They all wanted something that i did not want and i would get it without wanting it, if it worked… Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa


Meinertzhagen002

Warrior : the legend of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen Peter Hathaway Capstick New York : St. Martin’s Press, c 1998 Hardcover. xviii, 295 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-286) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Peter Hathaway Capstick died in 1996. At the time of his death he was putting the finishing touches on this biography of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, a man with whom he felt he had much in common. Edited and prepared for publication by his widow, Fiona Capstick, this book is Capstick’s farewell to his fans and the final addition to the bestselling Peter Capstick Library.

Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen was one of those rare men whom fate always seems to cast in the dramas that shape history. As a young officer, he served in India and Africa during the glory days of the British Empire, defending the crown’s dominions and exploring its darkest reaches. His exploits in the bloody colonial wars of turn-of-the-century East Africa earned him a reputation as one of the most fierce and ruthless soldiers in the Empire, yet it was during those years spent roaming the silent places of the Serengeti, hunting its game and learning its secrets, that Meinertzhagen developed a fascination with Africa that would last a lifetime.

But there were other adventures to come, and Capstick narrates them all with his trademark skill and wit: daring commando raids against German forces in Africa and the Mideast during World War I, covert missions to the USSR and Nazi Germany between the wars, work as an OSS agent during World War II, and Meinertzhagen’s ceaseless support of Israeli nationhood are all woven together into an epic adventure, a powerful chronicle that follows the tracks of a twentieth-century legend.

Meinertzhagen001

The Meinertzhagen mystery : the life and legend of a colossal fraud Brian Garfield Washington, D.C. : Potomac Books, c 2007 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiv, 353 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-341) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Tall, handsome, charming Col. Richard Meinertzhagen (1878–1967) was an acclaimed British war hero, a secret agent, and a dean of international ornithology. His exploits inspired three biographies, movies have been based on his life, and a square in Jerusalem is dedicated to his memory. Meinertzhagen was trusted by Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, T. E. Lawrence, Elspeth Huxley, and a great many others.

He bamboozled them all. Meinertzhagen was a fraud. Many of the adventures recorded in his celebrated diaries were imaginary, including a meeting with Hitler while he had a loaded pistol in his pocket, an attempt to rescue the Russian royal family in 1918, and a shoot-out with Arabs in Haifa when he was seventy years old. True, he was a key player in Middle Eastern events after World War I, and during the 1930s he represented Zionism’s interests in negotiations with Germany. But he also set up Nazi front organizations in England, committed a half-century of major and costly scientific fraud, and – oddly – may have been innocent of many killings to which he confessed (e.g., the murder of his own polo groom – a crime of which he cheerfully boasted, although the evidence suggests it never occurred at all). Further, he may have been guilty of at least one homicide of which he professed innocence.

Advertisements

Comments Off on They all wanted something that i did not want and i would get it without wanting it, if it worked… Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments are closed.