Harry Smith’s Last Throw by Keith Smith download in iPad, ePub, pdf
He does seem to have gone out of his way to offend several key Xhosa leaders, and yet still be surprised by the ferocity of the fighting when war broke out. Xhosa accounts have been translated many for the first time to avoid an Anglo-centric bias. Dutch Burghers settled there but the Company had no interest in Africa itself. The wars with the Xhosa were the result of the eventual expansion of these boundaries into Xhosa territory. The only flaw is the unavoidable absence of Xhosa voices, but despite that limit this is an interesting and well balanced account of an important conflict.
The author provides a colorful backdrop, explaining how the Dutch East India Company came to the Cape to establish a provision station for ships on the way to its East Indies empire. The narrative is not limited to the British perspective.
These chapters are indicated in the chapter list, and are generally detailed narratives of particular expeditions. They are well written entertaining narratives. The Zulu War has been the subject of numerous accounts but the silence surrounding the Eighth Frontier War is deafening.
The Eighth War was probably the most brutal of these wars, lasting for three years including a two-year long campaign in the hills of the Waterkloof. Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two authors is that Smith the author is not impressed by Smith the soldier and governor. Smith's own chapters are equally well written, but with a focus on the wider context of the war as well as the detailed narratives. This is a detailed account of the fighting during the Eighth Frontier War, supported by a useful background history.
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