Sir Robert and Sir William

Two Europeans in India
Hamilton, Elizabeth
Date published: 
March 2016

The stiff upper lip. Steely eyes. A cold heart. This has been the picture of the English imperialist carried through the ages in popular imagination. Elizabeth Hamilton brings forth an alternative portrayal in her book, The Feringhees. Of a quiet people, dedicated to upholding the tradition of dispensing justice, avoiding corruption and conflict. Drawn from a multiplicity of sources- memoirs, commentaries, original manuscripts and family letters, it illustrates the lives of two British men who worked in the Indian Civil and Political Services, replete with descriptions of the social and cultural life as well as political particulars of the time. Sir Robert Hamilton during the rebellion of 1857, and Sir William Barton in the first part of the twentieth century as the movement for independence gained momentum. Their careers are set alongside the crucial events of their times, forming a lively and readable account of a world that no longer exists, a world now accessible only through fading photographs and yellowing pages.