GEORGE CLARKE MUSGRAVE
BRITISH BY BIRTH - AMERICAN BY ADOPTION


THE LIBRARY OF GEORGE CLARKE MUSGRAVE

From his birth in 1874 until he answered the Reaper's call in 1932, George Clarke Musgrave's time in this world carried him through the great challenges and changes of the reigns of Victoria, Edward VII and George V. His life, his travels, his work and his writings, though, were always more closely aligned with the reformers, the heroes, the visionaries and the Empire builders of the 19th century, than with the dour and stifling traditionalists of the 20th. In any event, it is the sad reality that he is no longer here to recount his life and times to you in person. That task has slipped several branches down the family tree to myself and it is with some trepidation, and a fervent desire to be faithful to his memory, that I have dedicated myself to channelling for you the stories of my great-uncle, the fascinating, multi-faceted, complex character, George Clarke Musgrave: author, war correspondent, journalist, soldier, hero and family man.

our author's biography and all of his books, diaries and essays are
available from WarsandWords.com by following the download links


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To Kumassi with Scott coverTo Kumassi with Scott ...
An accurate and entertaining account of Sir Francis Scott's Ashanti Expedition of 1895-96, vividly portraying the killing fields, the treachery and the debauchery that characterised this gold-rich outpost of the Empire, building to the final scenes when King Prempeh had to undergo the ultimate humiliation in the sight of his chiefs and subjects. Even after Kumassi had been occupied by the British troops, the Ashanti continued to proclaim the invincible greatness of their King. But there could be no more self-deception when the King and the Queen-mother had to kneel before the Governor and embrace his feet. The final denouement followed when Prempeh refused to pay the indemnity that had been owed to the British for more than twenty years, at which point the Royal family was seized, deported to the Coast as prisoners and exiled to the British colony of Sierra Leone. The mysterious lands of Ashanti had stood as the great barrier to the development of our African territories and, even though some of our number had died, the expedition had been a brilliant success in fully accomplishing its object.
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Under Three Flags in Cuba coverUnder Three Flags in Cuba ...
In his second book, originally intended for publication in 1898, but delayed by his recuperation from a chest wound received at the fall of Santiago, our author tells us about the patriotic struggles of the Cubans, and about the iniquities practised upon them by the impulsive Spanish occupation of Cuba. Sent with a dual commission from an English newspaper and an American journal, he landed in Cuba "a warm sympathiser with Spain." For two years, though, he lived and served with the revolutionaries, learned of their cause and experienced their suffering. Appointed as a Captain on General Garcia's staff, he repeatedly crossed the lines carrying despatches from the insurgent Cuban Government to the Americans. Danger and hardship became his companions and he was twice imprisoned, three times wounded, barely rescued from a spy's death and finally arrested and deported to Spain under threat of execution. He was later invited by General Shafter as one of only a handful of correspondents to witness the surrender of the Spanish forces.
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In South Africa with Buller coverIn South Africa with Buller ...
Introducing his third book, a hard-hitting chronological account of the second Boer war, our author sets out his position that, while one cannot be blind to the machinations of capitalism or the blunders of imperialists, a careful review of the facts will lead to the realisation that the ideals of the Boer are in fact, in antithesis to the very independence, liberty and progress that they seek. The scene is set with the sending of the Boer ultimatum from President Kruger to England, followed by a general overview of the South African republics and the key factors which led to the war, building to the opening of hostilities at Kraaipan in October 1899, and the military operations that followed. In vivid and graphic detail, based on his own experiences, and with special emphasis on the actions of the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Redvers Buller and his General Staff, the narrative can be commended for its clarity and comprehensiveness. The Boer sieges and the subsequent battles for the relief of Kimberley, Mafeking and Ladysmith are covered both in strategic terms and in the intimate detail that is the reality of individuals fighting, suffering and dying for their country.
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The Peking Legations coverThe Peking Legations ...
Called back from his honeymoon by an urgent telegram from the New York Times, our author settled his new wife at her family home in New Jersey and then left for San Francisco on 9th July 1900, from where he sailed for China. His brief was to travel with the American force that was part of an eight-nation alliance mounting what was termed the "China Relief Expedition." There is no written material relevant for this book. Instead, we have only a collection of notes, diary entries, photographs, briefings and despatches covering the four weeks spent in China. For such an experienced, committed and prolific writer, this is something of a surprise, but the clues lie in the tenor of the words that he uses to describe the horror, the brutality and the sheer trauma of his experiences; and here lies the reason why our author penned no words for publication. In a note describing his final hours in the city, together with a group of three fellow correspondents, he wrote; "not one of us had ever known such an assault on the senses; not one of us had ever been exposed to such obscene visions of reality. In our hearts we all knew, we had a silent understanding and a shared pledge that there are things we must not write."
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Under Four Flags for France coverUnder Four Flags for France ...
This fifth book, a graphic, straightforward history of the war on the Western Front, is introduced with a note that it was written at the suggestion of an American officer who, on his arrival in France, found that he could not gain a meaningful perspective on the war raging across Europe. He had followed its phases in the newspapers and the imposing array of war books. But when he reached France, he found that, by concentrating primarily on the great events, public attention had been shifted to and from different episodes in the far-flung areas of conflict, until the overall canvas had become too large to comprehend. Based mainly on personal observation, however, "Under Four Flags for France" has the advantage of being written by a war correspondent of no ordinary ability; a man who describes himself as "a Briton by birth and an American by adoption," and is certainly not lacking in perspective. Through his vivid, accurate and illuminating narrative, our author draws his pictures with an eye to the diplomatic reasons behind the plans of war, the great sweep of armies as they manoeuvre for advantage, and the effect of the life and death decisions of Generals on the fighting man and on the civilian population.
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Cuba, Land of Opportunity coverCuba - Land of opportunity ...
The war has taught the world more geography and history than a century of ordinary education would have imparted. It has destroyed many inherited prejudices and shattered the complacency which was shackling the imagination that built up the British Empire. As Peace introduces a new era of international comity which will test the bonds forged between the Allied countries, this seems an opportune time to present some simple facts regarding Cuba, a young member of the family of nations, that has stood solidly with the Allies from the outset, but of whom the British people know so little. Europe's commercial interests have suffered for many years because of our apathy, obsolete notions, and lack of information regarding Cuba but it is no exaggeration to speak of Cuba as the key to the Western Hemisphere. Her strategic position between North and South America, commanding the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, as well as her rare qualities as a country, entitles her to this definition. Her influence in the cause of Pan-Americanism, her large commerce, her extraordinary wealth of resources and products, in proportion to area and population, her unique geographical position, support this description.
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Wars and Words coverWars and Words ...
Following service in the British Army, brought to a premature end by injury and subsequent medical discharge, George Clarke became a war correspondent and journalist, seeing action with both British and American forces in a number of conflicts across the world. His articles from these conflicts were published in many national and international journals including: the Illustrated London News, the London Chronicle, the Daily Mail, Strand Magazine, Black and White Review and the New York Times. He also wrote a number of books which were readily published and well received by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. His books are now out of print but his words should be read and, in seeking to bring his library back to life, Wars and Words presents for you authentic adaptations of our author's original works, written with a particular focus on preserving the action, the excitement, the drama and the emotion of his original narrative and knits together the diverse and tangled threads of his career which spanned some twenty five years in which he grew from a raw but determined twenty-one-year-old neophyte of the media circus to a seasoned, brilliantly analytical and highly respected observer of war.
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The Essays coverThe Essays ...
Throughout his career, George Clarke Musgrave was a committed and prolific writer and produced a wide-ranging portfolio of articles, reports, letters and essays on many subjects. It would be inappropriate to attempt to list everything that he wrote here so, instead, we have put together a collection of his shorter works that firstly, fit within the general theme of his writing of war and, secondly, reflect his concerns for those affected by the political, economic and military decisions of the day. This collection will no doubt change from time to time but, for now, we hope that you enjoy the selection that is currently available.



