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Soldier of the Queen

Drew Selkirk, a young Border ploughman, falls out with the landed Drongans, joins the army, and finds himself in action in the Boer War. The terrible set-piece early battles are vividly described as Selkirk is trapped in the besieged town of Kimberley. Seconded to a unit of irregular horse, Selkirk uses his Borders knowledge of horsemanship to outwit the Boers, while struggling with conflicting romantic encounters.
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About the Author

Malcolm Archibald went from the Royal High School, Edinburgh, to the University of Dundee, where he graduated with first class honours in history. He had many jobs in the university of life in between, and is now a history lecturer. This is his first published novel, part of a trilogy. He won the 2005 Dundee book prize for another book.


"The Boer War, a defining period in our history, was eclipsed by the Great War, and subsequently neglected by writers. With this entertaining and diligently researched novel, Malcolm Archibald helps to restore the balance." (Michael J. Hunt) "Malcolm Archibald's Drew Selkirk is not yet a Captain Aubrey or a Richard Sharpe but he could become one. "Soldier of the Queen" is an engrossing and successful first novel. The portrayal of rural life in the Scottish borders at the end of the nineteenth century is memorably and vividly portrayed as is the transformation into the raw and often brutal life of the volunteer, professional army of late Victorian Britain. However, Archibald's writing really comes into its own in the well researched dramatic portrayal of the battles against the Boers. He has greatly to his credit sucessfully described the confusion, heroism, brutality, compassion and stupidity which characterised those encounters on the Veldt." T.Ken Jones

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