Monday, Sep 20, 2021
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The Tyrant Diaries

From the memoirs of a French adventurer who served at Tipu’s court

The Tyrant Diaries
The Tyrant Diaries
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In December 8, 1988, an old trunk was discovered in the attic of the house of Elaine de la Taille Tretinville, who died at 91 in her 14th arrondissement flat in Paris.  She was a descendant of the family of Les Ripaud Montaudeverts. Among the contents was a manuscript in the hand of the most famous of the Montaudeverts—Francois Fidele Ripaud de Montaudevert. It starts with these words (in old French): “I, Francois Ripaud, am old today, but I want to tell you the true story of Tipu Sultan.”

Born in Saffre, northwestern France, in a middle-class family, Ripaud enrolled as a sailor, aged 11, on the Le Palmier. After many adventures, he settled in Mauritius, where he married and had two children. In 1797, hearing of Le Grand Tipu Sultan, he sailed from Mauritius (then called Ile de France) to Mangalore and sought a meeting with the sultan, promising “to raise a large force in Mau­ritius and put it at Tipu’s disposal”. Tipu, who had an early connection with the French, having been instructed in warfare by French officers in...

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