- Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: HarperPress (27 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007225709
- ISBN-13: 978-0007225705
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 5.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Soldiers: Army Lives and Loyalties from Redcoats to Dusty Warriors Paperback – 27 Sep 2012
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‘If any of his many works of military history should stand as a memorial to his work and achievement, this last most lively book might well be the most fitting’ The Times
‘A book of majestic, heart-rending humanity: a deeply affectionate portrait of British soldiers as they have existed for more than 350 years’ Daily Telegraph
‘Almost every page is adorned with a fascinating fact or amusing vignette . . . illuminating just how much, and how little, the Army has changed over the centuries. Holmes was a first-rate military historian and his passion for his subject shines through. “That article” [the British Tommy] could not hope for a finer champion.’ Mail on Sunday
‘Stirring and magnificent . . . covers every aspect of army life you can think of, and many you wouldn’t have’ Sunday Times
“Holmes’s thematic panorama glitters with fascinating detail” Independent
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
We should be enormously grateful that he did, as he literally wrote from his sick bed, and 'was allowed out of hospital twice by his cancer specialist to work on the book', which (one suspects) contributed to his early death. One needs to remember this when reading 'Soldiers', for it does admittedly contain a few irritating repetitions, its structure is occasionally loose, and some chapters are more rounded than others, but these are minor niggles that a medically fit Holmes would no doubt have polished to his customary very high standard.
The volume's sub-title tells us much about the contents, as the 65 year-old Holmes was drawing on his earlier corpus of writing on the British soldier, including his Redcoat (2001), Tommy (2004), Sahib (2005) and Dusty Warriors (2006). The years of publication give an idea of his prodigious output - one and sometimes two very good books in most years, totalling over 35 volumes, written over a 40 year period.
What of 'Soldiers'? This is no less than an expression of Richard Holmes' love affair with the British soldier - Thomas Atkins - warts and all, about whom he spent most of his working life observing and writing. As Professor Holmes, he was an academic lecturer at Sandhurst, the Army Staff College and later the Defence Academy, Shrivenham, teaching officers their trade throughout his adult life.Read more ›
It's a book for the soldier but will also be enjoyed by those who have connections with the army.
Richard Holmes was a fine historian and a great storyteller and will be sorely missed.
The Oxford Companion to Military History
It is sad to think there won't be any more books by Richard Holmes who wrote so eloquently and elegantly on the subjects he tackled.
And always firmly in command of these subjects, let us not forget that. He knew his stuff and had very interesting things to say about it. His books are always entertaining, poignant, insightful and contain precisely the right dose of emotion: he could be humorous and sometimes very moving. Never twee, no cheap effects or tricks, no page filling drivel. One took note of his opinions and conclusions which almost always were spot on. Mrs. Holmes and family: I'm sorry for your loss.
It is now almost two years ago that he died, age 65. In this time I sent some 5 or 6 messages to the BBC asking when the television documentaries that Richard Holmes wrote and presented will be released on dvd. I have yet to receive a decent answer other than "dear sir we acknowledge receipt of your message and so on and bladiblah, not our department, maybe in future....etcetera etcetera let us know if you like other programmes..."
Maybe if more of us who enjoy reading professor Holmes' books made known our wish for a dvd release of (preferably all) his television work (War Walks, Wellington, Battlefields, the Western Front, In the footsteps of Churchill) we could achieve something.....just a thought.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
perfect gift for someone who is interested in history/wars/soldiers etc very well written.Published 7 months ago by Mrs Pauline Kavanagh
Just started the book,so far excellent ,I loved his TV programmes, and enjoyed one of his lectures.Published 10 months ago by Weary cook
Sorry - can't review - book was a present for a relativePublished 13 months ago by Mr. Michael Bennett