In the early 1880’s, a Muslim uprising began in the Sudan, threatening Egypt and British colonial interests. The Leader of the revolt was Muhammad Ahmad who called himself the “Mahdi” or expected one. His object was to restore Muslim practices and eradicate foreign influences. Through awe and fear, the Mahdi managed to gather thousands of loyal followers. Ultimately, Great Britain was obliged to address the situation, and did so by sending a national hero to Khartoum, General Charles Gordon, known as “Chinese” Gordon for his leadership in suppressing the Taiping Uprising in China some years earlier.
Charles Gordon was seen as a “Christian Soldier”, who as previous Governor General of Equatoria and then the full Sudan, ended slavery. He knew the bible well and had even managed to locate the site of the Genesis “Garden of Eden”. As a soldier, Gordon was a military engineer, which would serve him well when forced to fortify Khartoum.
Gordon was also fiercely independent and whose personal view of justice conflicted with political prerogatives. Stubborn, insubordinate, and frequently arrogant, he travelled up the Nile River to evacuate the Europeans and Egyptians despite having publicly criticized this policy in the British press only weeks before his assignment was posted. Gordons own agenda was to defend Khartoum against the Mahdi.
By 1884 it became apparent that Gordon was not leaving Khartoum. The prospect of his death and the loss of the Sudan prompted national outcry in Britain, including Queen Victoria who pressured Prime Minister Gladstone into sending a relief force. On March 25th, the Queen wrote to the Secretary of War, Lord Hartington, “Gordon is in danger: you are bound to try and save him”
The Forces of the Mahdi breached Khartoum’s defenses in January 1885, slaughtering the inhabitants and murdering Governor-General Charles Gordon. His severed head was paraded before the Mahdi on a pike.
This will be the first part of a 4 part release.
The complete four parts will cost approximately us$350. The Stairs will be a Numbered Edition and the accompanying set will also have a certificate with the same Numbered Edition enclosed. Only SUD-01 will be a Limited Edition.