"Because We Were Too English:" John Kaye and the 1857 Indian Rebellion

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Throughout the nineteenth century, no other rebellion received the same level of attention in Britain as the 1857 Indian Rebellion. This was one of the most written about events in the nineteenth century. The foremost writer on the rebellion is Sir John William Kaye. This thesis examines John Kaye’s writings on India before and after the rebellion. Kaye viewed the British-Indian relationship through a paternalistic lens. Kaye viewed the role of the British to uplift the condition of Indians through personal examples. He was therefore critical of the East India Company’s policies and actions which were detrimental to this agenda, while he still defended it as an institution of progress. After the 1857 Mutiny, Kaye re-examined his standpoint on British interference in India. He did not forsake his paternalistic viewpoint, which allowed Kaye to examine how British actions had caused a divide between the British officers and the sepoys.