This book brings together the lives of eight of Queen Victoria's mostrenowned and idiosyncratic generals, men who helped create the BritishEmpire and whose lives reflect the vigor and diversity of the age.
"[Mr. Farwell] reminds us how much of history has always been about war. The figures he etches are Horatio Alger types with epaulets, conventional men whom luck and daring raised to unconventional situations. . . . Sparely but convincingly, Mr. Farwell conveys a sense of the society they worked in, one that tolerated eccentricity and excess but not transgressions of its male mythology-in which riding and religion were crucial, along with laudanum and chloral and stoic hardihood. Those who shun analyses and learned footnotes, preferring a thundering tale well told-or rather eight of them-should not miss this book." -- Eugen Weber - New York Times Book Review