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The Diaries coverThe Diaries ...
Alongside the books for which he is now best known, George Clarke Musgrave produced a wide-ranging portfolio of articles, reports, letters and essays on many subjects. He also kept diaries with records of his day-to-day experiences and used these as source material to provide the fine detail so easily missed when viewing the broader sweep of subject matter for his other works. Unfortunately many of his diaries have been lost, damaged or destroyed and there is no longer a complete collection available. From those that do remain, though, we are collating his notes into a collection of dated records. We are still working on a number of his diaries so this is a work in progress and, for now, we hope that you enjoy the selection of Diary Notes that is currently available.


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The Biography coverThe Biography ...
George Clarke Musgrave, son of Joseph and Sarah Ann (LeButt) Musgrave, was born at Folkestone, England on May 1st 1874. His time in this world carried him through the great challenges and changes of the reigns of Victoria, Edward VII and George V. For his own character, though, he always felt himself more closely aligned with the reformers, the heroes, the visionaries and the Empire builders of the 19th century, than with the dour and stifling traditionalists of the 20th. As an active correspondent in five theatres of war over a period of more than two decades, George Clarke Musgrave walked the same battlefields as many of history's well-known figures from the press corps and the military and earned the respect and admiration of presidents and politicians, generals and foot-soldiers, his peers, his editors, his publishers and his readers.

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