In the seedy mid-nineteenth century underworld of London gambling dens, 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. William is no saint, but when the Indian Mutiny breaks out among the native troops, he acts with generosity and courage, for which he pays a high price.
About Ronald Welch and the Carey Novels
Ronald Welch’s 12 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.
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