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Queen Victoria's Little Wars

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  294 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
From 1837 to 1901, in Asia, China, Canada, Africa, and elsewhere, military expedition were constantly being undertaken to protect resident Britons or British interests, to extend a frontier, to repel an attack, avenge an insult, or suppress a mutiny or rebellion. Continuous warfare became an accepted way of life in the Victorian era, and in the process the size of the Brit ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 17th 1985 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1972)
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Flashman by George MacDonald FraserMr. Kipling's Army by Byron FarwellHow Can Man Die Better by Mike SnookQueen Victoria's Little Wars by Byron FarwellDeath's Men by Denis Winter
British Military History
4th out of 44 books — 10 voters
A Passage to India by E.M. ForsterThe Far Pavilions by M.M. KayeKim by Rudyard KiplingThe Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. FarrellThe God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Excellent Books about India and England
156th out of 192 books — 209 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jill Hutchinson
May 31, 2011 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
Farwell strikes again!!!!....another terrific book by one of the great historians of the British experience. This one covers the reign of Queen Victoria and the "little wars" that were constantly in progress over that 60+ years. Some were outright wars...the Crimean and the Boer.....and some were just skirmishes that lasted from a week to several months and have been forgotten (or are unknown) to the modern world.
As the Empire on which the sun never set, expanded across the globe, there were up
Jul 04, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This book was read as a reinforcement of Thomas Pakenham’s The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. The scope of the Queen Victoria’s Little Wars is larger than The Scramble for Africa, as it covers wars that occurred in North America and Asia as well as those on Africa, though at the same time the scope is smaller as it only concerned with Great Britain and military history. The style of Queen Victoria’s Little Wars is different too, as, while very ...more
Fred Dameron
Oct 24, 2016 Fred Dameron rated it really liked it
quick read with a lot of good detail about "The Little Wars" of Victoria's reign. The wars of Empire were fascinating and fired young men's imaginations well into the 20th and 21'st Centuries. Farwell does an excellent job of describing the actions and personalities that made up The British Army during the 19th Century. But, his last few chapters seem to have been written as if on a dead line or that he had just grown board with the project and wanted to be done with it. Over all though an excel ...more
Jim Pfluecke
Sep 28, 2014 Jim Pfluecke rated it liked it
Interesting book. This is not a history of the wars of the Victorian period but rather a collection of snapshots from the majority of the "small wars" fought in that period. It is as much about the British officers who fought the wars as it is the actual battles and campaigns.

So, if you are looking for geo-politics, the Great Game, or detailed campaign or battle narratives, this is the wrong place to go. What this book does offer is insight into the character, ambitions, and lives of the milita
Jul 15, 2008 Graham added it
I thought I would hate this book, but ended loving it!: When I first began reading this book, I was disappointed, thinking that it was little more that an account of the various military campaigns undertaken during the reign of Queen Victoria, with no attempt to connect these wars with events within Britain itself.

However, very shortly indeed, I realized that this book was nothing short of a tour de force! The author uses wit and a thorough understanding of his subject to draw the reader in, bot

Dennis Boccippio
Oct 06, 2013 Dennis Boccippio rated it liked it
Shelves: history, 19th-century
Incredibly (exhaustively) (insanely) well researched, but alas pretty dry. An interesting account of the more obscure skirmishes and colorful characters associated with the expansion and preservation of the British empire in the 1800s.
Jun 11, 2014 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting overview of the wars that made the "Pax Britannica" possible. Even the author admits that his research was incomplete, as record-keeping for the time was a bit less rigorous; that means that for the scores of "little wars that we know of, there are actually dozens more.
Devon  Start
Jul 17, 2008 Devon Start rated it liked it
Shelves: history
similar is style to eminant victorian soldiers. each war is given a small section highlighting the action, the general motivation of the british governemnt and any personages of note involved in the war.
essential reading for anyone interested in the victorian era of warfare(roughly 1830s to 1918)
Apr 19, 2011 Jamie rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I really tried to finish this book, but it's not going to happen. It's not that it's a bad book, just that it didn't hold my attention. Each chapter you're introduced to a different war and a different list of names and it was hard to connect them chronologically or philosophically.
Gail Carriger
Jun 16, 2009 Gail Carriger rated it really liked it
Nice read on the Victorian regimental system and the small wars that occurred during the prosperous and supposedly peaceful bulk of Victoria's reign.
Apr 22, 2015 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Great little book that ties together 19th century British imperialism. Well worth a read. Fun and informative.
Mar 10, 2012 Alex rated it liked it
Good brief synopses of the many wars of Colonial Wars fought under the reign of Queen Victoria. Some were very interesting. Some are not.
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Farwell graduated from Ohio State University and the University of Chicago (M.A., 1968). He served in World War II as a captain of engineers attached to the Mediterranean Allied Air Force in the British Eighth Army area and later also saw combat in the Korean War. He separated from the military after seven years of active duty.

As a civilian, he became director of public relations and director of a
More about Byron Farwell...

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