Georgina Weldon was published to universal acclaim by HarperCollins in May 2000.Review:
On Brian Thompson's previous book: 'Georgina Weldon's life is a story so richly worth telling as to make the common run of biographies seem sadly dull. Elegant in style, at once sensational and substantial in content, this book is a surprise and delight.'' Lucy Hughes Hallet, Sunday Times 'One of the funniest books of the year. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at Mrs Weldon's disastrous career.' Miranda Seymour, TLS 'Georgina Weldon is the kind of subject biographers dream aboutBut what makes Thompson's extraordinarily accomplished book so marvellous is his ability to get inside her preposterous skin.' Kathryn Hughes, Sunday Telegraph
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Book Description Harper Collins, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002571889