Johnson, Peter.


Wellingborough, 1st ed., 1985. 272 pp., photo & other plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. Suppose General Charles Gordon had not been killed at Khartoum on January 26 1885… How might subsequent history have been altered? In this fascinating study, the author relates the historical events in the Sudan during 1884-5 following the rise of the fanatical Moslem leader, the Mahdi, the despatch of Gordon – already a popular hero after his earlier exploits in China – to assess the situation and if necessary evacuate the area, and the later despatch of the ill-fated Army of the Nile to rescue him. Having brought the story to Gordon's death and the political repercussions which undermined Gladstone's government, the author then presents a scenario in which a critical delay is avoided, a small force successfully reaches Khartoum, and Gordon is rescued, albeit against his will, and taken to safety down river. Subsequent events follow in a logical, consistent manner, including the destruction of the British expeditionary force and the death of General Sir Redvers Buller, which in itself would later have changed the course of the Boer War.

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