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Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle…

Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India

by Kief Hillsbery

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Adventure, Mystery, and History... what's not to like.

I really enjoyed Hillsbery's book. His writing is so good and so clear, it was a pleasure to tag along as he tried to decipher what happened to that errant British great-great-many-times-removed uncle of his. The one that was born in 1822. The one who went off to India to work for the great East India Company. And the one who gave up a very promi$ing career when he vanished.

Was he murdered by Thugees or eaten by a tiger? As we start we really haven't a clue.

No small part of what made EMPIRE MADE a pleasure was that Hillsbery juxtaposed his Uncle Nigel's history as he moved about the region, with his own person travels as he visited the same locales. Kief visited museums and libraries, monuments and graveyards looking for clues, or at least looking for the dead man's remains.

And our author could do this because many of Nigel's letters home survived the years and remained in his family's keeping. And what can I say, these letters are wonderful preservers of the past. And through them we can see the East as Victoria's countrymen did. The enlightened, and the less enlightened.

And fantastically, Nigel knew important people. Rajah's and dignitaries. Men such the clever and exceptional Lawrence. And because Nigel knew people I got a wonderful history lesson about the struggles of the region. Really, a good deal of Indian, Afghani, Sikh, Nepalese, history is crammed into this book and you'll hardly notice as the whole arm chair adventure is made relevant by the historical background.

A really good read.
  PamFamilyLibrary | Jul 5, 2017 |
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