I remember watching the 1966 film Khartoum, the story of General Charles Gordon's defense of the city of Khartoum from the forces of Muhammad Ahmad. This was one of the first films that had me asking questions about historical accuracy. General Gordon's death scene in the film was an almost accurate representation of George William Joy's painting - General Gordon's Last Stand. I remember learning that Joy liked to paint idealised images of patriotic heroes and the film too portrayed Gordon this way. (You can view that scene here youtu.be/rlvJznNXdto)
At the time I watched the film, I also couldn't make up my mind if Gordon was a hero or not, my mother said he was. However, I have to admit I know nothing of Gordon, other than these few facts I found an a book all those years ago.
'tradesman who has become a politician."
I think I had better add General Charles Gordon's biography to my wishlist.