New in Paperback: Rumours and Rebels

wagner-coverThe Indian Uprising of 1857 had a profound impact on the British experience on the subcontinent and fears of its recurrence continued to haunt the colonisers until the very end of the Raj. For the past 150 years most aspects of the Uprising have been subjected to intense scrutiny by historians, yet the nature of the outbreak itself remains obscure. What was the extent of the conspiracies and plotting? How could rumours of contaminated ammunition spark a mutiny when not a single greased cartridge was ever distributed to the sepoys?

Based on a careful, even-handed reassessment of the primary sources, Rumours and Rebels explores the existence of conspiracies during the early months of 1857 and presents a compelling and detailed narrative of the panics and rumours which moved Indians to take up arms. With its fresh and unsentimental approach, this book offers a radically new interpretation of one of the most controversial events in the history of British India.

Available for purchase here.

Kim A. Wagner is Senior Lecturer in British Imperial History at Queen Mary University of London. He was originally taught by the late Prof. C. A. Bayly at Cambridge and has published extensively on the subject of «Thuggee», intelligence-gathering and colonial violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British India. His most recent publications include ««Treading Upon Fires»: The «Mutiny»-Motif and Colonial Anxieties in British India», Past & Present (2013) and ««Calculated to Strike Terror»: The Amritsar Massacre and the Spectacle of Colonial Violence», Past & Present (2016).

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