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Evelyn Wood VC - Pillar of Empire
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Given the increasing interest in the Victorian era an authoritative biography of Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood VC is long overdue. By any standards his career was remarkable and began with him in the Royal Navy in the Crimea before he transferred to the cavalry 'to see more action'. He won his VC in India and became a member of Wolseley's select Ashanti Ring which ensured his advancement. His greatest victory at Kambula was preceded a day earlier by a crushing defeat at Hlobane which he attempted successfully to cover up. However the ruthless slaughter of the defeated Zulus after Kambula also threatened his career. Thanks to powerful friends including Queen Victoria, Wood's career continued to flourish although a major scandal involving his sister (Kitty O'Shea) and leading Irish nationalist Charles Parnell raised serious questions as to Wood's integrity.Nevertheless he went to be Adjutant-General and a Field Marshal and was one of the major reforming generals laying the foundations for the Army's success in The Great War.This is an important biography filling a major gap in the bibliography of the period.
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