Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £18.99

Buy Now for £18.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The northeastern quarter of the continent of Africa is drained and watered by the Nile. Among and about the headstreams and tributaries of this mighty river lie the wide and fertile provinces of the Egyptian Soudan. Situated in the very centre of the land, these remote regions are on every side divided from the seas by 500 miles of mountain, swamp, or desert.

The great river is their only means of growth, their only channel of progress. It is by the Nile alone that their commerce can reach the outer markets or European civilisation can penetrate the inner darkness. The Soudan is joined to Egypt by the Nile as a diver is connected with the surface by his air pipe. Without it there is only suffocation. Aut Nilus, aut nihil!

The town of Khartoum, at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, is the point on which the trade of the south must inevitably converge. It is the great spout through which the merchandise collected from a wide area streams northwards to the Mediterranean shore. It marks the extreme northern limit of the fertile Soudan. Between Khartoum and Assuan the river flows for 1,200 miles through deserts of surpassing desolation.

At last the wilderness recedes, and the living world broadens out again into Egypt and the Delta. It is with events that have occurred in the intervening waste that this audiobook is concerned. The real Soudan, known to the statesman and the explorer, lies far to the south - moist, undulating, and exuberant.

But there is another Soudan, which some mistake for the true, whose solitudes oppress the Nile from the Egyptian frontier to Omdurman. This is the Soudan of the soldier. Destitute of wealth or future, it is rich in history. The names of its squalid villages are familiar to distant and enlightened peoples. The barrenness of its scenery has been drawn by skilful pen and pencil. Its ample deserts have tasted the blood of brave men. Its hot, black rocks have witnessed famous tragedies. It is the scene of the war.

©1899 Winston Churchill (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

More from the same

What listeners say about The River War

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

History clearly set out and read very well

A well written and read account of the events leading to the conquest of the Sudan. Churchill's descriptions of events, the people and the lands are excellent. accounts of the battles are animated and full of relevant detail. I had maps to hand which really helped. Looking for this in book form now.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Churchill's River War

Winston Churchill's historical works are not given nearly as much credit as they deserve, as can be seen by works such as The History of the English Speaking Peoples, Marlborough: His Life & Times and his accounts of the world wars. The River War is yet more proof of his power as a writer and historian, taking an obscure war of reconquest in the Sudan, never mentioned in British education, and bringing it to life with magnificent prose on subjects as varied as the dependence upon the Nile by local African tribes to Gordon's last stand at Khartoum and the Khalifa's rise and death at Umm Diwaykarat. An enthralling account of late 19th century colonial warfare by a titan of the 20th century.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Insight into mordern Warfare 🇬🇧💂🏻‍♂️

Qwight insightful into the the way the calvery used to be used.

Also the situation Sudan- whats changed??

Also the Lives lost for queen and country that many peaple know nothing about.💮

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for TheGoldenGoose
  • TheGoldenGoose
  • 15-05-17

Excellent

This is one of Winston best stories & the narrator reads with much gravitas.

Hugely important, but largely forgotten, Winston takes you with him through the dark heart of Africa. You will learn of Chinese Gordon, Dervish Caliphates and many tales heroism and folly.

This is some of Winston's best writing & you'll probably want to listen to this more than once.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Edward R. Flanagan
  • Edward R. Flanagan
  • 13-05-21

Very Interesting. Maybe a bit too detailed

Churchill provided all the minute details on units and supplies which got redundant but was comprehensive and careful. But it greatly connected for me what happened after Gordon. The gunboats and the Maxim guns made it a pretty one sided fight but the desert deprivations were dramatic.
And, to be honest, I liked the present time point of view. This was not someone portraying how Churchill might have said it more...inclusively. It was Churchill through and through. He admired courage no matter what side or color, but you felt every Brit officer’s wounds. The Sudan and Egyptian troops not so much.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Genterline
  • Genterline
  • 02-03-19

Great history except abridged.

Churchill is my favorite historian. This book is a useful history to this day. My only complaint is this is an abided edition.

2 people found this helpful