Doon & Don't

Not just a handy book to carry up to the hills, but useful for armchair travellers too.-- traces the history and social life of Doon over nearly two centurie
The Doon Valley Across The Years
By Edited By Ganesh Saili
Rupa Pages: 192; Rs. 295
All hill stations have their share of ghost stories, rose-covered English cottages, their Mall legends and Scandal Points. But the Doon must be the only spot that can boast of so many writers, living and dead, who have turned their home into their muse. The Doon Valley is the latest in the deluge of books on this now crowded perch in the Himalayas.

The anthology traces the history and social life of Doon over nearly two centuries, beginning with its sale by an indigent Raja to an Anglo-Indian mercenary, Capt Hyder Young Hearsey. But when the British drove out the Gorkhas, they appropriated the Doon, ignoring Hearsey’s claim for compensation. With the opening of the Haridwar-Dehradun Railway in 1900, Mussourie soon grew into a popular summer destination, attracting bored English housewives, native princes, soldiers on sick leave, gamblers and other idlers. Expectedly, it soon acquired a reputation for fun and good times, unlike stiff cousins Simla and Nainital where "you always had the feeling the Viceroy was looking over your shoulder".

Australian-born writer John Lang, now something of a local icon for having defended the Rani of Jhansi in court, has left a delightfully gossipy portrait of this erstwhile pleasure capital: its masquerade parties, drinking at the clubhouse, the season’s duels and elopements. The Doon Valley is not only a handy book to carry up to the hills, but is for armchair travellers too.

READ MORE IN:
Next Story : Dead Queen
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
REVIEW
Review
Amjad Ali Khan’s recollections of 11 great classical musicians do have well-known details, but his anecdotes are lit up by a sense of ‘ethereality’
MAGAZINE May 25, 2017
Review
An anatomy of demonetisation, with little empirical data, sums up well, also directing the Centre’s eyes to issues nearer black money
MAGAZINE May 25, 2017
Review
This engaging history of the RBI—rich in events and tales of conflict over policy—effectively ends in 1981. What brings up the rear is biased, tepid stuff.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
Review
Getting into Jayalalitha’s shoes, Outlook’s Tamil Nadu correspondent reviews a book that seems to be only a poor caricature of Amma.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
Review
Sonal Mansingh’s metier enveloped her soul. At the forefront of a renaissance in performing arts post 1947, this is a celebration of a life danced to the full.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
read more>>>
Advertisement

OUTLOOK TOPICS :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters