Sikunder Burnes Signed First Editions Now Available Direct 81

“Murray’s book is a terrific read” – Peter Oborne –

Signed First Editions are now available direct from this blog! You can leave a message naming the dedication you want. Sold at cover price of £25 including p&p for UK delivery or £29 for overseas delivery. Ideal Christmas presents!!


Signing Instructions

‘Murray’s book is a terrific read. He has done full justice to the life of a remarkable British hero, without ignoring his faults’ — Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

‘An important re-evaluation of this most intriguing figure’ — William Dalrymple

‘This is a fascinating book … his research has been prodigious, both in libraries and on foot. He knows a huge amount about Burnes’s life and work’ —Allan Massie, The Scotsman

‘If you are a fan of the Flashman series of books, you will be gripped by the story of this British spy’ —Hannah Ferret, The Sun

For further information about the book and more buying choices please read Why I Need Alexander Burnes, and You Do Too

Buy from Amazon

Read Sikunder Burnes – the first 9 chapters for FREE!

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81 thoughts on “Sikunder Burnes Signed First Editions Now Available Direct

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  • John Goss

    My first edition arrived today. It is beautifully produced and illustrated and I have started reading it with pleasure. If we are ever destined to meet I will bring it along for a signature and dedication. 🙂

    Good look with the sales.

      • nevermind

        thanks much appreciated, shall get in some whiski now, it can only age.
        Would you like me to organise a book reading/signing in Norwich?
        The new Forum has a library attached and one could probably get a largish room there, next to the BBC offices or the Friends meeting house.
        Just let us know and pick a date you’re available, could be a Norwich whistle stop read on your way to another read down south.
        If I know in advance I might be able to get you on to radio locally.

  • punklin

    Just so you know: I went into a Waterstones branch in Glasgow and asked for the book. After a lengthy keyboard-tapping session the helpful guy behind the counter said it was out-of-stock. More keyboard and then he said: ‘It’s showing as out-of-stock in all our branches’. Next he took my order and said I should receive a text to confirm its arrival in about 3 to 5 days.

    PS glad you rate William Dalrymple as I so enjoyed his Return of a King where I first learned of Burnes and the treacherous British tactics – still happening today – in Afghanistan and neighbouring areas.

    • Alcyone

      I am and have been awaiting such a text, while pondering why they are called Waterstones. Is it Birlinn or Waterstones that is not a Heineken: the beer that can reach the parts of the body that other beers cannot reach.

      Perhaps we should just take Craig up on his offer.

    • craig Post author

      Yes. Waterstones seemed to have ordered a tiny number, sold them all immediately, and failed to conclude they ought to have any more.

      • Alcyone

        “and failed to conclude they ought to have any more.”

        and/or failed to be persuaded they ought to have many more. And the copies sold to date are all down to your own personal marketing.

        Of course that may still happen. It has to be on the tables and not left on the shelf.

        It’s all there to play for!

    • Sharp Ears

      On the evolving meaning and use of the word ‘banter’.

      ‘The Oxford English Dictionary says that banter means “to make fun of (a person); to hold up to ridicule, ‘roast’; to jest at, rally, ‘chaff’. Now usually of good-humoured raillery”.

      The word is believed to have been first used in street slang in London in the 17th Century.

      One of its earliest recorded uses appears in T d’Urfey’s Madam Fickle from 1677: “Banter him, banter him Toby. ‘Tis a conceited old Scarab, and will yield us excellent sport.”

      Read more: The backlash against banter’

      Should banter be banned.

  • Alcyone

    Surprised Habby’s ‘Il miglior fabbro’ remark gone. Moderated. Are we really supposed to live without humour now? Mediocrity is the new balance in our life.

    Thou cannot be serious!

    • craig Post author

      Aaah, now if he had actually bought the book as indicated in his comment, his remark would have remained.

      • Alcyone

        A joke is a joke. He will buy the book, if he hasn’t already, one way or another in hardback, surely.

        I can read Habby like a book. And I am glad, no grateful, he brings humour to this place.

        I hope you have plans for a paperback edition beyond Christmas. Should help drive volumes up towards greater success; I want to see the movie.

      • Habbabkuk

        But what make you think I haven’t bought it? Perhaps I have (in addition to the one for the local library) and am waiting until I see you again for it to be signed. As someone on here once observed (censorially), does one have to advertise one’s good deeds (so to speak)?

        • craig Post author

          I don’t doubt you have bought the book separately, and will happily sign for you. But where I open a sales page, I didn’t want it immediately filled up with banter not linked to sales

          • Habbabkuk

            You are absolutely right and I apologise.

            In my defence, I would say only that (1) I had not realised this thread was a sales page (I am too innocent for this cruel modern world) and (2) I had not realised that a perfectly serious question as to the appropriateness or otherwise of a certain inscription of impeccable literary pedigree would be considered as unwelcome banter.

