The Devils Paintbrush by Jake Arnott

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by MrPVRd, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Disgraced Victorian hero Major General Sir Hector Macdonald meets occultist Aleister (I give up on spelling) Crowley in Paris in 1903. Some basis in fact.

    Right ripping yarn - Baden-Powell and all! Very well-written with a good eye for period and military detail and both characters are vividly brought to life.

    Note: Sir Hector was exonerated of all allegations after his suicide. Not the only general to be suspected or accused of certain activities unbecoming at the time, but certainly one who broke the mould - from a Highland croft and commissioned from the ranks.

    Jake Arnott wrote The Long Firm, recently on TV. Very good writer. He Kills Coppers is especially good.

    Oops forgot...better add linky!
  2. Mate, I've done some reading on Sir Hector MacDonald and he was nails, by all accounts. He may or may not have batted for the other side, history will never know (about the alleged scandal and why he shot himself in Paris) And to be honest, it hardly matters, he was a very brave and talented man. His record was extraordinary. I'd love to see a Tom get from Private to Lt. Col. as fast as he did. A brave officer.

    'Khartoum, The Ultimate Imperial Adventure,' by Michael Asher, is a great book on the campaigns in the Sudan. Has very good things to say about Sir Hector's deployment of his 1st Egyptian Brigade at Omdurman in 1898. Essentially he re-deployed them perfectly.

    I won't bore you, you'll have to read the book.

    On a lighter note, I think the British Army need more nails blokes with Victorian taches. I mean, look at Major General Sir Herbert Stewart, fatally wounded at Abu Kru. Brave man, superb moustache. He's still buried out there, I'll place a wreath on his grave next year.