Read the last horseman by David Gilman Online


South Africa, 1900. The search for his missing son takes Joseph Radcliffe from the streets of Dublin, smouldering with rebellion, to the trackless veld of South Africa and the bloody brutality of the Anglo-Boer War. As a former cavalryman in the US army, Radcliffe is no stranger to war, but 800 miles north of Cape Town, under fire from Boer commandos and distrusted by theSouth Africa, 1900. The search for his missing son takes Joseph Radcliffe from the streets of Dublin, smouldering with rebellion, to the trackless veld of South Africa and the bloody brutality of the Anglo-Boer War. As a former cavalryman in the US army, Radcliffe is no stranger to war, but 800 miles north of Cape Town, under fire from Boer commandos and distrusted by the British forces, he will find his survival skills tested to the hilt. The Last Horseman is an epic tale of heroism and treachery, love and loyalty, set against the backdrop of a conflict that shook an empire to its core. What people are saying about THE LAST HORSEMAN: 'Meticulous research, fascinating period details, grab-you-by-the-throat action and wonderfully vivid descriptions of South Africa' 'I had high hopes for The Last Horseman: I was, most definitely, not disappointed' 'This book makes you experience every step and emotion along the way' 'I wait impatiently for his next brilliant offering' ...

Title : the last horseman
Author :
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ISBN : 30820247
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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the last horseman Reviews

  • Margitte
    2019-07-03 10:16

    A tale of a father and son who had to endure war to finally find a bond that would forever bind them to honor and pride.Joseph Radcliffe, a lawyer from Dublin, Ireland was unpopular as a defender of the Irish resistance fighters, losing more lucrative cases, but believing in his work to defend those who could not afford a defense otherwise. Together with his black American comrade Benjamin Pierce, they fought a battle in the courts of Dublin, against the British occupiers of their country, trying to save the lives of many Irish men. The two law partners had a history together in the American wars, serving as 'Buffalo Soldiers' in the Civil- and Indian Wars. When Edward Radcliffe, Joseph's only surviving son, runs away to join the Irish forces in the Anglo-Boer War of 1889 - 1904 in South Africa, Joseph and Benjamin set out to find him. A journey of brutal war, hardship and suffering awaits them. Heroism, treachery, love and loyalty become their fighting partners until the very end.The soldiers did not know what awaited them in the far-off land. "You’re going to South Africa to fight God-fearing Dutchmen in their own back yard and you will die like soldiers not the pox-ridden scum you are!’ Mr Thornton’s voice boomed."Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's words were yet unknown to them:“Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty years against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take this formidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances under which no weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon their military qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consuming patriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual, and you have the modern Boer—the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain. Our military history has largely consisted in our conflicts with France, but Napoleon and all his veterans have never treated us so roughly as these hard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology and their inconveniently modern rifles.” ~ Excerpt From: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. “The Great Boer War"At the end of the war, five hundred thousands British troupes, and fifty thousand Afrikaner farmers have lost their lives, with thirty thousand women and children killed in concentration camps set up by the British. The Boere commandos gave up to stop the killing of their women and children in the terrible camps. Their farms and homes were already burned down, their families forced to flee or die in the camps.Mrs. Charteris, an Irish lady in the book, might probably be based on the life of Emily Hobhouse, an English woman who reported in the British press the horror and suffering of the Afrikaner women and children in the concentration camps. It was never suppose to be known to the world. The embarrassment urged the British government to bring the war to an end. The war against women and children to get what they want, was not suppose to be added to the victory medals hanging against the walls of the rich in Britain. They wanted the gold and diamonds. It was all that mattered.Ms. Hobhouse was laid to rest by the Afrikaner families in a cemetery for the fallen women and children. She saved thousands of lives.What initially thought of as a fool's war against a bunch of farmers, a storm in a tea cup, as it was regarded in England high society, turned out to become the biggest shameful blotch in England's history. This book describes the battle fields and objectively observe the events in which a father had to find his son and take him home."A war in South Africa would be one of the most serious wars that could possibly be waged... it would leave behind it the embers of a strife which, I believe, generations would hardly be long enough to extinguish." ~ Joseph Chamberlain, British Colonial Secretary in 1896."England must not fall. It would mean an inundation of Russian and German political degradations... a sort of Middle-Age night and slavery which would last until Christ comes again... Even wrong – and she is wrong – England must be upheld. " ~ Mark Twain, writing in 1900.It is one of the wars that had to be swept under the carpet as quickly as possible. It did not succeed. However, it would take more than a hundred and thirty years to fade away in collective memory. Yet, there are still too many people who remember and refuse to forgive or forget.Heartbreaking.PS. What a gorgeous cover!

