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Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Anglo-Boer War

Sarah LeFanu

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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
01 March 2020
Biography: literary; Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers; African history; Colonialism & imperialism; Boer Wars
In early 1900, the paths of three British writers-Rudyard Kipling, Mary Kingsley and Arthur Conan Doyle-crossed in South Africa, during what's become known as Britain's last imperial war. Each of the three had pressing personal reasons to leave England behind, but they were also motivated by notions of duty, service, patriotism and, in Kipling's case, jingoism.

Sarah LeFanu compellingly opens an unexplored chapter of these writers' lives, at a turning point for Britain and its imperial ambitions. Was the South African War, as Kipling claimed, a dress rehearsal for the Armageddon of World War One? Or did it instead foreshadow the anti-colonial guerrilla wars of the later twentieth century?

Weaving a rich and varied narrative, LeFanu charts the writers' paths in the theatre of war, and explores how this crucial period shaped their cultural legacies, their shifting reputations, and their influence on colonial policy.
By:   Sarah LeFanu
Imprint:   C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9781787383098
ISBN 10:   1787383091
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   01 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sarah LeFanu's books include 'Rose Macaulay' and 'S is for Samora: A Lexical Biography of Samora Machel and the Mozambican Dream'. Formerly an editor at The Women's Press, and artistic director of the Bath Literature Festival (2004-9), she regularly chairs events for the Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol Women's Literature Festival and blogs at www.filmwatchingwomen.wordpress.com.

Reviews for Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Anglo-Boer War

'A brilliantly insightful, very moving examination of three writers on the battlefield. LeFanu reveals each of her subjects to be engaged in his or her own private war, at the same time as they participated in the war that came to define the cruelty and confusion of the British Empire.' -- Lara Feigel, author of 'Free Woman'; 'The Bitter Taste of Victory'; and 'The Love-charm of Bombs'


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