Historical Biography, Military Memoir
The birth of Elizabeth Rose by the light of a hurricane lamp on the dining room table in the Himalayan foothills during the last decade of the British Raj precurses an unusual life ahead. A Raj orphan shipped from India aged seven, roaming the moors of an English children’s home, feral, her imagination developed un-schooled and un-censored. Wife, mother, Speech Pathologist, and sculptor, with the same passion she gave to each career, she now gives to her writing. Influenced by her step-father, the author, John Masters, she joined SouthWest Writers in 2008 to craft this historical biography of her birth-father’s life. She has received more than a dozen awards to date. Emigrating from England in 1986 she now lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico, USA.
Title: Poet Under A Soldier’s Hat
Publisher: Studio on 41 Press (2015)
Genre: Historical Biography
Caught in two World Wars, pre-Mutiny skirmishes, and the Great Sepoy Rebellion, the true saga of lives not so “pukkha” as might be supposed. Hugh’s back-story exposes child marriage, an adulterous affair over many summers in a Himalayan Hill Station, illegitimate pregnancies and banishment to England. More a poet than a soldier, Hugh, a British Officer of the Raj, serves with the 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles in the Kyber Pass bordering the Northwest Frontier Afghanistan. Mountain trekking, skiing, gentlemen’s sports, bandits, tribal warlords, missionaries, ordinary men and ghosts are not enough. Bored, Hugh seconds to the Political and Foreign Service in Arabia, Persia, and Waziristan, until disgraced, he is “invited” to return to his regiment. A naked Colonel’s dictum “conformity kills” guides Hugh’s adventurous life. Partition frees both India and Hugh.