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John Nicholson The Lion of the Punjaub   By:

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John Nicholson The Lion of the Punjab by R.E. Cholmeley is a captivating biography that delves into the extraordinary life of a remarkable British officer in India during the mid-19th century. Throughout the pages, Cholmeley skillfully brings to life the enigmatic character of John Nicholson, providing readers with a thorough understanding of his grand adventures, inner struggles, and indomitable spirit.

The book offers a comprehensive overview of Nicholson's life, charting the various stages that shaped him into a legendary individual. From his early childhood in Ireland, the narrative takes us through his formative years and education in England, before ultimately leading to his eventful and fateful journey to India.

Cholmeley's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he seamlessly weaves together historical facts, primary sources, and personal accounts to construct a vivid portrayal of the era and the man himself. The author's attention to detail is commendable, making it easy for readers to immerse themselves in the vivid descriptions of battlefields, political intrigues, and the cultural milieu of 19th-century Punjab.

One of the strongest aspects of this biography is Cholmeley's ability to bring Nicholson's complex personality to life. This is not merely a recounting of events but a profound exploration of a multifaceted individual who defied convention and displayed an unwavering dedication to his principles. Through Cholmeley's narrative, readers gain a deep understanding of Nicholson's unwavering sense of duty, his relentless pursuit of justice, and his almost legendary fearlessness.

Moreover, the biography masterfully examines the internal struggles that Nicholson faced, revealing an individual torn between his loyalty to the British Empire and his admiration for the people of India. Cholmeley tactfully navigates the complexities of Nicholson's relationship with the locals, highlighting how his respect for Indian culture and traditions often clashed with his position as a representative of colonial rule.

The book also delves into the military campaigns in which Nicholson played a crucial role, providing a detailed account of his strategic brilliance and his unwavering commitment to protecting British interests in the region. These accounts are not only historically riveting but also illustrate Nicholson's indomitable spirit and unwavering determination, which earned him the moniker "The Lion of the Punjab."

While Cholmeley's writing style may appear slightly dry at times, the wealth of information and compelling narrative more than compensate for it. The author has successfully crafted a comprehensive and intimate biography that sheds light on the life of an exceptional individual often forgotten by history.

In conclusion, John Nicholson The Lion of the Punjab by R.E. Cholmeley is an exemplary biography that transports readers to a tumultuous era in Indian history and introduces them to an extraordinary character. Cholmeley's meticulous research, combined with his ability to bring Nicholson to life, makes this book a must-read for history enthusiasts interested in the British Raj, colonialism, and the individuals who left an indelible mark during this tumultuous time.

First Page:


"The Lion of the Punjaub"



"My Lord, you may rely upon this, that if ever there is a desperate deed to be done in India, John Nicholson is the man to do it." Sir Herbert Edwardes to Lord Canning, March 1857.

With Eight Coloured Plates

[Frontispiece: "'Seize those men!' commanded Nicholson fiercely, as he pointed out the ringleaders."]

London: Andrew Melrose 16 Pilgrim Street, E.C. 1908





I. Eastward Ho! II. Fighting the Afghans III. One of Lawrence's Lieutenants IV. The Second Sikh War V. On Furlough VI. The Master of Bannu VII. The Great Mutiny VIII. With the Movable Column IX. Before Delhi X. In the Hour of Victory


"Seize those men!" commanded Nicholson fiercely, as he pointed out the ringleaders . . . Frontispiece

One by one dropped through into the narrow street below

They seated themselves and fixed their eyes upon the object of their adoration

"You have just five minutes to read it and give me any message for your husband"

They saw Nicholson himself fastened with ropes to a tree

Portrait of John Nicholson

He saw Nicholson's great form riding steadily on as if nothing was the matter

A sepoy leaned out ... Continue reading book >>

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