|About the Book|
I have not attempted in this story to give a full account of the career of Lord Clive. That has been done by my old friend Mr. Henty in With Clive in India. It has always seemed to me that a single book provides too narrow a canvas for the display ofMoreI have not attempted in this story to give a full account of the career of Lord Clive. That has been done by my old friend Mr. Henty in With Clive in India. It has always seemed to me that a single book provides too narrow a canvas for the display of a life so full and varied as Clives- while a story is bound to suffer, structurally and in detail, from the compression of the events of a life-time into so restricted a space. I have therefore chosen two outstanding events in the history of India and of Clive--the capture of Gheria and the Battle of Plassey- and have made them the pivot of a personal story of adventure. The whole action of the present work is comprised in the years from 1754 to 1757.But while this book is thus rather a romance with a background of history than an historical biography with an admixture of fiction, the reader may be assured that the information its pages contain is accurate. I have drawn freely upon the standard authorities: Ormes History, Ives Voyage, Groses Voyage, the lives of Clive by Malcolm and by Colonel Malleson, and many other works, in particular the monumental volumes, by Mr. S. C. Hill recently published, Bengal in 1756-7, which give a very full, careful and clear account of that notable year, with a mass of most useful and interesting documents. The maps of Bengal, Fort William, and Plassey in the present volume are taken from Mr. Hills work, by kind permission of the Secretary of State for India. I have to thank also Mr. T. P. Marshall, of Newport, for some valuable notes on the history and topography of Market Drayton. For Indian words and names the Hunterian spelling has been adopted in the main.For several years I myself lived within a stones throw of the scene of the tragedy of the Black Hole- and though at that time I had no intention of writing a story for boys, I hope that the impressions of Indian life, character, and scenery then gained have helped to create an atmosphere and to give reality to my picture. History is more than a mere record of events- I shall be satisfied if the reader gets from these pages an idea, however imperfect, of the conditions of life in which our empire-builders laboured in India a hundred and fifty years ago.HERBERT STRANG.