Book Review: 1857 – The Real Story of the Great Uprising


Written by a Brahmin mendicant (Vishnu Bhatt), who somehow fortuitously ended up being in parts of India where (and when) the revolt was breaking out, ‘1857‘ is a fantastic book chronicling the first great uprising of the Indian freedom struggle. Vishnu Bhatt wrote the book as a diary – which was published only after his death in the early 20th century.

Several of the heroes of our history books make an appearance: including Rani of Jhansi, Tatya Tope, Nana Sahib, etc. Bhatt has no ulterior motives; so his chronicling is honest and catches instances which text books tend to gloss over or delete… such as excesses by the mutineers. Even though the book is a hundred years old, I am surprised some political party hasn’t tried to get it banned (yet) given its honest depiction of history.

Mrinal Pande has done a good job of translating the book; however, her analysis and commentary at the end read somewhat odd and out of place (talking of class differences, et al in a history book) and diminished my joy of discovering the book.

Overall, the book is a must read. Just give Pande’s weirdly pedantic commentary at the end a miss.

Title: 1857 – The Real Story of the Great Uprising
Authors: Vishnu Bhatt, Godshe Versaikar | Translator: Mrinal Pande
Publisher/ Imprint:
Pages: 244
Genre/ Sub Genre: Non-Fiction/ History
Rating: 4.00 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Personal Copy

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