From jacket flap:
Drawing upon family papers long neglected, Captain Dawson describes in this book a fragment of the vanished world of the 1850s:
In the first part, he describes the life and times of his grandfather, a modest Suffolk squire whose habits and outlook did not differ greatly from his grandfather in the 18th century. Rooted in a pastoral society, his main care was for his hunters and his hounds, his tenants and the countryside.
In sharp contrast to this quiet and withdrawn life are the journals of George Blake, the friend of Squire Dawson of Groton, who was sent to India at the time of the Mutiny and thus at the age of 21 came face to face with the horrors of a total war that nourished those resentments which ultimately sounded the death-knell of Britain’s ascendancy in India. Naturally courageous, a fine horseman, not over-sensitive, Blake was a typical subaltern of the times and indeed of any time, but unlike most subalterns he had the power to set down ably and accurately what he experienced in the siege of Lucknow and the brutal reprisals that followed. His sidelight upon the campaign are always fresh and frequently illuminated by a startling selection of detail as when he describes coming upon a pile of skeletons he had seen months earlier as corpses, with “their belts still on them”.