Spartacus Review

Volume 54: 27th August, 2011


Title: Florence Nightingale

Author: Kirsteen Nixon


Publisher: Pitkin

Price: £4.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Florence Nightingale


Who was this heroic Victorian campaigner, this secular saint who, as "the lady of the lamp", became a living legend? This revealing biographical guide looks at Florence Nightingale – the tireless, far-sighted and often cantankerous reformer who lies beyond the myth: at her youth, her time in the Crimea and her later career, using primary sources including extracts from her prolific letters and illustrated with her own artefacts and possessions.

Title: Mountbatten of Burma

Author: Ian McGeoch


Publisher: Haynes Publishing

Price: £19.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Lord Mountbatten


Lord Louis Mountbatten achieved great things both in war and peace as a military leader and public servant. The First World War and its aftermath shaped his early life, in mid-career he was a victorious commander in the Second World War, and when peace came he brought independence to India and Pakistan. Mountbatten remains a controversial figure, but when his faults are considered in the light of the world-shaking events in which he was involved, they are overwhelmingly outweighed by his achievements. His murder, and those of members of his family and a friend, on 27 August 1979 by the IRA shocked the world.

Title: Lawrence of Arabia

Author: David Murphy


Publisher: Osprey

Price: £11.95

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: T. E. Lawrence


Thomas Edward Lawrence, more popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, is remembered today more for his immortalization on stage and screen rather than for his dramatic exploits in the Middle East during the First World War. This book shines a light on his military achievements, his major campaigns and the impact that his influence had on shaping the war in the Middle East. Lawrence quickly rose to prominence following the outbreak of the Arab Revolt in 1916. His skills in Arab languages helped him co-ordinate Navy support in an effort to regain captured coastal ports, whilst gathering widespread local support and building up the Arab Northern Army. He pioneered new tactics, which would shape British strategy four decades later, recognising the importance of aircraft, mobile artillery and armour in desert warfare. In two short years the obscure staff officer had attained the rank of full colonel and helped to shape the outcome of the war in the Middle East.