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Marlborough: England’s Fragile Genius Hardcover – 5 May 2008
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‘Richard Holmes goes far beyond the life of John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, to depict the moral and political landscape of an entire age in this rewarding biography of the British general…Holmes is as thrilling on his subject's romantic devotion to his wife…as he is on the battles.’ Sunday Times
‘We should…welcome a new biography of the man who was so admired by Napoleon and…Winston Churchill - especially if the biographer is Richard Holmes, whose background is a happy blend of military academia and media friendliness. Professor Holmes tackles his subject at a Light Infantry pacem cracking through a wide-ranging biography with confidence and good humour.’ Independent on Sunday
‘The appeal of Holmes’s books is not merely their authority but their style. His lightness of touch makes these 500 pages a joy to read as well as an education.’ The Times
‘Richard Holmes’s new biography…is probably as comprehensive an account of Marlborough as any single volume can hope to be…there is nobody writing who can move from column into line quite as smoothly as [he] does.’ David Crane, Spectator
‘When it comes to balancing tales of Marlborough’s flaws with those of his genius for war, Holmes discharges his material relentlessly…His descriptions of the general’s tactical system, the way he ran his armues…are all excellent.’ Waterstones Books Quarterly
‘His lucid descriptions of the battles…make this work outstanding…Holmes has written what must be the best, because fairest, biography of Marlborough.’ Daily Telegraph
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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The only fault in the book was that all the illustrations were very badly washed out (they've printed like very poor quality dark photocopys) and the maps would have benefited from being reproduced in colour.
Holmes paints a picture of an ambitious and capable General as well as a cunning politician and loving husband.
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Most recent customer reviews
-occasionally drags in parts
-very centred on military aspects of the man vs politics and personality