Soldier of the Raj

Life of Richard Fortescue Purvis 1789 - 1868

Iain Gordon

 
Date Published :
February 2008
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9780850528473
Pages : 300
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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Military life began at an early age in Victorian times; Richard Fortescue Purvis was a midshipman in the Royal Navy at age 11, and by age 15, he was an officer in the Bengal Army. For all of Purvis' 17-year career, Indian units were officially under the East India Company and not controlled by the British government, but the drill, tactics and traditions of the British Army were closely followed. The major campaign in which Purvis served was the Nepal War, which pitted British and Indian forces against the tough Gurkha mountaineers, who were later recruited into British service. Purvis eventually returned to his homeland and pursued a career as a Church of England country parson.

This detailed study of a young officer in India at the time of the Napoleonic Wars was made possible by the recent discovery of an extensive collection of previously unpublished contemporary letters. In addition to active duty there is a great deal of detail on daily life and attitudes among the British in India. A young man's career at the time was heavily dependent on patronage and Purvis has left behind a candid account of how this system worked.

About The Author
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Iain Gordon founded and ran for 30 years a specialist publishing house producing periodicals for Army garrisons and establishments in conjunction with being Managing Director of an established Scottish weekly newspaper. He regularly writes articles on military history and speaks at academic symposia in the United Kingdom and overseas.Since his retirement he has written seven books, five of which have been published by Pen & Sword: Admiral of the Blue, the biography of a Georgian Navy admiral, was shortlisted for the Mountbatten Maritime Prize in 2006 and Bloodline, a study of the origins and development of the regular formations of the British Army, has become the standard reference work in its field. The Night Hunter’s Prey was published in 2016.

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