The Indian Mutiny of 1857


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Author: G. B. Malleson

9788129107909 | PB | pp. 278 | 1998 | Rupa Publications

This book unravels the insurrection of 1857 of the Indian Mutiny by the British. The book mentions the horrible massacres of innocent and merciless retribution.

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The Mutiny of 1857 remains an event shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Its very significance, that is, whether it can be considered the first war of Independence, continues to be questioned. The causes remain many but rather elusive, the consequences even more so – did it ring the death toll of the British Empire, was it a mere speck of exaggerated trouble?

This classic book serves to fill a tremendous gap in narrative accounts of the mutiny, and demystifies lay assumptions. It begins with a sizeable background on the genesis of the British Raj in India – a move not deliberate but powerful enough to shape history for decades to come. The author delves in great detail into the causes of the mutiny, unlike preceding writers who mostly concentrated on the consequences. With the aid of personal knowledge and observation he attempts to pin-point that ‘latent power’ that drove the mutiny on. He provides a realistic account of all the important operations that took place, praising the heroic and criticizing the undeserving. He is careful not to overlay his work with too much tedious detail. so his writing remains lucid and interesting.

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 captures successfully and uncompromisingly an event that was perhaps disorganised but large in scale; it deals with each individual geographical area seperately, analysing the causes and effects locally and nation-wide. It captures the spirit of the time, its people who fought and died, and the changing attitudes of the Raj, which was gradually losing control of its Empire.


G. B. Malleson







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Rupa Publications





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About the Author

George Bruce Malleson CSI (8 May 1825 – 1 March 1898) was an English officer in India and author. Malleson was born in Wimbledon. Educated at Winchester, he obtained a cadetship in the Bengal infantry in 1842, and served through the second Burmese War. His subsequent appointments were in the civil line, the last being that of guardian to the young maharaja of Mysore. He retired with the rank of colonel in 1877, having been created C.S.I. in the 1872 Birthday Honours.

He was a voluminous writer, his first work to attract attention being the famous “Red Pamphlet”, published at Calcutta in 1857, when the Sepoy Mutiny was at its height. He continued, and considerably rewrote the History of the Indian Mutiny 1857-8 (6 vols., 1878-1880), which was begun but left unfinished by Sir John Kaye. Among his other books the most valuable are History of the French in India (2nd ed., 1893) and The Decisive Battles of India (3rd ed., 1888). He authored the biographies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, the French governor-general Dupleix and the British officer Robert Clive for the Rulers of India series. He died at 27 West Cromwell Road, London, on 1 March 1898.


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