  • Aoife
    2019-07-16 08:06

    I was provided with a free copy of this book by Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.In the 1900s, Joseph Radcliffe is a liberal American living in an Ireland under British rule and acting as lawyer to many Irish Republicans (Fenians) set to hang. When his son runs away to South Africa to attempt to join the British army and fight in the Boer War, Radcliffe goes after him, accompanied by his American army comrade Ben Pierce.I ended up really enjoying this. It was well written with a gripping story, a well researched tale in history and an excellent setting. Going into this book, I basically knew nothing about the Boer War and I can safely say now I definitely know a lot more than I did. I never knew there were so many Irish on both sides of the Boer War - Irish fighting with the ‘Ductchies’ in a simple attempt to kill some Brits, and the Irish who joined the British Army. I really enjoyed a lot of the book that was set in Dublin, Ireland and all the dialogue from the Irish characters was really apt and fitting from the way some things were pronounced, to the crude joviality of the characters and the certain phrases and slang which are still used in Ireland today.One of the journeys within this book that I enjoyed the most was that of Ben Pierce. Pierce fought alongside Joseph Radcliffe in the American Civil War (I think) and is African-American. The way he was treated in South Africa as a black man riding alongside a white with equal status was interesting to follow, as was the reaction to some of the native Africans seeing him. The fact that he had to get all sorts of documents signed by a Colonel to grant him temporary ‘white man’ status was just crazy but again, a complete education for me. The way he lost his freedom when he was separated from Radcliffe was again an interesting bit to follow - the fact that he had to suddenly pretend to be an African helping out the troops and none of them recognised him as Radcliffe’s companion.

  • Hester Maree
    2019-07-10 06:08

    David Gilman writes about the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1900 in “The Last Horseman”. Irish-American Joseph Radcliffe and his close friend and butler, Ben Pierce, travel to South Africa to search for Radcliffe’s seventeen-year-old son, Edward, who has run away from home. Edward thinks he is heading for adventure, but soon realises he is facing disaster.Joseph must mend bridges between himself and Edward, who has grown up without his mother, a fact for which he blames Joseph. While there is much more to the backstory it is the grit and action of war that takes centre stage in this novel. Gilman’s descriptions of horses and horsemanship are beautiful.A war story presented as history is bound to raise questions. David Gilman has tried to present both sides, but I have reservations about some of the information and predominantly English sources used. The statement that the Boers were made up of Dutch peasant stock is also incorrect. The fact is they consisted, amongst other nationalities, of Dutch, Germans and French aristocracy who fled France at the time of the French Revolution. I rate this book 3.5 stars.

  • Joe Stamber
    2019-07-11 13:05

    The Last Horseman takes the reader to the end of the 19th century where an eclectic cast of characters are all involved in the Irish troubles in one way or another. David Gilman has come up with a great cast, spread across all divides. For a variety of reasons, the characters then find themselves in South Africa and embroiled in the Boer War. There are many threads running through The Last Horseman, but Gilman's skill as an author and straightforward style mean that there is never any confusion. It should be remembered that this is Historical Fiction and Gilman admits in his notes that some liberties have been taken, which is perfectly acceptable in a novel. Still, this is a great taste of that era, full of personal stories woven into a fascinating theme.

  • Robin Carter
    2019-06-24 12:06

    ReviewAs a rule i tend to avoid books that touch on the troubles in Ireland, too close to home, and a bit modern. But this book was always much more than that, it may start in Ireland and the Irish element but its the Boer War that is the core of this book, and the Boer war is something that interests me. A war that is on the cusp on the changes from cavalry warfare to something more mechanised, smokeless gunpoweder, magazine fed rifles and SLR rifles, providing a war where the death toll starts to go to sickening levels. One misconception that has long been in my head as a British invention (the concentration camp), turns out to be a Spanish / American contribution to the modern world (proving you can always learn something new), the american version from the civil war being labeled POW camps, but were in effect the same thing, Spain having the first true “Reconcentrado” (concentration camp) to control the Cuban people. Its these and the more powerful guns and rifles, coupled with the “Kommando” tactics of the Boer that start to change the face of modern warfare and provide a powerful backdrop for the author.follow link for the full review

