Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

I came to this book by way of the 1935 Gary Cooper movie of the same name. I thought the book would be an exciting bit of adventurous fiction. It's not. It's a more subtle adventure. Francis Yeats-Brown actually lived the life he wrote about. At the beginning of the book he writes," I was nineteen and a half. A year before I had become the trusty and well-beloved servant of His Majesty King Edward VII. Two months after receiving my commission I had sailed for India." At a tender age he came into contact with a world of horror, danger, ennui, human degradation, wonder, religion and magic. This is a memoir well worth the read. Yeats-Brown lived a full life and it's a wonderful privilege to be able to tag along. Great with a pipe and a whiskey and soda. -T
p.s. The movie is good too!

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