Robert B. Edgerton is an author, professor of anthropology and psychiatry, and researcher of African society and history (and their correlations). Knowing this, the great amount of humanity and realism that he manages to exhibit in his distinctive writing style should come as no surprise. Edgerton’s background in various studies allows him to unravel the mystery shrouding the culture and psychology of both sides of the war. At the time of this novel’s creation, no novels had adequately told the tale of the Anglo-Zulu War as it truly occurred. In the years between Edgerton’s novel and Morris’s The Washing of the Spears (one of the first “readable account[s] of this war” ), new documents regarding the war had surfaced, including military testimonies, diaries, letters, and interviews. These materials coupled with Edgerton’s understanding of the psyche of both European man and non-European man made it possible for the creation of such an expansive study of this dramatic war. Edgerton’s novel offers incredible insight on the brevity of the men on both sides of the war, their confidence, their pride, and their ability to fight like lions. Edgerton’s primary reasons for writing this novel are likely the wealth of information regarding the war that came about in the years before the writing, his understanding of both European and non-European man, and his ability to talk about the war from the Zulu's and British people's perspective.
It is a largely undisputed opinion that the