eBook Ladysmith epub

by Giles Foden

eBook Ladysmith epub
  • ISBN: 0571197337
  • Author: Giles Foden
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: Genre Fiction
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber (1999)
  • Pages: 366 pages
  • ePUB size: 1957 kb
  • FB2 size 1899 kb
  • Formats mbr rtf docx lrf


Title: Ladysmith Author: Giles Foden Year: 1999 Synopsis: The year is 1899, and Boer forces have surounded the small South African town of Ladysmith.

Title: Ladysmith Author: Giles Foden Year: 1999 Synopsis: The year is 1899, and Boer forces have surounded the small South African town of Ladysmith. Synopsis: The year is 1899, and Boer forces have surounded the small South African town of Ladysmith. As shells and shrapnel rain down, British soldiers and townsfolk dig themselves in, waiting for rescue. But General Buller’s relief column can’t break through.

Giles Foden (born 11 January 1967) is an English author, best known for his novel The Last King of Scotland (1998). Giles William Thomas Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967, the son of Jonathan, an agricultural adviser, and Mary, a farmer. On his grandfather's death, the family sold their farm and moved to Malawi in 1972. Foden was educated at Yarlet Hall and Malvern College boarding schools, then at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he read English, and at St John's College, Cambridge.

Giles Foden tells his tale through a host of characters. Ladysmith is a busy book, and it's not always clear what's going on. But that's Foden's point

Giles Foden tells his tale through a host of characters. But that's Foden's point

The Last King of Scotland won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Библиографические данные.

The Last King of Scotland won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. Ladysmith Borzoi book.

Giles Foden evokes, quite superbly, the human cost of war. Find similar books Profile.

Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Ladysmith - Giles Foden.

Ladysmith, South Africa, was the site of one of the most horrific and bloody episodes in the whole sad story of the Boer War, a war that was waged at the turn of the 20th century between England and Holland for control of another country's riches and in which thousands of native, as well as foreign, people met unnecessary and unimaginably.

Giles Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967.

The year is 1899, and Boer forces have surounded the small South African. Giles Foden was born in Warwickshire in 1967. His family moved to Malawi in 1971 where he was brought up. He was educated at Yarlet Hall and Malvern College boarding schools, then at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he read English.

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Comments: (5)
Frlas
Ladysmith, South Africa, was the site of one of the most horrific and bloody episodes in the whole sad story of the Boer War, a war that was waged at the turn of the 20th century between England and Holland for control of another country's riches and in which thousands of native, as well as foreign, people met unnecessary and unimaginably gory ends. In the siege of Ladysmith, the Boers, under General Joubert, held hostage twenty thousand British soldiers, civilians, and African mineworkers for 120 days. Foden creates and follows a variety of characters as "civilization" in Ladysmith deteriorates during the siege and conditions become atrocious, revealing the characters' attitudes towards colonialism, their sense of "mission," and their understanding of the world.

Using multiple points of view, Foden focuses on characters from the British ruling class, British journalists (including Winston Churchill), British and Irish regiments, British settlers and expatriates, Indians (including Mahatma Gandhi), native families displaced by the war, and, of course, the Boers. The reader quickly becomes caught up in the lives of individuals from each of these groups, feeling genuine sympathy for many of them and mourning the tragedies which befall them all as the siege and the bloody skirmishes continue, unabated.

Somehow, Bella Kiernan, the daughter of an Irish hotelkeeper, on whom much of the action focuses, manages to fall in love, first with a British soldier, and eventually with a Portuguese barber. As conditions worsen, the characters' basic natures are revealed, and as the Victorian strictures regarding sexuality begin to fall, the story takes on a sense of realism and modernity.

Like the siege itself, there's a hopelessness to each of the characters' stories, which Foden carries to their individual conclusions (in some cases at the end of World War II) by appending a final section aptly entitled "Monologues of the Dead." Foden is primarily a story-teller here, more concerned with the wide sweep of the action, its political complexities, and its reflection of colonial attitudes than with characters. The many characters, though often fascinating for what they reveal about the period, tend to be a bit flat in comparison to the historical drama. Though this novel does not have a compelling main character, like Idi Amin in Foden's previous novel, The Last King of Scotland, the author nevertheless presents a powerful story of unimaginable carnage. Mary Whipple
Shliffiana
Do not be misled by the jacket cover-a photograph of a beautiful young woman in Victorian dress gazing wide-eyed at an idyllic background scene and suggesting a romantic interlude. The jacket blurb itself refers to a "young woman who finds love and freedom in the midst of a devastating war" and goes on to suggest that this is her story.
Perhaps the publisher is being deliberately ironic here. Ladysmith, South Africa, was the site of one of the most horrific and bloody episodes in the whole sad story of the Boer War, a war that was waged between England and Holland for control of another country's riches and in which thousands of native, as well as foreign, people met unnecessary and unimaginably gory ends. And Foden describes this horror without reservation. I can assure you, "love story" is not what you will remember or care about here.
Foden's characters come from the British ruling class, British journalists (including Winston Churchill), British and Irish regiments, British settlers and expatriates, Indians (including Mahatma Gandhi), native families displaced by the war, and, of course, the Boers. The reader quickly becomes caught up in the lives of individuals from each of these groups, feeling genuine sympathy for many of them and mourning the tragedies which befall them all as the siege and the skirmishes continue unabated. Like the siege itself, there's a hopelessness to each of their stories, which Foden carries to their conclusions (in some cases at the end of World War II) by appending a final section aptly entitled "Monologues of the Dead." This is a beautifully wrought story of unimaginable carnage.
Styphe
I generally enjoy historical and military fiction, and really liked Foden's first book (The Last King of Scotland), however this novel of the Boer War (which, according to Foden, was rushed to publication in order to coincide with the centenary of the war) did little to either entertain, educate, or move me. To be sure, the war-which bridged the 19th and 20th centuries-served both as another signal that the empire was dying, and as a portent of the horrors of World War I, and is thus noteworthy. Unfortunately, Foden's meticulous recreation of the three month siege of the town of Ladysmith, in which about 14,000 British soldiers and 5,000 civilians (of which half were Africans and several hundred, Indian) were subject to daily artillery barrages from huge Boer guns, suffers from an overwhelming number of characters and points of view. There were countless memoirs and histories of the siege, and one gets the feeling that Foden felt the need to cram every perspective into his book, which was apparently inspired by letters written by his great-grandfather, who was a trooper in the war. Indeed, those who've read Thomas Packenham's massive history, The Boer War, will recognize where certain scenes in the novel spring from.
The story is very loosely arranged around Irish hotelier Leo Kiernan's daughter Bella, and her alternating affections amidst the siege But that's only a small slice of the pie, and is rather clumsily portrayed to boot. The real story is about life in the midst of a siege, with all its familiar aspects: rationing, boredom, terror, filth, martial law, blood and guts, and so on. Chronicling all this are a good fifteen different characters, including fictional creations such as Bella, her sister, her father, various soldiers, a Portuguese barber, a Boer doctor, an early motion picture recorder, a Zulu and his wife and son, and real-life figures such as a young Winston Churchill, British journalists Nevinson and George Stevens, and an Indian stretcher bearer by the name of Gandhi. The book runs back and forth amongst these different perspectives, skimming lightly on each before a heavy-handed transition takes the reader to the next scene. None is fully-fleshed out, and Foden's interest in displaying the siege as emblematic of a sea-change in British imperial history leads his characters to speechify. The pronouncements of Churchill and Gandhi are particularly leaden. The resulting stew is an altogether wooden and unsatisfying one, and unlikely to enrich anyone's understanding of the events-although it does convey the sense of an aging empire muddling into quicksand.
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