  • Mike
    2019-07-20 12:05

    The story begins on the eve of 1900 in Dublin, the hub of the British Army in Ireland. The Royal Irish Regiment of Foot is being prepared for deployment to fight the Boers of South Africa. Also, a young Finian is being submitted to British justice by hanging. "Subsequent to the hanging and deployment of the Royal Irish Regiment of Foot, a young teenaged boy of privilege runs away from his father and Dublin home to join his friends in the Regiment. He has no plan and is captured by a Boer unit with a large contingent of foreign fighters, e.g. Irish with one or two Americans. The boy is not killed.The boy's father, together with a friend of long standing, manage a legal practice in Dublin that often centers on the defense of Finians. Upon learning of the boys action, his father and his friend set out to repatriate the boy. Both men are veterans of the Civil War and are experienced Indian fighters.I found the repatriation of the boy to be the least interesting part of the story. Instead, the most interesting story thread involves the peripheral characters. Examples include: an English woman providing succor for the Boer women and children imprisoned in "concentration camps"; a Zulu hired as a laborer; and a ruthless, courageous, and competent British cavalry office who later meets "the father" on the field of battle. The term "concentration camp" was first used by the British.In my mind neither the Boers or the British come off as the good guy. The fighting was fierce and of a guerrilla "take no prisoners" kind of war. The native peoples were ignored and abused, and did not care which usurper was the victor. The story's depiction of the facts, both in warfare and politics, is credible; but It offers only a small peek into the Boer War and the relationship of Great Britain to the Irish. If this story whets the reader's appetite for stories about the Boar war, then I suggest Stuart Cloete's "Rags of Glory" and James A. Michener's "The Covenant". The 1980 movie "Breaker Morant" is also a good option. Also, "Tinity" by Leon Uris is a good book about the "Irish Toubles".

  • Anita
    2019-06-28 09:02

    This book has so many threads at the beginning of the story, that it is difficult to keep track of all the characters. However, the author does manage to pull these threads together as the book progresses. Joseph Radcliffe; who is an Irish/American lawyer defending the Fenian youths imprisoned in Dublin for terrorist activities, and his friend Pierce; a black American, set off to find Joseph's son who has fled to South Africa after a disagreement with his father. This teenage boy hopes to find his close friend, Lawrence Baxter, recently sent to fight in the Boer War. Radcliffe and Pierce miraculously manage to find their way unaided and unharmed to the site of several battles in their search for the boy. In the various camps they come across many of the characters they knew in Dublin, including a cavalry officer, Captain Belmont, with whom Radcliffe has an axe to grind. I live in South Africa and found it strained the bounds of credulity to imagine that the middle-aged Americans survived the arid landscape of the veld on horseback in the middle of the Boer War with so little trouble, even given the fact that they were both survivors of the Indian Wars in their home country. The battle scenes were bloody, raw and well-written, but I felt more sympathy for the horses than their riders. The love angle between Radcliffe and Evelyn Charteris; as well as the instant friendship between the two Americans and the African, Mhlangana, were very contrived, as was the Hollywood ending. Edward Radcliffe presumably was "always smiling", as he lived happily ever after.A mixed bag. As a war story it was fast-moving and well researched, but there were sections which verged on fantasy and just did not convince me. Hence the 3 stars.

  • Nigel
    2019-07-02 07:30

    I found this an enjoyable read. It is primarily a military and historical read focusing mainly on the Boer War. Radcliffe is an ex US cavalry officer but now practices law in Ireland. The story is about him, his son and companion, Pierce again ex US cavalry. It works well as a simple military tale however there are deeper levels to this book too. War, the lives of coloured people, families and their secrets, principles all get an airing. In particular the fact that Irish fought on both sides of the Boer War is used well. There is a feeling of kinship as well as the enmity. Pierce, who is coloured encounters what it was like for people like him in South Africa at that time. Well researched and very well written this is another good book from David Gilman. Lousy wifi at present will hopefully add to this!

  • Simon Green
    2019-07-14 07:24

    As a reader of Anglo-Boer war history, it was with some uncertainty that I took on a fictional book set during the war. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth and breadth of knowledge by the writer David Gilman. It was an exciting story set at a time of limited warfare, depending on rifle, sword and horse, on the cusp of the new century when war changed to a new technological level. The underpaying theme of Father and son conflict during adolescence was well developed during the story, as were the historical links between the American Civil War and this war with regard to native and their respective roles. Clearly well researched and taking appropriate license where needed to enhance the story telling, it was a delightful read, and I would recommend to any Boer War buff or avid reader alike.

  • Robert Tostevin
    2019-06-23 09:14

    An intriguing read centered around the unrest in Ireland at the turn of the 19th century and later on the Boer war in South Africa.An enjoyable read although some parts seemed to read a little like a film script, with uneccessary pathos. To be fair there aren't too many parts like this its just somethiong that struck on a few occasions.The first part of the book I felt that the story line could go anywhere and it certainly piqued my curiosirty but as the story unfolded it became a little too inevitable as to where the story line was heading.That said it was a very enjoyable read, quite a different story to his "Master of War" series (which are all equally as enjoyable)

