The Tears of the Rajas is a sweeping, epic history of the British in India, seen through the experiences of a single family, the Lows, ancestors of the author, Ferdinand Mount, and also of Prime Minister David Cameron. When he was growing up, Ferdinand Mount used to wonder what stories the various Indian artefacts his family possessed from the days of the British rule of India could tell. Many years before his Aunt Ursie had written a family history of the Lows of India which was largely ignored by the family. When the story of the Lows recently hit the headlines after it transpired that these same relatives were those of David Cameron, and that they were responsible for a number of atrocities in India, Ferdinand Mount set out to uncover the truth behind their lives. What emerged was an evocative, intense and thrilling history of 19th century British rule in India. Vividly and poignantly capturing the lives of one family, Mount tells the story of some of the most dramatic and terrible moments of the Indian Raj, from the mutinies, battles, massacres and famines, to the ineptitude, folly and sometimes deviousness of British rulers themselves. An epic history, full of stories of love, war, treachery and intrigue, Tears of the Rajas will surely become one of the classics of its kind.
India may have been the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, but it was also a jewel that had decidedly sharp edges. It was a difficult and dangerous posting for the many thousands of Britons who were sent, or volunteered, to go eastwards: to govern, to rule, to soldier, to exploit or, simply, to live, as they sought to establish themselves in scattered outposts across the subcontinent, or deep within the bustling cities. Mount traces the life of one such family, John and Augusta Low and relatives, recording their lives, fears and achievements through letters and diaries, all supported with the necessary social and historical context. Death looms large in the family chronicles, from the initial journey across the fickle oceans to Madras, to the ever-present risk of disease and war. But there’s a nice regard, too, for the more matter-of-fact struggles of work, business, love and domestic harmony.
Publication date: 12/03/2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
|Publication date:||12th March 2015|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
|Categories:||Asian history, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900,|
Ferdinand Mount was born in 1939. For many years he was a columnist at the Spectator and then the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. In between, he was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and then editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He is now a prize-winning novelist, author of the bestselling memoir Cold Cream, and most recently the controversial The New Few. He lives in London.More About Ferdinand Mount