Fire and Sword in the Sudan. A Personal Narrative of Fighting and Serving the Dervishes. 1879-1895. - Rudolf C. Slatin Pasha, Major F.R. Wingate (translator), R. Talbot Kelly (illustrator) 1896 - Edward Arnold, London - Second Edition A nice example of Slatin’s magnificent autobiography, one of the most important and captivating tales of the Sudan ever written.

With wonderful provenance, including a card ‘
To my dear old friend Bill Spencer in remembrance of ‘happy days’ in the Sudan from The Author’ which is also signed by Reginald Wingate (aka Wingate of the Sudan who translated this work). Together with a 1931 Christmas card, with tipped in portrait, from Slatin, in Meran, Northern Italy, and a long hand-written note sending his best wishes ‘dear old boy’ and hoping to meet in 1932 ‘somehow - somewhere in good health and spirit’, sadly the year Slatin passed away, signing off Inshallah!, and a number of relevant newspaper clippings.

If Slatin was looking for adventure as he rode his camel into Sudan’s Darfur province in 1881 he got it in spades when one of the most spectacular wars of the 19th century broke out. Under the leadership of their leader known as the Mahdi, a vast native army arose to throw off their Egyptian overlords and cast out its foreign governors. Suddenly what had seemed to Slatin like a well-ordered military career in a quiet back water became a savage struggle of survival between natives and foreigners. Slatin was captured and enslaved. Gordon was surrounded at his capital in Khartoum and beheaded, his head being presented to Slatin. England eventually arose in outrage and sent out an army to retaliate. But it did not arrive before the young Austrian had undergone a series of adventures, survived cruelties too numerous to mention and escaped across the desert one step ahead of his enraged captors.

Fire and Sword in the Sudan records the life story of one of the 19th century’s most gallant soldiers, a man who after escaping from brutal slavery, was awarded military honours by Queen Victoria and returned to the Sudan to assist the very people who had held him in captivity.

A bright and sharp copy, illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, together with two folding maps, this timeless account remains one of the most important and captivating tales of the Sudan ever written.
  ‘No other book that I have read about the Mahdiya in the Sudan can compare with this one. It thrilled me when I read it during the time I was in Sudan’ – Wilfred Thesiger.

Major-General Rudolf Anton Carl Freiherr von Slatin, Geh. Rat, GCVO, KCMG, CB. [1857-1932]

Thick octavo (book size 24.7x16.8cm), pp. xviii [2] 636, 32 (publisher’s advertisements dated January, 1896). In publisher’s ribbed burgundy cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, single gilt border enclosing gilt illustration of armed camel riders, top edge gilt, dark green coated endpapers. With Christmas card, dedication note hand-written from the author and translator, and three newspaper clippings.
  Condition: Near fine, inner hinges split, rubbing to corners and spine ends, small rust mark to front free endpaper from paper clip used to keep the notes and cards in the book.   Ref: 111887   Price: HK$ 10,000