On war
Clausewitz, Darwin, Henty and others
in 'At duty’s call'
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Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), a Prussian general who served against Napoleon, and the other is Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who came of a numerous family at the centre of the high-Victorian 'intellectual aristocracy' of liberal Britain. Clausewitz's book On War, first published in 1832, was immensely influential, probably because its message was shocking and at the same time welcome to those in nineteenth-century Europe who had an interest in making war respectable. Clausewitz makes it clear that he regards war as a normal part of the mechanics of politics. G. A. Henty, still well known today and still in print as a boys' writer, in his own time was very active as a war correspondent. Henty was well qualified to provide a military or naval setting for the boys' adventure stories which he started to write in 1868.

'At duty’s call'

A study in obsolete patriotism

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