How can a dedicated British career military officer in Victorian times deal after the fact with the stresses and losses of a five-month siege? In the winter of 1857, Robert Patrick Anderson struggled mightily to get past physical depletion, personal loss and emotional trauma from enduring the Siege of Lucknow. He had to, before he could rebuild his family and and resume his career.
“Lucknow”reconstructs the personal struggle of one man among the many, Indian and British, who suffered during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. This is a true story about one of the sons of John and Mary Alison Anderson, of the story “St. Helena”. You’ll find an excerpt of “St. Helena” on the Rule! page of this site.
Writing this story involved a lot of research into the Sieges of Lucknow and Cawnpore, Sikh religious and philosophical tenets, the Rebellion of 1857, London in 1858 and much more. It was fascinating to research, but very hard to write! Personalizing human responses in the “stiff upper lip” culture that typified Victorian times was hard to do. But we know that war is a nasty business and it always has been, and those who suffer through it pay on many levels.
“Lucknow” is in first draft now, and will be part of Rule!, Vol II of Helena’s Stories, which is coming out in January, 2017.