Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 
detail of a portrait by H. L. Gates, 1927;
  in the National Portrait Gallery, London
By courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Arthur Conan Doyle,
The Great Boer War

London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1902

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries was the model for his own character "Dr. Watson." He dedicated his medical skills to the army during the South African (Boer) War.  He wrote the first edition of "The Great Boer War" in 1900, later updating it to cover the war to its end in 1902.  In the Preface to the First Edition, he wrote: "This book was begun in England and continued on board a steamer, but the greater part was written in a hospital tent in the intervals during the epidemic at Bloemfontein." 

Preface to the Final Edition

During the course of the war some sixteen Editions of this work have appeared, each of which was, I hope, a little more full and accurate than that which preceded it. I may fairly claim, however, that the absolute mistakes made have been few in number, and that I have never had occasion to reverse, and seldom to modify, the judgments which I have formed. In this final edition the early text has been carefully revised and all fresh available knowledge has been added within the limits of a single volume narrative. of the various episodes in the latter half of the war it is impossible to say that the material is available for a complete and final chronicle. By the aid, however, of the official dispatches, of the newspapers, and of many private letters, I have done my best to give an intelligible and accurate account of the matter. The treatment may occasionally seem too brief but some proportion must be observed between the battles of 1899-1900 and the skirmishes of 1901-1902.

My private informants are so numerous that it would be hardly possible, even if it were desirable, that I should quote their name~. of the correspondents upon whose work I have drawn for my materials, I would acknowledge my obligations to Messrs. Burleigh, Nevinson, Battersby, Stuart, Amery, Atkins, Baillie, Kinneir, Churchill, James, Ralph, Barnes, Maxwell, Pearce, Hamilton, and others. Especially I would mention the gentleman who represented the `Standard' in the last year of the war, whose accounts of Vlakfontein, Von Donop's Convoy, and Tweebosch were the only reliable ones which reached the public.

A. Conan Doyle
Undershaw, Hindhead: September 1902.

Preface to the First Edition

IT is possible that a fuller knowledge may give an entirely different meaning to some of the events of the Boer war. This account is compiled with as much accuracy as is attainable at this date, and with as much detail as a single volume will permit. The occasional judgments and criticisms on which I have ventured may be founded upon error, but at least they are made without either fear or favour. In frequent conversations with Boers I have endeavoured to get their views upon both political and military questions.

The book was begun in England and continued on board a steamer, but the greater part was written in a hospital tent in the intervals of duty during the epidemic at Bloemfontein. often the only documents which I had to consult were the convalescent officers and men who were under our care. Under these circumstances some errors may have crept in, but on the other hand I have had the inestimable advantage of visiting the scene of this great drama, of meeting many of the chief actors in it, and of seeing with my own eyes something of the actual operations.

There are many who have helped me in my task, but I especially acknowledge the co-operation of Mr. Blasson, of the Langman Hospital, now dead in the service of his country, and of Mr. Charles Terry, of Haslemere, who collected and arranged my material.

Undershaw, Hindhead: September 1900.

Table of Contents

Preface To The Final Edition


Preface To The First Edition


Chapter I: The Boer Nations


Chapter II: The Cause of Quarrel


Chapter III: The Negotiations


Chapter IV: The Eve of War


Chapter V: Talana Hill


Chapter VI: Elandslaagte And Rietfontein 


Chapter VII: Battle of Ladysmith


Chapter VIII: Lord Methuen's Advance


Chapter IX: Battle of Magersfontein


Chapter X: Battle of Stormberg


Chapter XI: Battle of Colenso


Chapter XII: The Dark Hour


Chapter XIII: The Siege of Ladysmith


Chapter XIV: The Colesberg Operations


Chapter XV: Spion Kop


Chapter XVI: Vaalkranz


Chapter XVII: Buller's Final Advance


Chapter XVIII: The Siege And Relief of Kimberley


Chapter XIX: Paardeberg


Chapter XX: Roberts' Advance on Bloemfontein


Chapter XXI: Strategic Effects of Lord Roberts' March


Chapter XXII: The Halt At Bloemfontein


Chapter XXIII: The Clearing of The South-East


Chapter XXIV: The Siege of Mafeking


Chapter XXV: The March On Pretoria

Chapter XXVI: Diamond Hill—Rundle's Operations


Chapter XXVII: The Lines of Communication


Chapter XXVIII: The Halt At Pretoria


Chapter XXIX: The Advance to Komatipoort


Chapter XXX: The Campaign of De Wet


Chapter XXXI: The Guerilla Warfare in the Transvaal: Nooitgedacht


Chapter XXXII: The Second Invasion of Cape Colony.


Chapter XXXIII: The Northern Operations From January to April 1901


Chapter XXXIV: The Winter Campaign From April to September 1901


Chapter XXXV: The Guerilla Operations In Cape Colony


Chapter XXXVI: The Spring Campaign From September to December 1901


Chapter XXXVII: The Campaign of January to April 1902


Chapter XXXVIII: De la Rey's Campaign of 1902


Chapter XXXIX: The End

Map Index

Map: Northern Natal (231k)

Map: Orange River Colony, Southern Part (328k)

Map: Orange River Colony, Northern Part (287k)

Map: Southern Transvaal (345k)

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War.
Publisher's Promotional Page
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War.
Preface and Table of Contents


Главная Гостевая книга Попытка (сказки)
Артур Конан Дойл и его последователи