English Siege and Prison Writings: From the ‘Black Hole’ to the ‘Mutiny’, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

English Siege and Prison Writings

From the ‘Black Hole’ to the ‘Mutiny’, 1st Edition

Edited by Pramod K. Nayar

Routledge India

370 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-11-09
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Description

This volume brings together an unusual collection of British captivity writings – composed during and after imprisonment and in conditions of siege. Writings from the ‘Mutiny’ of 1857 are well known, but there exists a vast body of texts, from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Burma, and the Indian subcontinent, that have rarely been compiled or examined.

Written in anxiety and distress, or recalled with poignancy and anger, these siege narratives depict a very different Briton. A far cry from the triumphant conqueror, explorer or ruler, these texts give us the vulnerable, injured and frightened Englishman and woman who seek, in the most adverse of conditions, to retain a measure of stoicism and identity. From Robert Knox’s 17th-century account of imprisonment in Sri Lanka, through J. Z. Holwell’s famous account of the ‘Black Hole’ of Calcutta, through Florentia Sale’s Afghan memoir, and Lady Inglis’s ‘Mutiny’ diary from Lucknow, the book opens up a dark and revealing corner of the colonial archive.

Lucid and intriguing, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern South Asia, colonial history, literary and culture studies.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1 An historical relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies (1681)

ROBERT KNOX 2 A genuine narrative of the deaths of English gentlemen (1764)

J.Z. HOLWELL 3 Personal narrative of two years’ imprisonment in Burmah (1860)

HENRY GOUGER 4 A journal of the disasters in Afghanistan (1843)

LADY [FLORENTIA] SALE

5 The military operations at Cabul (1843)

VINCENT EYRE

6 From the Calcutta Gazette (1791)

WILLIAM DRAKE

7 A narrative of the sufferings of James Bristow (1793)

JAMES BRISTOW

8 A narrative of the military operations on the Coromandel Coast (1789)

INNES MUNRO

9 The captivity, sufferings and escape of James Scurry (1824)

JAMES SCURRY

10 An authentic account of the treatment of English prisoners (1785)

HENRY OAKES

11 Siege of Lucknow: a diary (1892)

LADY [JULIA] INGLIS

About the Editor

Pramod K. Nayar teaches in the Department of English at the University of Hyderabad, India. His most recent books include The Indian Graphic Novel: Nation, History and Critique (Routledge, 2016), The Transnational in English Literature: Shakespeare to the Modern (Routledge, 2015), the edited Postcolonial Studies: An Anthology (2015) and the Postcolonial Studies Dictionary (2015). A book on human rights and literature and an edited five-volume collection Indian Travel Writing, 1830–1947 are forthcoming, besides essays on celebrity studies, graphic biographies and colonial etiquette books.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS017000
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
LCO015000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Diaries & Journals
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOC043000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies