The second instalment in the George Hart series, set during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-80.
George Hart is asked by Prime Miinister Disraeli to undertake a secret mission to Afghanistan. Hart’s mixed race makes it easy for him to go undercover, and with his past catching up on him in England, he accepts the job. Hart must journey through a strange and violent land, to steal the iconic Prophet’s Cloak, a potent symbol of rebellion for religious extremists. But, on the run with a dangerously alluring Afghan princess, Hart finds himself questioning his mission. Loyalty to his conscience or his country – Hart must decide.
Praise for Hart of Empire
‘As precocious as ever, our daredevil hero is once again in the thick of things as he takes on anyone and everyone who dares to cross his path. Great stuff.’ Daily Mail
‘There is no escaping the grip of [David's] second Hart novel… Hart is a proper boy’s own hero.’ Daily Telegraph
‘I doubt there’s a finer summer read.’ JUSTIN POLLARD, author of Alfred the Great and The Interesting Bits. and writer of QI.
‘Jihadi warriors threaten to topple Western power in Afghanistan… We’re in 1879, not 2011, and the second of Saul David’s period novels to feature mixed-race adventurer Captain George Hart. When historians turn to popular fiction, these men (and women) who would be king can misfire badly. But David’s creation, with his aura of a less scoundrelly Flashman or a high-Victorian Bond, leads the yarn at a fine gallop. And David sketches the relevant history fast and true.’ BOYD TONKIN, The Independent
Saul’s debut historical novel, Zulu Hart – set during the Zulu War and featuring the adventures of the soldier George Hart – was published in March 2009. Praised by Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden, it was chosen as a Waterstone’s New Talent in Fiction title and reached No. 4 in the Daily Telegraph hardback fiction bestsellers. The paperback came out last November and, with 9,500 sales in the first full week, made the Bookseller’s official Top 50. It has now sold almost 100,000 copies in the UK in hardback and paperback combined.
George Hart is the bastard son of a pillar of the British military establishment and a half Irish, half Zulu actress.
Bullied at school for his suspiciously dark skin and lack of a father, Hart soon learns to fight – and win. At eighteen, his world is shaken by his mother’s revelation that his anonymous fathr is willing to give him a vast inheritance – provided he can prove himself worthy of the prize as an officer in the King’s Dragoon Guards.
At a time when racism and prejudice are rife in Victorian society, Hart struggles to come to terms with his identity. Forced to leave the army, he decides to head to South Africa, and a fresh start.
But George Hart has soldiering in his blood, and once in Africa the urge to serve again is strong. Yet now he is caught between two fierce and unyielding forces as Britain drives towards war with the Zulus. Hart must make a choice – and fight for his life.
Praise for Zulu Hart
‘Saul David has already shown himself to be a first-rate historian, now he proves to be a masterly story-teller. Zulu Hart left me wanting more . . . much more.’ BERNARD CORNWELL
‘Gems like this are too rare. I was hooked in ten pages.’ CONN IGGULDEN
‘A Victorian adventure as big as the veldt and chewier than Buffalo biltong… George Hart cuts an unconventional figure, but Saul David never forgets the story in history – the diplomacy of the period is turned effectively and amusingly into a game of sardines in a hotel and real figures of the period are endowed with motive, intent and dialogue that may be fictitious but are entirely convincing… A real sense of military detail – the stuff that would rate a footnote in an academic history is here the star of the show… So for those listening for the pftzlcchh, the Zulu word for the collapse of a story’s plot and the deflation of its characters, tough – you won’t find it here.’ ROGER PERKINS, Sunday Telegraph
”A rattling good yarn… A compelling, sexy hero who could give Cornwell’s Sharpe a run for his money.’ KATE SAUNDERS, The Times
‘Fans of imperial derring-do will be pleased to hear that the military historian Saul David, a self-confessed admirer of the Flashman books, has now jumped into the breach with a fictional hero of his own… Where David’s background in military history really comes in handy is in his descriptions of army protocol, the sweep and detail of the South African landscape and the politics of the Zulu War, about which he has already written an acclaimed factual account. Readers interested in Victorian imperial history, as well as lovers of books like the Prisoner of Zenda, will probably find all this highly entertaining stuff… [It] promises to be a colourful, amusing and successful series.’ DOMINIC SANDBROOK, Standard
‘Well-written love interests, epic locations and a moulding of historical fact and fiction, Zulu Hart is a great fictional debut. Fans of Bernard Cornwell will love it.’ L/Cpl Chris MacCullum, Int. Corps, Soldier Magazine
‘David knows his stuff, historically, and there is much to admire in his evocation of 19th Century warfare.’ Mail on Sunday, ****
‘‘The details of the l879 campaign are superbly laid out, and this is a real education.’ Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph
‘Fantastically grounded… with a great character, George Hart, who’s got a bit of Zulu in him and a bit of Irish. A really, really good read. There are lots and lots of heaving bosoms and bastard children as well… It rollicks along, a real page-turner. I can read it knowing all the context is true.’ BETTANY HUGHES, The Book Show, Sky Arts 1
