This is a long, wonderfully discursive and reassuringly old-fashioned book which tells the story of the British in India through the lives of one British family — the author’s ancestors, the Lows of Clatto in Fife. The Lows also happen to be the ancestors of Mount’s cousin, David Cameron.The action opens in 1805, in the aftermath of the Second Maratha War, when the East India Company had established its dominant military position through most of the Indian interior. The narrative takes us through to 1905, just as it was becoming clear that, despite Curzon’s efforts, the Raj could not go on for ever and independence would sooner or later be inevitable.
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