NIGHTRUNNERS OF BENGAL by John Masters

NIGHTRUNNERS OF BENGAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Of British extraction, this historical recapitulation of the mutiny in Bengal in 1857 has a certain seriousness and substance not always common to this genre, tempers the imperialism of Victoria's England with the more enlightened outlook of its two main characters, subdues but does not omit the romantic salients. This is the story of Rodney Savage, whose unconditional trust in his natives obscured the early signs of unrest; Joanna, his wife, spoiled and self-interested; and Caroline Langford who had a sympathy for and an awareness of the troubled resentment of the people. With the outbreak of fire and guns, Joanna is bayonetted, and only Rodney, his small son, and Caroline escape to take refuge with the Rani who had once loved Rodney, but who had murdered her husband and sparked off the mutiny. Escaping a second massacre, Rodney and Caroline finally make their way back to the British and in the bloody battle that ensues, the Rani is finally defeated. ""The noon of courage and the midnight of barbarism"" of an incident which was prophetic of the severance to come, this is based on contemporary reports and letters but forfeits little of the danger and the drama.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1950
Publisher: Viking