The first book that Flame Books will publish is this one. It's a facsimile of the original edition first published in 1896. At present it is being formatted but it should be ready for printing in a couple of weeks, and for release around the middle of March!
Flame Books decided to publish it for several reasons, but the most obvious are that it has not been reprinted in recent times, and it's a cracking read.
A lot of these Victorian military books are heavy handed, stodgy, and hard going. But for a Victorian book, Chitral is written in an unusually straight forward and almost modern manner and it's quite engrossing. Full of adventure, brave exploits, and interesting observations of this period in the North West Frontier, and which, furthermore, in retrospect, give an acute insight into the forces that drive modern Jihad and the likes of the Taliban.
In this present day, when political correctness and woke-ism have reached near hysterical levels, some readers may take offence at what they detect to be a condescending colonial attitude in the author. But in fact, by the standards of time, the author, who received the Victoria Cross for his exploits, refers to the indigenous population with great deal of respect and admiration.
The author was, I believe, of Scottish heritage, as were many of the other British soldiers who took part in the siege. This is another reason that influences me to publish the book, since I wish to establish Flame Books as a publisher firmly rooted in Scotland, publishing books of Scottish interest. But of course that does not mean Flame Books won't also be publishing other books with a broad UK and international appeal, such as Our Parent Who Art in Heaven, Garry Craig Powell's great satirical novel, which is set in the U.S.A. Altogether we aim to publish four or five books this year. And the same again the year after, all going well.
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