1857; or, Can the Indian ‘Mutiny’ Be Fixed?
BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History
In the 150 years since it occurred, little about the events that shook northern India in the waning days of the East-India Company’s rule has been fixed. The skeletal facts are seldom contested, but their meanings so disputed that what is known appears to recede. Take, for instance, the nomenclature: long known as the “Indian Mutiny,” the events under scrutiny were neither “Indian” (in any pan-Indian or collective sense) nor only a “mutiny.” Alternatives abound—Sepoy Mutiny; Sepoy War; Revolt of 1857; the Uprising of 1857; the Rebellion of 1857; the Great Rebellion; the First War of Independence—each offering an interpretive gloss on the May 1857-June 1858 events. This essay offers an overview of key nodes of debate—who participated and why? who led whom? how planned were the events? how unified were actors—in the current historiography of 1857.
Joshi, Priti. “1857; or, Can the Indian ‘Mutiny’ Be Fixed?” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Ed. Dino Franco Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web.