Wisdom of the Serpent – Constantine Ralli

A war story of the Franco-Prussian War, a novelisation from a war diary written by a British politician who was also a novelist.


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London: Francis Griffiths, 1907. Hardback, 412 pages.

A nineteenth-century war novel of the Franco-Prussian War. It  is actually a story constructed from the war diary of the Baron Jean de Fauvart, General of Brigade, cavalry division Clérembault Fourth Army Corps (Ladmirault).  The tale opens at the Battle of Vionville-Mars la Tour, August 1870, This was a “soldier’s battle” where the individual unit commanders and the fighting spirit of the troops on both sides would be the key to victory; it was won by the Germans.  The book’s wider story covers the era between 1844 and 1870, and is set between England and France. The author, Constantine Scaramanga-Ralli JP ( 1854 – 1934), was a British Liberal Party politician and author.

Good condition, some staining and wear to the cover and spine, first page detached, cover detached entirely from binding at the rear but still attached at the front, pages clean.