            November, clearly, is the cruellest month.

  • nevermind

    Anyone ordering the book from a bookshop please copy the ISBN numbers from the Amazon site and order it with that, it helps tremendously.

    The book hive had it in two days.

  • kief

    Will I need to make four separate orders? It’s kind of a hassle with my bank and international sales.

  • lenso

    great idea, hadn’t got round to ordering from bookstore yet ,are other titles going to be available same way?
    thanks Craig.

  • willyrobinson

    Thanks for making it available in this way to us overseas folk (who hate amazon) – really looking forward to it – w

  • nevermind

    Just started reading Sikunder, am already impressed how his life unfolds, with 11 siblings he had to be diplomatic,. a talker, to get his way, considering he was not the brightest but the most agile, weak at birth, but a survivor. Its easy to let yourself into the descriptive milieu of stiff collars, corrupt upper classes, their foibles, vs the immense poverty that exists, the personal hardships, and the enclosures acts which gave carte blanch to the landed gentry to fill their boots.

    Its hard to put down. heissen Dank

    • craig Post author

      Really pleased you are enjoying. I can’t tell you how happy I am when I get reactions to the content of the book – it is like turning it into a conversation.

      • bevin

        There is an interesting reference to Montrose in Linda Colley’s Britons. No doubt it is well known to Scots but it was news to me that it was unique in the support it gave to the ’45. She suggests that this was because it was a centre of smuggling as well as influenced greatly by the local, Jacobite, House of Dun. Evidently the smugglers would have benefited from a Stuart restoration.
        The evolution of Jacobites into radicals was not unusual.

        • craig Post author

          As it says in Sikunder Burnes, it was NE Scotland not the Highlands which was the real heartland of Jacobite support. As it does not state in the book but did before the editing out of 80,000 words, it is not a coincidence that this is where the tradition of Scottish nationalism most strongly survived in the very bleak years. It is not a socialist tradition and is rather derided within parts of the modern nationalist movement – just the other day I was at a meeting where a comment was made about conservative “Angus farmers” who support Indy.

          • Brianfujisan

            Thanks for that Info Craig, I had no Idea about that..worth looking into.

            I have been wondering if Sikunder Burnes Might be a good Present, It’s for the Head Sensei of our Dojo, we get him a wee thing every xmas..

            Picked up my Copy of Sikunder Burnes Today. happy chappy.

  • Stephen C

    I was undecided about how to go and buy your book, but this clickable link makes it so easy. One ordered!

  • Brianfujisan

    My copy From Hive Came yesterday.. But I did not hear the Post man.. so shall have to collect it tomorrow

    Nevermind Thanks for that wee Snippet on the book, I get nowt done when I can’t put a book down.

    Ideal for a long Ferry voyage to the Hebrides 🙂

  • Geoffrey

    Craig, Just bought one as present for my daughter’s birthday. I am also looking forward to reading it after her.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Think Brougham had considerable influence on Burnes, given their similar situation, ambitions, and the fact that Henry even owned property in Inverkeithing, East Fife, and contested the 1812 general election there.

  • Brianfujisan

    November 7, 2016 at 15:28

    There was no reply button on that post.. but Thanks for the Farm Life Tip..I think you have mentioned that before.

    A book that may interest Yourself, and May by Craig too is –

    ‘ Scottish Firsts, Innovation And Achievement ‘

    By Elspeth Wills

    Published by
    Scottish Development Agency –

    • bevin

      Thank you for the tip. I did indeed recommend the book to Anon1. It is one of the few books about Scotland that I have read recently.

  • ArcherNavy

    What a great present to one’s self!! Well… no one else was going to get me a copy!

    Many thanks Craig, Can’t wait to read it.


  • Alcyone

    Hi Craig,

    I followed up on the Jaipur Book Festival in trying to get bearings on who the organisers etc were. It was pointed out to me that William Dalrymple is one of two Directors of the Organiser/curator. The website, which I did not look up earlier says so. See here (scroll down) :

    I wonder if you have spoken with him and if this is not therefore a phone-call away for you?

    The clock is ticking away, but I understand still not too late. I think it is important for you to attend. However polluted India has become in mind and body. One could see the brown cloud hanging in the air behind May and Modi in New Delhi this morning.

  • Neil

    Got fed up with waiting for amazon, so cancelled my order. Instead ordered from on Sunday, book arrived early this morning (Wednesday) – pretty good service! Plus the price was £18.65, a lot cheaper than the £30.00 + delivery that Amazon wanted, and I get to support a local bookshop as well.

    Book is well presented and beautifully illustrated, look forward to reading it. Amused by the way you damned the British Library with faint praise – or should that be praised the BL with faint (silent) damns?

    Anyway. best wishes , and looking forward to the inevitable blockbuster film!

  • Alan

    For some reason I can’t get PayPal to work this morning. I assume they can’t keep up with the demand 😉

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