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Roger Bell (1905-1959) was a civil servant in British India during the most tumultuous period in its history, and was directly involved in not only the fascinating workings of the administration, but also its eventual transfer of power upon Indian Independence in 1947. His nearly two decades in Orissa and Madras Provinces saw the rise of Gandhi, the flap caused by World War II, corruption, riots, panther attacks, and Englishmen whose eccentricities were only exceeded by those of the local Rajas and Maharajas.
Bells handwritten memoirs lay forgotten for decades in a trunk in his family home in Tasmania until rediscovered by his daughter, Alexandra. They are finally published here, 56 years after his death (and 70 years after his Orissa District Gazetteer), providing a fascinating insight into this pivotal period of Indias history. Anybody with an interest in this time, the history of the British Empire, or simply good old-fashioned adventure, will certainly enjoy reading this eloquent and engaging first-hand account.