The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 16: James Minchin's Sonnets, 1858
James Minchin's Sonnets, 1858
JAMES Minchin, an Englishman in India during the uprising, wrote his sonnets in early November 1857 and sent them to England almost immediately, hoping for their publication. This was refused on account of ‘mild strictures’ expressed in the sonnets against ‘public characters’.1 Minchin published his sonnets at a later date to provide British readers with an idea of ‘what were the feelings of those in India’ at the time of the uprising. He explained,
During the last six months every Englishman in India has been living in a whirl of excitement…. Horror, pity, stern resolution, admiration for heroic deeds, unlimited confidence in the might of the English arm, and writing scorn for those few who were below the ...