by Lionel Caplan
2003, pp. xx + 240
ISBN 99933 43 42 0
These themes are explored by analyzing the voluminous literature by military authors who have written and continue to write about the ‘Gurkhas,’ those legendary soldiers from Nepal who have served in Britain’s Imperial and post-Imperial armies for more than two centuries. The author discovers that, instead of exoticising them, the military writers find in their subjects the quintessential virtues of the European officers themselves: the Gurkhas appear as warriors and gentlemen. However, the author does not rest here: utilising a wealth of literary, historical, ethnographic sources and the results of his own fieldwork, he investigates the wider social and cultural contexts in which the European chroniclers of the Gurkhas have been nurtured.
This book will appeal to a wide readership, academic and non-academic, such as student of anthropology, literature, cultural studies, military and colonial history, South Asian studies and readers generally interested in militaria.