Ensign Carey begins in the seedy mid-nineteenth century underworld of London gambling dens, where William, a hard-up Carey cousin, has a frightening encounter with George Hampton, a violent and unprincipled young man on the make.
Banished from Cambridge for bad behaviour, in 1856 William travels to India, where his father has used family influence to get him a commission in the 84th Bengal Native Infantry. Here his path again crosses – dramatically – with Hampton’s. Ensign William Carey is no saint, but when the Indian Mutiny breaks out among the native troops, Ensign Carey acts with generosity and courage, for which he pays a high price.
About Ronald Welch and the Carey Novels
Ronald Welch’s Carey novels, written between 1954 and 1972, follow the fortunes of the same family from their involvement in the Crusades to their service in the First World War. Grippingly plotted and scrupulously researched, together they join up the dots of English history in a remarkably vivid and human way.
Welch was a historian who served as a Tank Corps officer in the Second World War and in 1947 became Headmaster of Okehampton Grammar School in Devon. He was, by all accounts, an inspiring teacher, and he certainly knew how to bring history alive for younger readers. You can’t finish a Welch book without having grasped such precise details as the construction of a crusader’s armour and why it was so designed, or why the longbow was crucial to the English victory at the Battle of Crécy. Most importantly they’re brilliant reads – fast-paced, colourful and imaginative, with entirely believable central characters. The Careys are a distinguished Welsh landowning family and are involved in all the great events of their times, from the plots against Elizabeth I and the Civil War to the Peninsular War, the Crimea and the Indian Mutiny.
The original editions, published by Oxford University Press and illustrated by some of the best book illustrators of their day, are now almost impossible to find and fetch prohibitive prices. We’re delighted to make these wonderful books available again, with their original illustrations, in an elegantly designed and highly collectable series.
‘These new editions are exquisite . . .’
‘I just wanted to let you know how thrilled I was to receive my set of Ronald Welch books earlier this week. These new editions are exquisite – simply wonderful to hold, feel, smell and browse...Read more
Why Ronald Welch’s novels will help your children fall in love with history
Ronald Welch, a tank commander turned schoolmaster, is one of the 20th century’s most underrated children’s writers. Like Hilary Mantel, he understood that what makes a lost epoch stick in your...Read more
‘A big thank you to Slightly Foxed . . .’
‘I am looking forward to receiving the set, having read my first Ronald Welch novel as a very young boy in the late 1960s leading to a life long interest in history and historical fiction. I have...Read more