A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841-2

A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841-2

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Dubbed the soldier's wife par excellence by The Times, Florentia Sale was one of the most remarkable figures of the First Afghan War. The wife of Brigadier (Later Major-General Sir) Robert Sale, who was to die in the first Sikh War at Mudki in 1845, she had remained in Kabul with her daughter and son-in-law whilst her husband defended Jalalabad. She was forced to join the disastrous retreat from Kabul in January 1842, when she was twice wounded, and taken into captivity with a number of others by Akbar Khan. Her Journal covers the events in Kabul and the retreat as well as her nine month's captivity and eventual rescue.

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Dubbed the soldier's wife par excellence by The Times, Florentia Sale was one of the most remarkable figures of the First Afghan War. The wife of Brigadier (Later Major-General Sir) Robert Sale, who was to die in the first Sikh War at Mudki in 1845, she had remained in Kabul with her daughter and son-in-law whilst her husband defended Jalalabad. She was forced to join the disastrous retreat from Kabul in January 1842, when she was twice wounded, and taken into captivity with a number of others by Akbar Khan. Her Journal covers the events in Kabul and the retreat as well as her nine month's captivity and eventual rescue.

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Florentia Sale (née Wynch )was an Englishwoman who traveled the world while married to her husband, Sir Robert Henry Sale, a British army officer. She was dubbed "the Grenadier in Petticoats" for her travels with the army, which took her to regions such as Mauritius, Burma, and India, and various other areas under the control of the British Empire. During the First Anglo-Afghan War, Lady Sale, along with other women and children, as well as soldiers, were taken prisoner in 1842 during the British Army retreat from Kabul and detained for nine months. Throughout her time as a captive, Lady Sale kept a diary, detailing the events of the ordeal in a very straightforward and thoughtful manner. She sent parts of her diary through her captivity to her husband and he sent it on to the authorities in England and it was quoted by the papers at the time. She was unimpressed by how the newspapers had reported her actions. A year later, she published this as A Journal of the Disasters in Afghanistan, 1841–42, which documented her experiences throughout the Afghan War, and the book received critical acclaim. During her time in Afghanistan, Lady Sale collected some ancient coins and donated 20 of them to the British Museum. One of the coins is on display today.

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