Description of Hard Copy

160 X 240mm. 489 pp. Maps and photographs. Paperback, ISBN 978-0-620-46 869-5

Many books have been written about the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. In this book, Penny Howcroft has taken the research a stage further by focusing on the origins of the conflict. She explores the events leading up to the outbreak of war in the context of Britain’s imperial policy on South Africa, as determined by the actions of the key players in London and the Colony of Natal. In particular, she demonstrates how the determination of the High Commissioner Sir Bartle Frere to wage a war brings about the conflict.

Part of the story covers the worldwide church-science conflict of the 1860s in which Bishop Colenso becomes the focal point of the controversy. The part Major Anthony Durnford plays in the Langalibalele rebellion is spellbinding in its readability. And for those who like romance, there is the burgeoning love affair between the Major and Frances Ellen Colenso. After the Langalibalele rebellion, the friendship between Colenso and Theophilus Shepstone is destroyed in a fierce quarrel about the actions of the colonists. Reviled by the colonists, Colenso, the visionary, stands in the vanguard of a long line of activists in South Africa who have fought against racial injustice.