Let’s hope that Saul’s David’s new character will be reappearing: Zulu Hart, a young soldier let loose in the Victorian Empire. A terrific adventure and a genre that goes from strength to strength.’ RODNEY TROUBRIDGE, Waterstone’s Fiction Marketing Planner, Bookseller’s Choice for March 2009
‘A fast-moving and succinct account of the machinations and betrayals that surrounded that fateful day in 1879,’ KATHY STEVENSON, Daily Mail
‘Plenty of action and bloody death, incompetent and scheming officers, a brace of lovely women tugging at Hart’s heart make for a terrifice yarn.’ Sun Herald (Australia)
‘Indebted as Zulu Hart is to Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe yarns, this historical novel has a recognisable heritage and therein lies its appeal. George Hart is a Victorian cadet who, on discovering his part-Zulu heritage, finds his loyalties sorely tested in the imminent Zulu war. The action is brisk enough to keep the pages turning, while Saul David’s credentials as a military historian lend the conflict both accuracy and authenticity.’ Holly Kyte, Sunday Telegraph
‘The British soldier,’ wrote a Prussian officer who had served with Wellington, ‘is vigorous, well fed, by nature highly brave and intrepid, trained to the most vigorous discipline, and admirably well armed… These circumstances explain how this army…has never yet been defeated in the field.’
From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the Downfall of Napoleon in 1815, Britain won a series of major wars against France that enabled her to lay the foundations of a global empire. By Waterloo, she was the paramount maritime and industrial power in the world, and would remain so for much of the nineteenth century.
This is the story of that extraordinary century and a half of martial success and the people who made it possible: the soldier-kings William III and the first two Georges; the generals Marlborough, Wolfe, Moore and Wellington; and the ordinary British redcoats who – despite harsh service conditions that included low pay, poor housing, inadequate food and brutal discipline – rarely let their commanders down in battles as far afield as Blenheim, Plassey, Quebec and Waterloo.
In a fast moving narrative that ranges from the barracks and cabinet rooms of England to the rolling plains of Flanders (the ‘Cockpit of Europe’), the trackless wilderness of North America and the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula, Saul David paints a compelling and vivid portrait of the British soldier – Wellington’s ‘best of all Instruments’ – in peacetime and at war
Praise for All the King’s Men
‘David…makes effective use of primary sources to recover the experience of the ordinary soldier, but the real strength of the book lies in the eloquent exposition of the battles themselves, and the generals who fought them. From James Wolfe’s audacious scaling of the heights of Abraham to Wellington’s precarious victory at Waterloo, the pages are filled with a heady mixture of heroism, incompetence, devilish tactics and plain good luck. Those wishing to immerse themselves in this golden age of British military success will relish David’s fine piece of history.’ JOSH GLANCY, SUNDAY TIMES
‘Compelling… At a time when the Army is facing cutbacks while being expected to fight distant, unpopular wars on a shoestring, David’s book could not be more topical… The book takes us grippingly through three separate but linked global conflicts with France… The final downfall of Napoleon ushered in the “British century”, when this small country was the world’s unchallenged global superpower: a suitably glorious conclusion to David’s history. [He] never forgets that an army is only as good as its humblest foot soldier. He writes most winningly, therefore, from the worms’ eye view of the men who did the fighting and dying… David keeps the narrative going at a brisk canter.’ NIGEL JONES, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Click here for full review
‘David [describes] the actions in Portugal – where he draws on soldiers’ diaries – in wonderful detail. He conveys the temper of their daily lives and their attitude to fighting beautifully and his description of the Battle of Waterloo makes one’s heart beat faster… A thoroughly engaging account and David might be forgiven if he were to use the Newton defence to suggest that by standing on the shoulders of giants he has been able to seefarther.’ TOBY CLEMENTS, DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Highly readable…. Saul David is particularly good at battle scenes, and the incredibly violent 150-year period leaves him spoilt for choice….His insights are thoughtful and his prose style compelling.’ ANDREW ROBERTS, MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Saul David will be known to readers as the dashing presenter of the BBC4 series on military logistics, Bullets, Boots and Bandages. The intelligence and enthusiasm he brings to the television screen are equally present in his latest book… It is an extraordinary story, packed with drama, incident and great characters… David combines a clear and powerful narrative with shrewd judgements, illuminating vignettes and fresh and telling detail. The great battles are deftly described and he is excellent on logistics, tactics and technological developments. All The King’s Men is all you could hope for in a study of the army at this time. Quite an achievement.’ PATRICK BISHOP, COUNTRY LIFE
