An Illustrated History
Prakash Verma, Som
Date published: 
May 2008

Posing the greatest armed challenge to imperialism in the nineteenth century, 1857 is inscribed in Indian popular memory as the central signpost in the struggle against British domination. In the 150th year of the Uprising, this book takes us on a graphic historical journey of the revolt. Through rare contemporary paintings and gripping oral narratives, it brings alive the incidents, institutions, ideas, and individuals connected with event. The volume recreates the circumstances prevalent not only at the famous storm centers - Meerut, Delhi, Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Benaras, and Arrah - but also far-flung areas like Manipur and Dacca. It provides vivid accounts of the episodes connected with the rebellion - circulation of chapattis, greased cartridges, Sepoy revolts, attacks on British symbols and institutions, battles and seizes, flight of Europeans, and British repression. The visuals and the accompanying descriptions also succinctly capture the popular mood, transmission of ideas, and modes of transport and communication used during the revolt. In the introduction to the volume, S. P. Verma provides the historical background, British policies, and elements of popular discontent. Deploying rebel proclamations and contemporary narratives, he discusses events and anecdotes related to the unfolding of the rebellion.