Review: Viceroys, Christopher Lee

History, Literature

Rating: 2 out of 5

I have been a fan of many a history book by Christopher Lee and some of these also touched upon the Raj. Knowing this and knowing that the Indian Empire provided a backstop to much of what Mr Lee has devoted his work towards, I was looking forward to this book in many a way. 

However, what looked like a promising book really failed to deliver — the cover advertises this as “the supreme view of the British in India” and what we end up with is a series of anecdotes on the various Viceregents. Sure, there is plenty of useful information in this book and I found a lot of it interesting but for the promise on the cover, the book really does not deliver. We hear very few stories of the exuberance that India was meant to be and neither are we really given a political overview of these Viceroys. Rather, for nearly all of them only one or two policies are mentioned, so we mostly get a personal overview, an assessment of their character, but very little idea of what India meant for them or what they tried to do, though the author does try and assess this.

I am not sure whether the main problem here is the lack of space the author had or something else, but I feel this could have been done a lot better indeed.