‘Filled with swashbuckling derring-do, the reek of blood and gunpowder, combined with a shrewd analysis of power, war and psychology, Saul David’s SOLDIERS is an outstanding achievement of compelling storytelling and fine scholarship, a history of Britain through the prism of battle, the lives of generals, from Marlborough to Wellington, but always starring the ordinary soldier as his ultimate hero.’ Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem: The Biography
From sword and shield to shock and awe, this is the story of war with all its momentous, world-changing impact and extraordinary human stories. Packed with outstanding contemporary paintings and photographs, objects and artefacts, maps and diagrams, WAR combines a compelling narrative with a wealth of fascinating features to present an unsurpassed chronicle of human conflict. From ancient Mesopotamia to the Gulf today, WAR documents every significant conflict and campaign, including key technologies, leaders, and tactics. The book concludes with an exhaustive directory of battles and military miscellania. Special features explore the broader themes of warfare, such as the role of supplies, communications, and medical care. From a Roman soldier’s letter home to an escaped POW’s boots, personal objects reveal the human drama of war for the soldiers caught up in conflicts through the ages.
During the period known as the ‘Dual Monarchy’, from Queen Victoria’s accession in 1837 to the death of her husband Albert in 1861, the British Empire almost quintupled in size. Its cities, canals, railways and telegraphs were changing the face of continents. It was well on the way to becoming the greatest empire the world had ever seen. This is the story of that extraordinary quarter century of imperial conquest and the people who made it happen:
‘A great narrative, a powerful story told at an exciting pace that never neglects the colourful details. It’s a tale of imperial expansion on an epic scale, and despite the many inhuman episodes, Victoria emerges as a most human monarch. *****’ Princess Michael of Kent, Mail on Sunday
‘Saul David, a splendid narrator, interweaves histories of each of the early wars of Victoria’s reign with the Queen’s own experiences… [He] observes similarities between the hubris of the world’s only superpower 150 years ago, and its successor in the 21st Century. Indeed the Afghan chapters would make salutary reading for George Bush and Tony Blair.’ Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph
The Zulu War of 1879 was the most controversial and brutal British imperial conflict of the nineteenth century. Launched as a pre-emptive strike against the Zulu kingdom of King Cetshwayo – who had no quarrel with the British Empire – the war was supposed to turn a host of disparate colonies into a South African federation…..
SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE MONTH
‘Superb, brilliant, magisterial… must now be regarded as the definitive history of the Zulu War. In scholarship, professionalism and insights it towers above Morris. David produces here a splendid, judicious, massively researched, highly coloured yet subtle combination of narrative and analysis. One of the many delights of David’s marvelous book is the way it enables one to gauge the historical accuracy of the movie Zulu.’ Frank McLynn, Literary Review
‘Must supersede Donald Morris’s bestseller The Washing of the Spears.’ Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph
’A squalid story, told by a historian with an advocate’s eye for the damning detail’ Michael Kerrigan, Scotsman
’More concerned with dispelling myths than flag-waving. David is brilliant at showing both sides of the combat and the book includes magnificent accounts of the shambles that was Isandlwana and the feat at arms that followed it at Rourke’s Drift.’ Shaun Hutson, Independent on Sunday Books of the Year
In 1857 the native troops of the Bengal army rose against their colonial masters. The ensuing insurrection was to become the bloodiest in the history of the British Empire. Combining storytelling with detailed research, Saul David narrates a tale both tragic and compelling. He provides new evidence that the true causes of the mutiny were much more complex, and disturbing, than previously assumed.
‘A remarkable work of synthesis: scholarly, well researched, well paced, readable, and comprehensive… The Indian Mutiny is one of history’s great stories, and in David it has found a chronicler whose knowledge and grasp of arcane military matters is matched by his narrative skills. A fine achievement by a huge new talent.’ William Dalrymple, Sunday Times
‘Saul David has written the 21st Century version with a brilliant display of literary history that escapes the word “definitive” only out of deference to its inexhaustible subject matter.’ Roger Hutchinson, The Scotsman
‘Enthralling… David tells the story of the mutiny’s violent course and final suppression with almost cinematic vividness and sweep.’ John Adamson, Sunday Telegraph
Prince of Pleasure: The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency
Described as a ‘man who would prefer a girl and a bottle to politics and a sermon’, George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales, later George IV, was a pivotal and highly controversial figure in the Regency period. Although his scandalous liaisons with prostitutes and duchesses, a ‘secret’ marriage to his true love – the Catholic Mrs Fitzherbert – and a publicly ridiculed (bigamous) marriage to Caroline of Brunswick threatened to eclipse his contributions to British history, Saul David’s engrossing biography shows a….
