For its British population, the India that swelters in the late spring of 1857 is a place of amateur theatricals, horseracing and flirtations under the aegis of the omnipotent East India company. But a brutal awakening lies in store for the complacent British: one May night, after thirty years of abuse, the East India Company's native soldiers rise up against their British officers. Thus begins the most savage episode in our imperial history. Caught up in the violence is pretty Sophie Hardcastle, a young wife and mother newly arrived from England. As she searches for her infant son, missing in the chaos, Sophie finds herself bearing witness to atrocities on both sides.
Moving, sombre and thrilling, Rathbone's tale is told on a grand scale, ranging from the Cannings in Government House to the heroism of the humblest soldiers and peasants. It is as exhilarating as any Victorian adventure story, and yet, with its unflinching examination of religious fanaticism and the horrors of war, THE MUTINY also carries a powerful message for the modern world.
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* 'Harrowing but magnetic ... With his customary rigour, Rathbone marshals extensive research to create the framework of his epic drama. Against this background he weaves the threads of smaller stories, intimate and personal accounts of individual tragedies ... Larger even than the conflict itself is India, elegantly and luminously brought to life in the consistently scintillating prose of this novel of real accomplishment * THE TIMES * ** 'Rathbone sets himself an ambitious challenge in THE MUTINY but he succeeds brilliantly in re-creating the chaos, the savagery and the clash of cultures in India in 1857. The stories of his own characters ... are all woven seamlessly into the wider narra * SUNDAY TIMES * ** 'Although the story of the mutiny has been told many times, it is fascinating to revisit it in such intelligent company ... ambitious, sweeping ... The British, with their quaint slang, and casual, unthinking racism, are very convincingly drawn. Rathbone also elicits great sympathy for the Indian mutineers, with their complex, often contradictory, motives * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * ** 'Enjoyable and exciting to read ... Rathbone reveals himself to be a novelist of skill, compassion and imagination * TLS *
About Julian Rathbone
Julian Rathbone was the author of many books, including the bestselling THE LAST ENGLISH KING, KINGS OF ALBION and the Booker shortlisted JOSEPH, and the hugely acclaimed A VERY ENGLISH AGENT. He died in February 2008.
The Mutiny by Julian Rathbone
Used - Very Good
Little, Brown Book Group
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