The Revolt of 1857 is being increasingly recognized as one of the major events of the nineteenth century, a turning point in the history of imperialism.
The sheer scale of the uprising and its unique place in the narrative of anti-colonial resistance has prompted it to be interpreted on several occasions in the past – by nationalist leaders, historians and officials – and the literature on 1857 has grown in volume as the country observed its 150th anniversary.
Recently, there has been an increasing awareness of the need to study, in detail, the ideas of the Rebels regarding their own cause, the varied composition of their ranks and the different understandings of their legacy.
The essays in Facets of the Great Revolt have been written essentially in response to this need, by scholars who have sought to explore much hitherto neglected material on that event. Readers will find much that is refreshing and provocative in this volume, and will get glimpses into the minds of the Rebels who belonged to different areas and classes, as well as their organizational capabilities and the problems they confronted during the Great Revolt.
Shireen Moosvi, the editor of this volume, is Professor of History at Aligarh Muslim University. A well known historian, she has published books and papers on Indian economic and social history of Mughal times and the nineteenth century.