VICEROYS: The Creation of the BritishCHRISTOPHER LEE Book Number: 86346 Product format: Hardback
Between 1858 and 1947, 20 British men ruled millions of people. From the Indian Mutiny to the cruel religious partition of India, and the newly formed and named Pakistan, the Viceroy had absolute power, more than the monarch who had sent him. Selected from that exclusive class of English, Scottish and Irish breeding, the aristocracy, the Viceroys were plumed, rode elephants and shot tigers. Even their wives stood when they entered the room. Nevertheless, many of them gave everything for India. The first Viceroy, Canning, exhausted by the Mutiny, buried his wife in Calcutta before he left the sub-continent to die shortly afterwards. The average Viceroy lasted five years and was granted an earldom but rarely a sense of triumph. But did they behave as badly as 21st century moralists would have us believe? When the Raj was over, the legacy of Empire continued, as the new rulers slipped easily into the offices and styles of the British who had gone. 'Being British' was now a caste. This special book tells the tale of the British Raj, the last fling of British aristocracy. It is the supreme view of the British in India, portraying the sort of people who went out and the sort of people they were on their return, a story of how British modern identity was established and how such a small offshore European island believed themselves to have the right to sit at the highest institutional tables and judge what was right and unacceptable in other nations and institutions. The cast includes Elgin, Napier, Lawrence, the Earl of Mayo, Northbrook, Ripon, Dufferin, Curzon, Chelmsford, Irwin, Linlithgow and the Viscount Mountbatten. With many aspects about the East India Company of course, the book is written by the author of This Sceptred Isle. 422pp.
Published price: £30
Bibliophile price: £10.00