Return of a King is an intriguing account of Britain’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. Led by soldiers clad in scarlet cloaks, nearly 20,000 British and Indian soldiers marched through the hilly terrains of Afghanistan and re-established Shah Shuja ul-Mulk on the throne. They faced resistance on their way in, but after two years of tolerance the people of Afghanistan rose in violent and bloody rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain’s greatest military humiliation of the 19th century. An entire army of skilled and trained soldiers was crushed by poorly equipped tribesmen. Return of a King is a masterful and brilliant retelling of Britain’s greatest military disaster. William Dalrymple. history of british period.