The main reason for choosing the book 'The Indian Mutiny 1857-58 was because my Great Grandfather was present at the latter end of the 'mutiny' his regiment was the 8th Hussars and they were prominent in one or two major skirmishes. The book itself gave some account of those skirmishes which was valuable to myself. But apart from that I found the book explained the Mutiny in a way that was easy to follow from beginning to end, not going into to deep a detail of events which can sometimes make the reader loose track of events. I enjoyed the book and I recomend it.
This short book represents a very easily digestible summary of the Indian Mutiny taking the reader through the obvious causes, the notable actions of the conflict (Cawnpore, Delhi, Luknow etc), and the various outcomes. It interposes case studies of notable involved figures and these inclusions always seem relevant and add value to the overall narrative.
This is by no means an in-depth history but rather a "primer" to give the reader a sense of the overall political situation and the major military blows as well as the outcome in social, economic, and political terms. The book is very focused on the British/East India Company side of events with the mutineer actions (or responses to Imperial actions) being less well explored and there are other texts which do a better job in this respect. However if you're looking for a basic working knowledge of the events in the India of 1857 to 1858 this is a good place to start.
The Essential Histories from Osprey is an excellent series. It covers in about 100 pages core themes of major incidents and the Indian Mutiny is up there. Shaking British Rule in India to its foundations, ending the role of the East India Company and being billed as the first war of liberation. This is an excellent overview of people, events and the reasons behind the Mutiny. Interestingly more Indians fought with the British than rebelled...
A great little book - less than a hundred pages but it gets to grip with its subject perfectly well and enhances it with some wonderful illustrations of the action. The mutiny, 'revolt' is much more accurate, is sometimes passed off as an almost minor inconvenience in our ruling of India, this book gives a gripping account of how us Brit's and the loyal sepoys - who refused to join the revolt, sprang into action in a major confrontation and diverted a real catastrophe at that time. It was no minor skirmish and that's for sure. The mutineers totalled 100,000 or more! Blood was shed on both sides and the same can be said about atrocities. Again it was so typical of our `Empire's arrogance that we caused our own problems with our typical delusions of grandeur, looking down on the so called inferior natives - who had always served us so well! We mocked their religions, stripped their hierarchy of position and wealth, plundered their land, punished them very harshly if they refused to conform and insulted their traditions and beliefs. Finally, some had had enough of the English! A recurring theme unfortunately of the British Empire. After the revolt, British management of India changed markedly, so some lessons were learnt? Our superior military knowhow and numbers saw us through in the end. The Mutineers were outnumbered, three to one, the end result was inevitable. We would have almost certainly been defeated had it not been for the loyal sepoys, who totalled two thirds of the army that fought for us; they took very heavy losses themselves and went on to serve with distinction in both World Wars. I found this a great history lesson and a totally worthwhile read.