A History Of The Indian Mutiny 1883
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Babur II 1881-1920
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London H. Allen & Co., is Waterloo Place
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Those who may open this book will not, I think, complain that it is wanting in detail or in that element of personal adventure which could not properly be excluded from a History of the Indian Mutiny. But it does not profess to give a minute account of what took place at every station and in every district in India during the struggle. A narrative minute enough, in most of its chapters, to satisfy the most curious reader has already been given to the world by Sir John Kaye and ‘Colonel Malleson; and there is nothing to justify anyone in undertaking to write another book on the subject on the same scale as that which they adopted.
The history of the Mutiny, like every other history, "must indeed be told in detail, if it is to hold the interest of readers: but, while the narrator of recent events is expected to give a full account of all that are interesting in themselves, the writer who appears later in the field ought to reserve his detailed narrative for events of historical importance. There is, I am sure, room for a book which, while giving a detailed narrative of the chief campaigns, of the stirring events that took place at the various centers of revolt, and of every episode the story of which can permanently interest the general reader, and a more summary account of incidents of minor importance, should aim at completing the solution of the real historical problems connected with the Mutiny. I am only too conscious how far my performance of this task falls below the standard which I have set myself. Still, I hope that my attempt may be of use. The whole truth about any period of history is never known until many workers have sought for it; and it is possible that a writer who has derived almost all his information from original sources may succeed in throwing light upon neglected aspects of his subject, and in gaining the attention of some who have hitherto known nothing of one of the most interesting chapters of their national history. Though this book is so much shorter than those which have preceded it, my object has not been to write a short history or a popular history, in the ordinary sense of the term, but simply to write the best history that I could; to record everything that was worthy to be remembered; to enable readers to understand what sort of men the chief actors in the struggle were, and to realize what they and their comrades and opponents did and suffered ; and to ascertain what were the causes of the Mutiny, and how the civil population of India bore themselves during its progress.
As I have found myself unable to agree, on certain points, with Sir John Kaye and Colonel Malleson, it is the more incumbent on me to say that, if their books had never appeared, the difficulty which I have felt in finding my way through the tangled maze of my materials would have been greatly increased. In some cases, I am indebted solely to those books for information which I might have found it hard to get elsewhere. To students of military history Colonel Malleson’s work will always be indispensable. In the last appendix I have given a short critical account of the authorities which I have used. In conclusion, I desire to express my gratitude to those who have helped me by answering queries, or by allowing me to read private letters or manuscripts.
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Very good information.
Shah Sharaf Barlas
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