I blogged last month about my pleasure in reading General Gordon's diary from Khartoum while I was researching my novel Pharaoh, and how I particularly relished his attention to detail - describing everything with an engineer's eye, and calculating quantities and distances as closely as possible. One great advantage of this was that I knew that I could rely on his sketch maps as a basis for the maps that my publisher Headline created for the novel, both of which are reproduced here along with a printed original from Gordon's diary
This photo shows Major Horatio Herbert Kitchener of the Royal Engineers, recognisable from the image of him years later as a Field Marshal in the famous First World War recruitment poster. Here we see him fresh from the Nile campaign of 1884-5, on the cusp of a career that would see his meteoric rise to Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, Commander-in-Chief in India and finally Secretary of State for War in 1914. The popular perception of Kitchener is built on that recruitment poster, which has become associated with the castigation of British leadership in the First World War. But in researching my novel Pharaoh ...