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The Compassionate Englishwoman

In London, the upper class Emily Hobhouse hears that women and children caught in the Boer War are having a difficult time. Concerned, she goes to South Africa - by herself and at her own initiative - to investigate and assist. She travels thousands of kilometres through the war and what she finds is disturbing. The British Army is clearing the land and herding hundreds of thousands of people into concentration camps where the conditions are putting their lives at risk. She urges the local authorities to provide better care and support - to no avail. Deeply concerned, she returns to Britain to plead that immediate action be taken. She is in for a shock. She meets with studied indifference from the government and is attacked in the press. Eventually her work saves many lives, but not before tens of thousands have died. This remarkable woman was on the wrong side of history. Though she was focussed on a humanitarian cause, her heroic mission could bring down the government. Acknowledgement that a war which was becoming steadily less popular was being waged by brutal means would mean electoral disaster. Her story had to be disparaged and smothered at every opportunity. In this book, through careful research, her courageous and inspirational work is once again brought to life.
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About the Author

Dr Robert Eales was born in South Africa and studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Balliol College, Oxford. In a varied career he worked in management consulting and banking and his employers include McKinsey and Company, Westpac Banking Corporation and Barclays Bank. During his consulting career, he undertook work on behalf of major corporations including BHP, Rio Tinto, the National Australia Bank and the GIO of NSW (as it was then). He was based at various times in Johannesburg, Sydney, London and, briefly, in San Francisco. He retired from the business world in 2005 and has been researching the South African War of 1899-1902 ever since. Rob has delivered many talks on the South African War, presented papers at conferences and been published in historical journals. See The Compassionate Englishwoman is his first book. He lives with his wife and family in Sydney, Australia.

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