Deservedly one of the best-known personal accounts of the Indian Mutiny, this vivid memoir by Lt. Vivian Majendie of the Royal Artillery – who was later knighted and became Her Majesty’s Inspector of Explosives – deserves a place on the shelves of all India and Raj fans. Majendie was based in Britain when news of the outbreak of the mutiny at Meerut broke. He sailed for Calcutta and then, via Allahabad, travelled to Cawnpore – scene of a notorious massacre of British civilians by the mutineers which fires his righteous indignation. The core of the book concerns the author’s part in the famous siege at Lucknow. Majendie, serving under General Sir James Outram, was involved in some of the bitterest fighting as the siege was lifted, resumed and raised again. He depicts without flinching the cruelty of both sides – including the roasting alive of a mutineer seized by Sikhs serving under British officers, which he deplores. Very much an unvarnished view of a savage conflict based on notes he made at the time, this is an account of war in the raw. Published in 1859 soon after the events it describes, this is one of the key texts in the study of the Indian Mutiny.
Lieut. Vivian Dering Majendie Royal Artillery
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2009 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1859). SB.xiii + 360 pp
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