Breckon, I (2012) “The bloodiest record in the book of time”: Amy Horne and the Indian uprising of 1857, in fact and fiction. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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This dissertation comprises a novel and a critical study. It is an exploration of the possible literary and historical representations of the Horne narratives, a collection of documents from the 1857 Indian uprising. Amy Horne, a young woman of mixed European and Indian descent, was a survivor of the massacre at Cawnpore. Converted to Islam and married to an Indian soldier, she spent ten months in captivity with the rebel forces, before returning to British-controlled territory. She subsequently produced several different accounts of her experiences. The critical study is a detailed examination of these narratives, the contexts of their composition and their position within the contemporary historical record. My research, which has included archival reading in India and England, has uncovered both contradictions within the narratives and supporting evidence for their claims. I argue that in order to use such contentious material effectively in fiction, a full recognition of the possibilities of interpretation is vitally important. I further suggest that a close and comparative reading of the narratives, informed by an awareness of Horne’s own cultural and ethnic status within British society, reveals a dissonant relationship with the discourses of Imperial history, and allows a potentially subversive understanding of Horne’s story.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Bath Spa University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2013 10:35
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:28
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