Philomena, fat and lazy when she is requisitioned from an English field at the start of the First World War, sails for Egypt with the territorial regiment, the Dorset Yeomanry. She serves faithfully, charging the dervishes in the Western Desert and enduring the privations of Allenby s great campaign in Palestine. She recovers from wounds to swelter through a summer in the Jordan Valley. She takes part in the triumphant advance on Damascus only to be sold off in Cairo among the 22,000 horses left behind by the War Office after the Armistice.By 1921, the forceful Griselda Romney, a war widow in Hound Music, by the same author, she was a child has discovered that her old hunter, Philomena, could be still alive. With her six-year-old daughter, and of course Nanny, Mrs Romney sets out to Egypt, to find Philomena and to rescue her . Our Horses in Egypt depicts the work of a troop-horse in the Army and of exotic Cairo, in political unrest as meticulously and exuberantly as Hound Music (Chatto and Vintage) recreated the milieu of Edwardian fox-hunting.
Rosalind Belben lives in Dorset and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Among her admired novels are Hound Music, Choosing Spectacles, Is Beauty Good and Dreaming of Dead People.