Khartoum

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Wolseley had fought hard to maintain his position. His triumph at Tel el-Kebir had put him back in the running, but he still had many enemies - including the Queen. What he needed was a decisive operation that would raise his profile once more, resurrect the glory of the Ashanti Ring, and establish his name as the great British general of the late Victorian era. He was one of the few men shrewd enough to understand that Gordon's idea of integrity entailed following his own inner voice rather than any rigid loyalty to Queen and country. Any operatlon that involved Gordon would be sure to meet the approbation of Queen and public. What was more, a military action in the central Sudan would almost certainly be given to Wolseley. That the Gordon mission was a Wolseley conspiracy on one level or another is almost certain... …But Gordon was no charlatan - his desire to help the oppressed and to make a difference in the world was entirely genuine. He had an intense sympathy with suffering wherever he found it. The love and empathy that flowed from him was sensed instinctively by many of those who knew him. Gordon was not a 'stage mystic' or a poseur eccentric, and felt no need to live up to some currently fashionable ideal of perfection. He had his rages, his off-days, his moods and humours. While Evelyn Wood had actually enjoyed killing as a young man, Gordon - a far more capable general wrote that war was an inglorious round of 'murder, pillage and cruelty', which the chief victims were usually women, children and old people. Many of those who despised Gordon - among them Gladstone - did so out of an unconscious realization that among all the paper heroes, Gordon was the 'real thing'. Gordon believed that the people of the Sudan deserved to be liberated from the misgovernment they had been subjected to for sixty years As he had told Stead, he thought he had introduced a new perspective to the country during his time...
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