Lord Amherst and the British Advance Eastwards to Burma
In 1823, after relatively undistinguished diplomatic missions to Sicily and China, Lord Amherst (1773-1857) was appointed Governor-general of Bengal, a compromise candidate following Canning's sudden withdrawal to become foreign secretary. Arriving in India, he found the country on the brink of war with Burma, which he was unable to prevent or quickly to resolve, resulting in an expensive and demoralising two-year campaign, and the death of his eldest son. This 1894 biography, written by Anne Thackeray Ritchie (1837-1919), elder daughter of the novelist, and journalist Richardson Evans (1846-1923), was part of a series established by Sir William Wilson Hunter (1840-1900), a former Administrator in the subcontinent. Decidedly flattering in tone and glossing the War as 'a glorious enterprise of arms', this book, which quotes extensively from Lady Amherst's diary and other contemporary sources, is a fascinating example of the late-Victorian presentation of earlier colonial administration.