Edited By Sharmistha Gooptu
This collection has two earlier articles put together by the same editors, and some articles I’ve already heard of before. Apart from the mandatory historiographical essay, there are seven articles outlining how it has been remembered, written about or represented. That is not to say that the essays are not rewarding. Majumdar’s essay on contestations on the cricket field and Projit Mukherjee’s article on Scottish and English ballads are an illuminating read. What one misses in this, and other similar seminar-led collections, is a sense of advancement of our understanding of what the whole damn thing was about. All the dozens of seminars and hundreds of small papers have not been able to compensate for one big book by William Dalrymple; perhaps that is why a single quote from him appears in three different parts of this book. In terms of scholarship, compared to the centenary year, the 150th year of 1857 draws a spectacular blank.