Thursday, 7 May 2009

Messenger of death: Captain Nolan and the charge of the light brigade

You've probably heard of the Charge of the Light Brigade, even if you've no idea what war it was in or anything like that. The Crimean War if you're interested. Captain Nolan was the guy who delivered the order from the Commander-in-Chief to the leader of the Light Brigade, and he has been blamed for the fatal charge. It's said that he pointed them in the wrong direction. It's even been alleged that he did it deliberately, to test out his theory on the use of cavalry.

This book is very well written, gives an interesting and detailed account of one man's experience of life during the first half of the 19th century. Even if you don't have a clue about the Crimean War and don't particularly care, I think you could find this interesting. Captain Nolan, it turns out, was a very interesting man, despite the fact that those who do know anything about him tend to associate him with the failed Charge of the Light Brigade. The book gives a very good account of not only his life, but also the context, particularly with regard to the Crimean War and service in India, as well as giving an insight into the life of the officer class at a time when you were promoted not by your ability but by your ability to pay for it.

An interesting read, I'd recommend it to anyone who'd like to know more about the Charge of the Light Brigade.

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