History of the War in Afghanistan


In 1851, Sir John William Kaye (1814–76) published a two-volume History of the War in Afghanistan. Presented here is the “revised and corrected” edition of the same work, published in three volumes in 1857‒58. As explained by the author in the preface, the second edition largely follows the first, but it contains corrections and better organization based on additional research and on information provided by readers of the first edition. Kaye also notes that the presentation of the same material in three rather than two volumes is in his view a major improvement: “I doubt whether there is a series of events in all history, which falls more naturally [than the First Anglo-Afghan War] into three distinct groups, giving the epic completeness of a beginning, a middle, and an end to the entire Work.” Kaye was a onetime officer in the army of the East India Company who resigned in 1841 to devote himself full time to the writing of military history. His other works include a novel based on the war, Long Engagements: a Tale of the Affghan Rebellion (1846), and several other major historical works, including The Life and Correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm (1856), and his magnum opus, the three-volume The History of the Sepoy War in India, 1857–8 (1864–76).

Last updated: August 10, 2016