Critical Acclaim

Critical Acclaim

The Lion and the Dragon: Britain’s Opium Wars with China 1839-1860

“Mark Simner has done the military-history community a real service with this well-presented, objective oeuvre.”
– Patrick Mercer, Military History Monthly Magazine, October 2019

Chitral 1895: An Episode of the Great Game

“Both the siege and relief expedition are covered in detail in this new work by the author, who has several previous books published on the wars of this era. The descriptions of the harsh weather, difficult terrain, and stubborn fighter all blend together to give the reader a clear idea of the hardships faced by the combatants during this time. The result is an interesting look at a little-known battle with far-reaching consequences for the British Empire in this region.”
– Military Heritage Magazine, May 2018

“It is in the details of the siege and campaigns that Simner excels. The reader really gets a feel for what these men went through and how disciplined and efficient the British military machine was, especially against tribes with varying motivations to fight. His descriptions of troop movements and actions are very detailed. Simner uses many sources directly from those involved and others from the time period covered.” 
– Chris Schloemer, Saber and Scroll, Volume 1, Issue 1, Winter 2018

The Sirdar and the Khalifa: Kitchener’s Reconquest of Sudan 1896-1898

“Mark Simner is rapidly becoming one of my favourite military historians. He has an engaging writing style and gets that all important balance between providing enough information to tell a fascinating story well but without giving too much detail to bog down the reader in inconsequential ephemera. In no way does he sacrifice narrative clarity. Rather, he lays out his books in a clear and understandable manner: He gives the back story, he describes the main characters and actors of both sides and tries where possible to be even handed in his praise and criticism, he lays out the main events in a chronologically logical and sensible order and then he describes the consequences and ramifications of the events described.”

“The author, Mark Simner, knows his history well, and writes engagingly about it.” 
– A Wargamer’s Needful Things

Pathan Rising: Jihad on the North West Frontier of India 1897-1898

“Pathan Rising offers the reader an authoritative account of this people’s uprising against the British on India’s North-West Frontier, during 1897-98. The spark of the conflict flared in June 1897 and within a few weeks the British were battling a full scale revolt by the rebellious tribes. This is a fast-paced and thoroughly researched account of these turbulent events, of a vicious and often brutal conflict with heroic actions on both sides.”
– Nomination, MHM Book Awards 2018, December 2017

“Mark Simner’s book is a fast-paced, thoroughly researched tale of the four distinct areas of the campaign. The story abounds in incidents celebrated in frontier history, by victor and vanquished alike.”
– Jules Stewart, Military History Monthly Magazine, February 2017

“There are stories of intrigue, treachery, betrayal and heroism in battle. The fierce independence seen today existed in times past. Distrust between the various tribes and the British were common… It was a fascinating read, and there are similarities between what happened then and most recently.”
– IPMS/USA, February 2017

“Mark Simner must be congratulated for distilling the complexity of this series of risings into a perfectly understandable narrative with this clearly organised and well written book. In fact, I wish many more non-fiction writers would take a leaf out of Mark Simner’s book and incorporate his excellent use of maps, appendices, plenty of images, a clear glossary, medal citations, bibliography and most importantly of all a comprehensive index.”

An Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Waterloo

“Mark Simner has written a very nice, compact illustrated introduction to the battle, which will tell you all you might wish to know in a manageable space and without drowning the reader in weighty facts. The images are nicely chosen, with some that even experienced Waterloo enthusiasts might not have seen before. Especially one depicting the attack on Hougoumont.  Despite the limited space, the author is experienced with fitting in the right details into a clear narrative of events.”
– Adventures in Historyland