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Do You Agree with the View That the Work of William Howard Russell and Roger Fenton Presented the British Public with a Realistic Portrayal of the Crimean War?

  • Date Submitted: 01/29/2016 06:36 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.7 
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Do you agree with the view that the work of William Howard Russell and Roger Fenton presented the British public with a realistic portrayal of the Crimean War?
There are a number of different factors that collaborate to show that on one hand Russell and Fenton’s work may have offered an accurate image of the Crimean War and there are factors and sources that show that they possibly could have provided more realistic reports.
Firstly, Russell’s reliability is questioned in source 3 by Brandon High. High states: “Russell’s historical significance has to be entangled from the myth… because he obtained most of his information from friendly conversations with officers”. This implies that Russell did not reflect the views on leadership of the ordinary foot soldiers but only that of the perhaps higher class officers.   High also goes on to claim that “the ordinary soldier would not have shared Russell’s condemnatory views of Lord Raglan”, showing clearly that Russell did not fully connect and report the views of the men on the front line of the Crimean War. This can be supported by my own knowledge as it is known that Russell stayed in Constantinople during the winter of 1854 and did not have to endure the harsh weather and conditions that the troops were experiencing in the Crimea. He based a number his reports off what other people had told him and therefore some of them were technically not first hand and the reliability can be seriously questioned.
Additionally, source 3 proclaims that “Russell did not make it clear to the British public that the sufferings of the army were disproportionately borne by ordinary soldiers.” This again provides an example that Russell did not spend enough time valuing and broadcasting the experience and views of the standard infantryman who risked his life every day.   This links back to the original statement and implies that Russell could have provided a more realistic and rounded account of the Crimean War to the British public.


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