‘Lively and lucid… David has insight, scholarly understanding and flashes of wit worthy of the Regency satirists themselves.’ Jenny Uglow, TLS
‘David is extremely good at interweaving the different stands of his narrative. He has an eye for the apt quotation and the telling anecdoate… He is a historian of enormous promise who might one day become the Hibbert of the next generation.’ Amanda Foreman, Sunday Times
‘I do not think there is a better one-volume account of this rogue prince. The author knows his stuff, weaves his way deftly through the politicking of the era without making it boring, and splendidly brings to life the endless amours of the man with a long succession of mistresses.’ Roy Strong, Country Life
The Homicidal Earl
The 7th Earl of Cardigan will forever be remembered as the man who led the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854. A fatal event for so many, it was to rejuvenate Cardigan’s life.
Hitherto his career had been dogged by public scandal and professional disgrace: a failed marriage to a divorcée, court appearances for adultery, two courts martial, numerous duels
‘Scintillating… Saul David, still only in his thirties, is obviously a rising star. His marvelously lucid, and sometimes very witty, narrative is based on sound archival research and written with great stylishness and verve. It is a book almost better than the heroic old reprobate deserves.’ John Adamson, Sunday Telegraph
‘Better than Simon Schama, Saul David has re-cast history as addictive narrative… This dazzling portrait of an unpalatable figure is not to be missed.’ Independent
Military Blunders: The how and why of military failure
‘Hurray, boys, we’ve got them!’ General Custer reportedly told his troops before the Battle of Little Bighorn. As this shrewd, controversial book shows, military disaster comes in many forms except, in hindsight, the unexpected. It both vividly describes some of the worst military blunders perpetrated since the birth of Christ and analyzes the psychological and tactical factors at play to show why they happened.
‘Fascinating and informed… David’s objective snapshots leave no nationality entirely unscathed.’ Ian Bruce, The Herald
‘Just the book for armchair strategists to mull over during the long winter evenings – and a timely reminder that blundering on the battlefield is no preserve of any one nation.’ Sunderland Echo
‘Hilarious and horrifying. Some of the disasters described by David scale the off beat comic heights of Monty Python… A graphic account of military incompetence from Roman times to the Gulf War.’ Yorkshire Evening Post
‘No holds barred… very, very funny and at other times quite frightening.’ Shropshire Star
Mutiny at Salerno: An Injustice Exposed
In late September 1943, almost 200 veterans of General Montgomery’s Eighth Army were arrested for refusing repeated orders to join units of the US Fifth Army at the Salerno beachhead in sourthern Italy. Within six weeks, all but one had been found guilty of mutiny, their sentences ranging from five years’ penal servitude to death.
‘An important book’ Military Illustrated’Mr David has added considerably to the knowledge of the Salerno mutiny. This book should be read by anyonewith an interest in the episode.’ Prof. Peter Rowe, RUSI Journal
‘A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book and the author makes his case well’ Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’A detailed account… David is right to stress that the mutiny stemmed from the men’s reluctance to fight amongst strangers rather than their reluctance to fight at all, and that many of the mutineers preserved a dignified and soldierly attitude throughout the proceedings.’ Richard Holmes, TLS
Churchill’s Sacrifice of the Highland Division: France 1940
On 12 June 1940, more than a week after the last British troops had been evacuated from Dunkirk, the 51st (Highland) Division, Scotland’s pride, was forced to surrender to General Erwin Rommel at St Valéry-en-Caux in Normandy……
A well-researched history’ The Times
David proves conclusively that Churchill allowed the Highlanders to be cut off’ Scotland on Sunday
David does full justice to this “forgotten piece” of history’ Military Illustrated
Signed and Dedicated Copies of Saul David’s Books
If you would like a signed and dedicated copy of one of Saul’s books, contact Richard Foreman at Saul David Books: email@example.com
All books are sent by recorded post. Please allow ten days for delivery. Prices are as follows:
Zulu Hart: hardback £11
Hart of Empire: hardback £12.99
Victoria’s Wars: Rise of Empire: hardback £15, Postage & Packing £3.95