  • Breakaway Reviewers
    2019-07-15 09:26

    The Boer War and its consequences.Joseph Radcliffe and an emancipated black American Benjamin Pierce had fought together in the American Civil War and the Indian wars. When Joseph married an Irish woman, Benjamin decided that he wanted to stay close to his friend so moved to Ireland with the family. Joseph’s wife has not been around to watch her son Edward grow up, but thanks to Benjamin’s presence and help, Joseph has managed to open his law practice and give Edward a stable home life.Joseph, has been kept busy defending members of Fenian brotherhood, or as we know it today; The IRA. He took on the work because he felt that regardless of their beliefs, they were entitled to the best defence lawyer fighting to save them from the gallows. This work brings its own problems as the English who occupy Ireland, resent the fact that anyone would bother to defend people who they all too quickly call traitors and unfortunately Joseph’s work affects the way that Edward is treated by English soldiers and officers. After a particularly bad incident involving a British officer, Edward decides to run away to join his friend Lawrence Baxter who has been sent to South Africa to fight in the Boer War. Joseph is devastated when Edward disappears and together with Benjamin, decides to travel to South Africa to trace Edward and return him to his home in Ireland. But the Boer War was not going to give up a mere lad like Edward without a fight.David Gilman had me hooked from page one. By setting this story in Ireland at the beginning of the IRA’s attempts to overthrow the British occupation plays a major part of the story, because while there are people only too willing to join the militants, there is the other side of the Irish, men who are signing up to join the Royal Irish Regiment, who are about to leave to fight against the Boers (many were Fenian sympathisers, but realised that the only way they could feed their families was to join the army).When they started fighting the Boers, they discovered that there were many Irish rebels who had joined the Boers in their fight to keep the English from gaining full control of the gold and diamond mines. I found myself wondering how many men came face-to-face, during these battles, with their brothers or friends?The second part of the book had particular bearing on my own family history. My grandfather was the manager of the horses, donkeys and mules used in the mining at Kimberley Diamond mine. When the British started to burn down the Boer farms, his was spared because of his connections to Cecil John Rhodes. However, he was also faced with the dilemma that some of his sons had joined the Boers and some the English and he had to keep this information hidden in case his farm was spied on by either side “looking for traitors”. David Gilman has actually remained neutral in telling the story, a feat that shows what a truly great author he is, but even he couldn’t hide the fact that the British use of concentration camps for holding the Boer women and children resulted in thousands dying from the disgusting conditions they were kept in. The conditions for the children was especially bad as they were exposed to every type of disease, which, under normal circumstances they would not have come in contact with. The British (in my opinion) also used what can only be described as ethnic cleansing. It didn’t get this name ‘til much later, but by destroying not only the crops but also all the Boers’ livestock and burning their houses still filled with all their possessions, the British made sure that any Boer man, woman or child returning to their former dwellings, would need to start from scratch. (And believe me, these people returned to their lands filled with hatred of all things British, something that remains amongst some South Africans to this day! The other major change it brought to the Boers was that no child of theirs would ever be called uneducated again. Education, Education, Education became the by-words of all Afrikaners)David Gilman also shows his neutrality in his descriptions of battles that took place between the Boers and the English. They were vicious battles where the Boers often wiped out entire British regiments as the Boers had invented the art of guerrilla warfare, something that the English had never come across before. The author manages to temper the evil of both sides by bringing in some very compassionate people who will help regardless of whether they are dealing with their own people or those they were fighting against.Over the years, not just because of my own family’s history relating to this war but also the subsequent effect it had on the Boers who survived it, I must say that reading this book by an author who has managed to stay neutral in telling a riveting story, I somehow got more information and more insight than through any other book on the subject. Thank you David Gilman, for portraying the country of my birth through its very darkest times. What people don’t realise is that the Boer, or Afrikaner rose from the ashes and gained control of the Government and thanks to this, the birth of apartheid and all the damage it managed to cause this beautiful land’s people.TreebeardBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review

  • Adrian
    2019-06-27 10:10

    Well-written and researched tale of war, whose characters are involved in wars on three continents - America (the Civil War and the wars against the Indian tribes), Ireland (the struggle between the Republicans and England) and South Africa (the Boer-English War of 1899-1902).

  • nigel jones
    2019-07-06 09:17

    Good StoryThis book was an entertaining read with a good plot and plenty of entertaining characters. The historical content was also good as I haven't read many books on the Boer war.

  • Martha Brindley
    2019-07-06 12:21

    An entertaining read set during the Boer War. Well written with good historical content and believable characters. A different genre for me but I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. Thank you Net Galley for my copy.

  • Tom Waters
    2019-07-03 10:08

    A great read Fform the cold dark sky's office Dublin to sweltering plains or South Africa An epic adventure that will keep you interested from page one

  • Eric Grounds
    2019-07-01 07:13

    Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell mixed into one. A good adventure story