Weidenfeld & Nicolson, new ed., 2004. Xii + 427 pp., 23 photo-plates + maps & plans. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. Sir John French’s public life was surrounded with controversy. Despite being the most capable cavalry leader of his generation, posterity judged him as one of the ‘donkeys’ of the First World War, responsible for more deaths in the first two hours of the battle of Loos than all the casualties on both sides in the 1944 D-Day landings. His private life, meanwhile, was positively scandalous when it came to women but far from being the unfeeling butcher of popular myth, French was personally tormented by the lengthening casualty lists. This is the first, and only, comprehensive biography of the Field Marshal. The author was granted unrestricted access to Sir John French’s private papers, many of which had laid undisturbed since his death. The result is this rich biography.