These images are selections taken from a series of lithographs depicting scenes from the Crimean War. Based on sketches by William Simpson, they were published in the second half of the 1850’s. The first image shows the famous charge of the Light Brigade on October 25, 1854, during the Battle of Balaclava.
The Crimean War, also known as the “Eastern War” (in Russia) and the “Russian War” (in England) took place between late 1853 and early 1856. The conflict involved an alliance of French, British, Ottoman, and Sardinian forces fighting against Russia, primarily in the Crimean Peninsula. It is considered one of the first “modern” wars, and was one of the first wars which was extensively covered by news reports, including photographs.
The Crimean saw the famous siege of Sebastopol during the winter of 1854. A key Russian port, the fall of Sebastopol ultimately led to Russian defeat. The siege was described by Tolstoy, who served as an artillery officer during the war and witnessed the events first-hand.
On the allied side was Florence Nightingale, who led a staff of volunteer nurses in the Crimea and whose reports on the conditions of the army hospitals there ultimately led to considerable reforms, including the construction of a new hospital designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
More images, along with descriptions of the scenes, links to high-resolution versions, and illustrated keys to what is shown in the pictures, can be found at BilbliOdyssey.
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