David Gilmour is one of Britain's most admired and accomplished historical writers and biographers. He is the author of The Long Recessional- The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling (Elizabeth Longford Prize), The Ruling Caste- Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj and the acclaimed The British in India- Three Centuries of Ambition and Experience. His other works include The Pursuit of Italy- A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples, The Last Leopard, a biography of Giuseppe di Lampedusa (Marsh Biography Award) as well as several books on the modern history of Spain and the Middle East. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a former Research Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford.
An exceptional book. It evokes those animated crowd scenes painted by William Frith, full of people going about their workaday lives, or enjoying themselves. ... David Gilmour's canvas is British India and he provides the answers in a penetrating and vivid portrait of the British men and women who ran the show from the mid-18th century to 1947. -- Lawrence James * The Times * Glorious, human, colourful, teeming and spicy. If you read just one book on imperial India, let it be this -- John Lewis-Stempel * Sunday Express * Hugely researched and elegantly written, sensitive to the ironies of the past and brimming with colourful details -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *