Joanna Sharland is the Rights Director at Osprey Publishing (and for that matter Shire and Angry Robot). As Rights Director Joanna is responsible for handling copyright issues, the selling of translation rights for our books and the licensing of our content for other purposes, everything from part works to T-Shirts. If you have ever been to the London Bookfair, Frankfurt Bookfair, or even BEA, Joanna is the one sprinting from one meeting to another dealing with publishers from every corner of the globe, from Poland to Indonesia.
I asked Joanna what her all time favourite Osprey book was, and this is how she replied:
"I recently read Quartered Safe Out Here, a memoir by George MacDonald Fraser of his time serving as a teenaged infantryman in the Border Regiment in Burma during the Second World War. The author, better known for his Flashman novels, captured for me in unforgettable style what it was like to be embedded deep in the jungle, surrounded by suicidal Japanese and hard-bitten Cumbrian borderers.
My curiosity aroused, I reached for the volume in our Campaign series (no. 136) which covers Meiktila 1945, the battle in which under General William Slim the 14th Army left the Japanese forces finally \'torn apart\'. I found this book to be just the introduction to the Burma campaign I\'d been looking for: Edward Young, the author, tackles intelligently and succinctly the origins of the campaign, and the different motivations of the Japanese and the Allies, he examines also how the motivations of the British and American generals diverged. He includes detailed information on all British regiments involved, which meant I could scour the pages for references to or photos of 17th Indian Division, my adopted favourite thanks to Fraser, and their brilliant commander, Major-General “Punch” Cowan. The maps and artworks are plentiful and abundantly clear, especially to someone like me who, before embarking on this exercise in self-education, hadn\'t the first clue about the geography of Burma, or its uncompromising terrain.
I\'ll be recommending both of these books to anybody who\'ll listen to me - the 14th Army should no longer be The Forgotten Army."