During the First Anglo-Afghan War, Lady Florentia Sale, wife of a British army officer, Sir Robert Henry Sale, was kidnapped in 1842, along with other women and children, as well as soldiers, and detained for nine months. The group were taken hostage by Akbar Khan, following the massacre in the Khurd Karbul Pass. Amongst the hostages with Lady Sale was her youngest daughter Alexandrina, Alexandrina’s husband Lt. John Sturt, and their newborn daughter. Sturt was fatally injured by three dagger wounds to the abdomen, with Lady Sale nursed her son-in-law in his final hours. She bribed the Afghan officers into releasing them, and they were rescued by Sir Richmond Shakespear on 17 September 1842. Her courageous and defiant actions meant that she endangered herself frequently; she was shot in the wrist, with the bullet lodging there.
Throughout her time as a captive, Lady Sale kept a diary, detailing the events of the ordeal. A year later, Lady Sale published her journal as A Journal of the Disasters in Afghanistan, 1841-2, which documented her experiences throughout the Afghan War, and the book received critical acclaim.
An action-filled story of folly, indecision, treachery and tragedy, all the while testifying to great courage and fortitude.