Out 10 September in the USA. Based on the quality of his past work, this is a must-read book for me.
From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country.
In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army.
The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company’s reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London.
The Anarchy tells one of history’s most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.
British Flank / Light Infantry Officers Sabre, 1796 to 1803
This is a British interim sabre from between 1796 and 1803, for a Flank or Light Infantry officer. With a wedge section blade, heavily curved, and a 1796 style hilt, this sword was scaled down to fit the needs of an infantry officer and is extremely quick and agile.
The deeply curved, slightly shorter blade is well suited to draw cuts, and the overall lightness compliments the POB (12cm from crossguard)
The reason it can be accurately dated to the interim period of 1796 to 1803 is because of the British war office officially adopting new patterns of sabres in those years.
In 1796 the (rather well known) 1796 light cavalry sabre was adopted, which this mimics in hilt design, featuring a stirrup hilt (“P” shaped guard) and a curved blade.
Flank infantry and Light infantry officers often engaged in skirmishing tactics and thus officers for these regiments tended to go for more combat appropriate swords than their official pattern (The 1796 spadroon, often considered to be a terrible sword).
As a result of the number of Flank/Light infantry officers using 1796 Light Cavalry sabre derivatives, the 1803 was soon officially adopted for these regiments, featuring a broad, heavily curved blade and a more elaborate and more protective hilt.
British Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry Officer’s Sword
Wide, curved, single-and false-edged blade with large, central fuller, the base engraved with crowned, royal monogram, trophies and floral motifs on one side, and with royal coat-of-arms and motto “DIEU MON DROIT”; remains of gilding; iron, finished, mono-quillon hilt, leather-covered grip, with iron wire binding, faceted ring-nut; complete with scabbard with two suspension rings.
According to the basket hilt classification of Cyril Mazansky (British Basket-Hilted Swords: A Typology of Basket-type Sword Hilts, 2005), this is a type G-16. This hilt type features long bars and a cross-and-arrow motif. The grip has lost much of its fish skin covering, but retains its copper wire wrap. The blade appears to have the king’s head stamp of the Wundes family of Solingen, but as was the fashion of the day, it is stamped with the name ANDREA FERARA.
Georgian naval officer’s Dirk in its associated brass mounted leather scabbard. Curved 27.5 cm blade with traces of blue and gilt etching. Chequered bone grip and brass guard. Scabbard locket marked ‘Bennet, Sword Cutler to the Prince of Wales, 67 Royal Exchange’. Probably John Bennet Jr. 1773-1802.