A panoramic social history chronicling the lives of hundreds of British people of all classes in the most important territory of the British Empire.
David Gilmour is one of Britain's most admired and accomplished historical writers and biographers. He is the author of lives of George Curzon (Duff Cooper Prize) and Rudyard Kipling (Elizabeth Longford Prize) and of The Ruling Caste- Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj, an acclaimed study of the administrators of Victorian India. His other works include The Last Leopard, a biography of Giuseppe di Lampedusa (Marsh Biography Award) as well as several books on the modern history of Spain and the Middle East. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a former Research Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford.
Brimming with colourful details, his book has no time for academic
jargon or pretentious theorising ... Gilmour is interested in human
complexity, not in moralistic posturing -- Dominic Sandbrook *
Sunday Times *
This is the best kind of history: meticulously researched, elegantly and entertainingly written, and as wide in its sympathies as it is long in its reach -- Peter Parker * Spectator *
Glorious, human, colourful, teeming and spicy. If you read just one book on imperial India, let it be this -- John Lewis-Stempel * Sunday Express *
He knows the material backwards and marshals it with style, elegance and wit ... The British in India should be the first book that anybody consults on the East India Company or the Raj -- Jaspreet Singh Boparai * Oldie *
All British colonial life in India is here present in elegant prose, 350 years of battles and durbars, maharajahs' balls, viceregal tiger shoots and Shimla shenanigans telescoped down into telling anecdotes and witty, skilfully sketched vignettes -- William Dalrymple * Guardian *
The British in India is an exceptional book ... a penetrating and vivid portrait of the British men and women who ran the show from the mid-18th century to 1947 -- Lawrence James * The Times *
Impressive ... This is a rich and nuanced social history that does not treat every British footstep on the subcontinent as if it were a step on the way to the Amritsar massacre. That does not make it an imperial whitewash. -- Jad Adams * New Statesman *
Extraordinary ... It simply has to be read, over and over again -- Brian Morton * Herald *
He gives us just about everything one has ever heard of, or would wish to know, about the British in India, from what these expatriates ate - anglicised curries and kedgeree, with chicken as a backstop - to their painful separation from their children, who were sent "home" to school at the age of five. Superbly researched, The British in India is authoritative and comprehensive -- Anne de Courcy * Sunday Telegraph *