Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery

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Read Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India Online Free - Lost in time for generations, the story of a 19th-century English gentleman in British India—a family mystery of love found and loyalties abandoned, finally brought to light

In 1841, twenty-year-old Nigel Halleck set out for Calcutta as a clerk in the East India Company. He went on to serve in the colonial administration for eight years before abruptly leaving the company under a cloud and disappearing in the mountain kingdom of Nepal, never to be heard from again. While most traces of his life were destroyed in the bombing of his hometown during World War II, Nigel was never quite forgotten—the myth of the man who headed East would reverberate through generations of his family.

Kief Hillsbery, Nigel’s nephew many times removed, embarked on his own expedition, spending decades researching and traveling through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal in the footsteps of his long-lost relation. In uncovering the remarkable story of Nigel’s life, Hillsbery beautifully renders a moment in time when the arms of the British Empire extended around the world. Both a powerful history and a personal journey, Empire Made weaves together a clash of civilizations, the quest to discover one’s own identity, and the moving tale of one man against an empire.

Title : Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0547443315
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Jill rated it ★★★★☆

June 30, 2017

Writer Kief Hillsbery new book, "Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India", is an excellent read...for the right reader. That reader should be interested in Raj India, as well as a search for an ancestral figure who may have thrown off his British garb and "gone na...

Pam rated it ★★★★★

August 09, 2017

~ review copy provided Adventure, Mystery, and History... what's not to like. I really enjoyed Hillsbery's book. His writing is so good and so clear, it was a pleasure to tag along as he tried to decipher what happened to that errant British great-great-many-times-removed uncle of his. The one tha...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

August 30, 2017

Hillsbery undertakes the solving of a family puzzle as a sideline while he pursues a research project in Nepal as part of his undergraduate studies. The mystery is "what happened to (great) Uncle Nigel when he went back to India after home leave?". "Was he really eaten by a tiger?" We don't, in t...

Barb in Maryland rated it ★★★★★

November 16, 2017

5 stars for this engrossing combination history/travel/biography. The framing device is rather familiar--the subtitle says it all. However, it masks one of the more accessible histories of India under British rule that I've read. While keeping the focus firmly on Uncle Nigel's activities, the auth...

John rated it ★★★★★

August 06, 2017

Kief Hillsbery's long searcher his ancestor Nigel Halleck, a Victorian man who went to India and never came back. From 1841-1878Nigel lived though the First Afghan War, The Anglo-Sikh Wars and the Indian Mutiny. He was friends with John Nicolson, Henry Lawrence and with various others. He visited...

Patrick rated it ★★★☆☆

September 28, 2017

Interesting subject matter, but the author has stretched what should be a long essay into a book. The narrative often gets lost in his recounting of the (bloody) regime changes is Nepal and the ins and outs of British rule in India. The errant uncle often seems like an afterthought, playing a mos...

Michael rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2017

This book follows a somewhat familiar paradigm: a 20th century would-be explorer following in the long-lost footsteps of a Victorian ancestor, in this case through the jungles of India and the mountainous reaches of the Himalayas. The long-departed ancestor was a functionary of the East India Com...

Julie rated it ★★★☆☆

October 10, 2017

This book, a chronicle of the author's search to learn what happened to his uncle in 19th Century Asia, had the potential to be a great book of history. Unfotunately, the author's use of fictionalized passages at the beginning of the book, and his visit to a seeress as a means of research made th...

Sarah rated it ★★☆☆☆

January 08, 2018

I read a fair amount of this eArc from NetGalley. I probably could have gotten through more if the author stuck to one storyline. I was mildly interested in his relative's experiences in India, but I found the interludes where he shares his own experiences in India in the 1970s to be distracting....

Jane rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 11, 2017

Irritating writing style pretending that he didn't know things to maintain some sort of narrative tension. It is a fascinating story ruined by a very poor narrative. Also tries to be arch which muddies the water without providing real documentation or actually saying what he means which is that t...

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