Author(s): Charles Allen
In December 1903 a British army marched over the Himalayas to counter a non-existent Russian threat and was confronted by a medieval Tibetan army ordered to stop it by non-violent means. It was a clash between the mightiest political power in the world and the weakest. Leading the mission was the charismatic Francis Younghusband. Commanding the army escort was an officer determined to do things by the book: General James Macdonald. The result was conflict at every level. Drawing on diaries, letters and unpublished first-hand accounts, Charles Allen reveals not only the true character of one of Britain
'[Allen's] intimate knowledge of the subcontinent's people and terrain is used to full effect in this evocative, heart-breaking story ... Elegantly written and rigorously researched, Duel in the Snows proves once again that Allen is a narrative historian without peer.' -- Saul David, Daily Telegraph 20040224 '[Duel in the Snows] has a wonderful contemporary resonance...as a quest, the story has a magnificent and romantic peroration which still sends shivers down the spine.' -- Literary Review (Matthew Leeming) 20040101 "The bitter behind-the-scenes quarrels and recriminations which plagued the Younghusband expedition are explored in greater and more graphic detail than ever before in Charles Allen's absorbing new account of this controversial imperial adventure of a hundred years ago." -- Peter Hopkirk, Author of the Great Game 20040101 'Fresh, revealing and ... endearing ... a touching ... book that reads extremely well' -- The Tablet 20040228 'The tale of the commission is epic stuff ... surprisingly topical ... a swashbuckling adventure told by Allen with flair and fairness, as well as humour and subtle satire ... vivid and all-encompassing' -- Geographical Magazine 20040301 'The author's survey of this extraordinary exterprise is truly masterly, and almost impossible to put down' -- Country Life 20040311 'Charles Allen is a master of his genre ... a fine sense of character and place. This is a vivid and evocative account of a strange foot-note in the history of British colonial campaigns' -- Military Illustrated 20040701 'A brilliantly researched and highly readable book that probably represents our best opportunity of gleaning the truth of what occurred' -- Geographical Magazine 20040301 'Allen's study is distinguished by the fact that he has drawn heavily on ... a rich variety of sources ... compulsive reading' -- Biblio 20050601 'Charles Allen's fine books tells the story through the words of those who were there ... [Colonel Francis Younghusband and Brigadier-General James Macdonald's] is a key relationship within the book and the author develops it well ... [This book] mirrors the current dilemma the world faces with regard to Afghanistan and Iraq. Certain political leaders would be well advised to read this book' -- Military Illustrated 20040801 'Elegantly written and rigorously researched, Duel in the Snows proves once again that Allen is a narrative historian without peer.' -- Saul David, Daily Telegraph 20040224 'The story has a magnificent and romantic peroration which still sends shivers down the spine.' -- Matthew Leeming, The Literary Review 20040101 'A swashbuckling adventure told by Allen with flair and fairness, as well as humour and subtle satire.' -- Geographical Magazine 20040301 'This is a story that more than justifies this admirable retelling' -- John Ure, Times Literary Supplement 20040101 'Charles Allen is a master of his genre.' -- Military Illustrated 20040701
Charles Allen made his reputation with his celebrated oral histories, starting with Plain Tales from the Raj. Soldier Sahibs was described by the Sunday Times as "magnificent" and by the Daily Telegraph as "marvellous". His most recent book, The Buddha and the Sahibs, was hailed as "colourful, informative and splendidly readable" by Saul David.