Friday, October 30, The Beacon, 11am: He was the soldier who saved India for the British Empire – a man who spent 55 years fighting the French, Americans, Irish, Chinese, Russians, Pathans, Indians and the British establishment.
From humble Glasgow beginnings, Colin Campbell – latterly Lord Clyde – rose to become Scotland’s finest general and a favourite of Queen Victoria.
In his book Victoria’s Scottish Lion, the first major biography of Campbell since 1880, Adrian Greenwood has radically reinterpreted the life of this very private man.
Greenwood will sketch the character of this unusual commander during his talk at The Beacon, Wantage – before covering that epic Victorian military crisis, The Siege of Lucknow.
Greenwood will tell us how, with minimal troops and paltry resources, Campbell rescued two thousand civilians stranded in the middle of mutinous India, beleaguered by 50,000 rebels.
Campbell’s combination of personal courage, compassionate leadership and genius for military strategy made him an idol in the eyes of the men who served under him.
Over half a century he fought through the Peninsula, the Crimea, China and India, and still found time to contain a slave revolt, a Chartist revolution and Ireland’s Tithe War.
This undisputed hero, whose memory has grown faint beside celebrated warriors of the Victorian age, was a soldier ahead of his time – the first working-class field marshal with strong humanitarian leanings and an instinct for harnessing the power of the press.
On leaving university, author Adrian Greenwood started buying British Rail lost property at auction to sell at car boot sales around London. He moved on to antiques and eventually specialised in antiquarian books.
He has supplied items to a range of clients, including the British Library and the Getty Museum. His stock had strengths in rare early Bibles and modern first edition novels, especially the works of J K Rowling.
He retired four years ago to concentrate on his writing, which focuses on 19th Century British military history. He is currently researching a major work on loot, plunder and battlefield souvenirs.
Friday, October 30. The Beacon, Wantage. 11am Tickets:£6
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
Online booking closes on October 22.