The last few places at this event are £25 and include a copy of The Return of a King.
The Return of a King is history at its most timely: while NATO forces remain embroiled in Afghanistan, William Dalrymple casts back to 1839, to tell the story of the first disastrous Afghan War. An entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world was utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen, when the occupying British forces and their puppet government were ousted by a popular Afghan rebellion. More than eighteen thousand cold, hungry British troops and Indian sepoys retreated through the icy mountain passes, and only one man survived the final stand. It was arguably the greatest military humiliation ever suffered by the West in the East.
William Dalrymple has won multiple awards for his work, and is as brilliant a wordsmith as he is a historian. He is currently based near Delhi, where he lives with his family on a farm – so catch him while he’s in this country for what promises to be a rare and fascinating evening.