My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all, this is not a book review. Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the Napoleonic Era. It seemed logical, therefore, for me to read this series of books by Simon Scarrow, which is about two of the most important figures of that time – Napoleon and Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). It was with some surprise, then, that I found myself being drawn more into Wellesley’s history in India.
I confess that my knowledge of Wellesley’s early years is sadly lacking. I was amazed to discover that this conservative, naturally arrogant, man had a conscience unlike most of his class. He deplored the abuse of the native Indian population by British officers and soldiers, and was forever looking for ways in which the lot of the people could be improved. Of course, this was partly because he recognised the danger of a general uprising – uncounted millions of Indians against a handful of British. It is clear, however, that he also had a moral conscience which drove him to genuinely try to make life better for the common people of India. He believed in Justice, above all else. When he was finally in a position to do so, he introduced new laws and procedures, whereby the beatings and killings of Indians by their British overlords would no longer go unpunished.
A blend of fact and fiction, superbly crafted so that it becomes impossible to tell which is which, these books are worth reading!