Beyond the Reach of Empire

1 item left
Add To Wish List Icon
Add to Wishlist
In the early 1880s Muhammad Ahmed, the self-styled Mahdi, unleashed a spectacularly successful jihadist uprising against Egyptian colonial rule in the Sudan. The Egyptian military met with a series of disasters, including the rout of major expeditions led by hired-in British colonels, William Hicks Pasha' and Valentine Baker Pasha'. By the spring of 1884, Cairo had bowed to British pressure to withdraw altogether.

Beyond the Reach of Empire describes how Major General Charles Gordon was despatched by Gladstone to evacuate the garrison of Khartoum and turn the Sudan over to self-rule. Fearless, profoundly religious and a committed anti-slaver, Gordon would be on familiar ground. In the late 1870s the Khedive of Egypt had employed him as Governor-General of the Sudan.

When he reached Cairo, Gordon was offered and accepted the post for a second time. The author goes on to explain how and why the Gordon mission backfired, and then homes in on Sir Garnet Wolseley's planning and execution of the long-delayed Gordon Relief Expedition. The most advanced part of the British force came within sight of Khartoum only two days after it fell.

Underpinned by an extensive programme of fieldwork on remote, rarely visited battlefields, Mike Snook's narrative is characterised by scrupulous attention to detail, an instinctive grasp of the period and an intimate understanding of its setting. The result is an enthralling tale of Victorian high-adventure, combined with an expose of the myths surrounding the failure to save one of the British Empire's greatest heroes. The author argues compellingly that the Khartoum affair was mismanaged from the outset.

The outcome is the exoneration of the man cast in the role of scapegoat, and an indictment of Wolseley's generalship over the course of the last and most deeply flawed campaign of his career.

We offer free standard UK delivery on all orders over £50.

Orders up to £30 are charged a flat fee of £4.95

Orders between £30.01 and £50 are charged a flat fee of £6.95.

Usual UK delivery timescale (excluding custom prints) is between 5 and 7 working days from the date of dispatch. Please allow up to 14 working days for delivery. For custom print delivery pricing and timescales see below.

Royal Mail industrial action taking place in 2023 may have an impact on delivery times to all destinations both within the UK and internationally. These delays are out of our control. 

Delivery Worldwide

We can also ship most items worldwide. 

For full details, including prices, click here.

Custom Prints

Your prints and frames will be handmade by King & McGaw at their Sussex workshop.

Unframed orders are shipped within 5 working days (normally shipped next day).

Framed orders are shipped within 20 working days.

Further information on delivery timescales for custom prints can be found here.


If you are not completely satisfied with your item you may return it within 28 days for a refund.

For further details on returns click here.

Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund on custom prints unless they are faulty or we have made a mistake. Custom prints are exempt as they are made to order.

Manufacturer/Publisher: Pen & Sword
Binding: Paperback
Author: Colonel Mike Snook
Date Published: 2022
Pagination: 608p

SKU: 9781399013550