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Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
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HMH Books 2017
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Description

Lost in time for generations, the story of a 19th-century English gentleman in British India—a family mystery of love found and loyalties abandoned, finally brought to light
In 1841, twenty-year-old Nigel Halleck set out for Calcutta as a clerk in the East India Company. He went on to serve in the colonial administration for eight years before abruptly leaving the company under a cloud and disappearing in the mountain kingdom of Nepal, never to be heard from again. While most traces of his life were destroyed in the bombing of his hometown during World War II, Nigel was never quite forgotten—the myth of the man who headed East would reverberate through generations of his family.
Kief Hillsbery, Nigel's nephew many times removed, embarked on his own expedition, spending decades researching and traveling through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal in the footsteps of his long-lost relation. In uncovering the remarkable story of Nigel's life, Hillsbery beautifully renders a moment in time when the arms of the British Empire extended around the world. Both a powerful history and a personal journey, Empire Made weaves together a clash of civilizations, the quest to discover one's own identity, and the moving tale of one man against an empire.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/25/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544416895
ASIN:
B01I4FPNC2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Kief Hillsbery. (2017). Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kief Hillsbery. 2017. Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kief Hillsbery, Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India. HMH Books, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kief Hillsbery. Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India. HMH Books, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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        KIEF HILLSBERY is the author of the critically acclaimed novel War Boy. He is a former contributing editor and columnist for Outside magazine and a former writer for Rolling Stone. He lives in Arizona.

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shortDescription

The shadowy story of a nineteenth-century English gentleman who went to India and dramatically cut all ties to home, forming a relationship with a local Muslim man
In 1841 at the age of twenty, Nigel Halleck set out for Calcutta as a clerk in the service of the East India Company. But he didn't settle into a long life as a bureaucrat during the Raj. After eight years serving in the name of empire, Nigel abruptly left the Company under a cloud and disappeared, stoking a family mystery that would reverberate through generations.
Kief Hillsbery, Nigel's nephew many times removed, spent decades researching and traveling in his long-lost relation's footsteps in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal. He initially set out to solve the question of his family's black sheep, only to find a fascinating slice of hidden gay history. He discovered evidence of Nigel living happily with a Muslim companion, an exiled Afghan prince, as a permanent houseguest of a highborn...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Empire Made
fullDescription

Lost in time for generations, the story of a 19th-century English gentleman in British India—a family mystery of love found and loyalties abandoned, finally brought to light
In 1841, twenty-year-old Nigel Halleck set out for Calcutta as a clerk in the East India Company. He went on to serve in the colonial administration for eight years before abruptly leaving the company under a cloud and disappearing in the mountain kingdom of Nepal, never to be heard from again. While most traces of his life were destroyed in the bombing of his hometown during World War II, Nigel was never quite forgotten—the myth of the man who headed East would reverberate through generations of his family.
Kief Hillsbery, Nigel's nephew many times removed, embarked on his own expedition, spending decades researching and traveling through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal in the footsteps of his long-lost relation. In uncovering the remarkable story of Nigel's life, Hillsbery beautifully renders a moment in time when the arms of the British Empire extended around the world. Both a powerful history and a personal journey, Empire Made weaves together a clash of civilizations, the quest to discover one's own identity, and the moving tale of one man against an empire.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2017

        Hillsbery (War Boy) offers a compelling microhistory, personal memoir, and incredibly vivid account of the British Raj and the tumultuous events of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 in this enlightening book. Tracking the life of Nigel Halleck, the author's distant ancestor and a Victorian gentleman from Coventry, England, who "goes out to India," never to return, Hillsbery sets out on a journey in search of his relative's grave, marking the known towns and cities that Nigel inhabited. The narrative moves back and forth between the author's own experiences and a beautifully rich account of Nigel's quest, reconstructed through letters and extensive historical research. In discovering India through Nigel's eyes and later his own, Hillsbery provides readers with a glimpse of his own journey of self-discovery. VERDICT A compelling narrative of the social and spiritual life of 19th-century India. This book can also serve as a resource for anyone researching the themes of homosexuality, the East India Company, the Victorian era, and the Rana dynasty of Nepal.--Priyanka Sharma, Li Ka Shing Lib., Singapore

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from October 2, 2017
        Hillsbery explores the 19th-century disappearance of his distant relative, a man named Nigel Halleck. Born in England, Halleck moved to British Colonial India in 1841 at the age of 20 to work for the powerful East India Company, but left his post and disappeared into the remote reaches of Nepal. Reader Cameron Stewart provides a strong delivery throughout, as the story shifts back and forth between Hillsbery’s modern travels and the complex historical narrative detailing the social and political shifts in colonial life during Halleck’s era. His upper-crust British accent is a proper match for the subject matter and time period. The weight of the background historical information does require patience and attention on the part of the listener, but Cameron Stewart doesn’t miss a beat. When initial hints surrounding the possibility of Nigel’s homosexuality build into something more substantive, the author starts to connect to his distant relative on a more personal level, and Cameron Stewart conveys this by loosening his voice to sound more relaxed and personable. Cameron Stewart proves he’s a dynamic voice actor with this performance, as he is aptly voices the history, memoir, and adventure components of this multifaceted story. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2017
        Hillsbery's exploration of what happened to his British uncle who went to India in 1841, never to return, makes achingly vivid how difficult it was to escape one's preordained class and societal expectations in Victorian England. Hillsbery's family didn't talk about Nigel Halleck, (or was talked about in the don't ask any more way people have of referring to families' black sheep). All Hillsbery had was an old brooch Uncle Nigel sent his mother from India and the fact, grudgingly given, that he had gone native and lived out his days in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. There are two narratives here, that of Hillsbery's tracking down clues about what happened over intermittent trips to India spanning decades, and the story of Halleck, who came to Calcutta at 20 years old to serve as a clerk for the East India Company. The latter is written from Halleck's point of view, based on his letters and copious letters and records from contemporaries. Great details abound, both from historical accounts and from Hillsbery's own trips. For example, the young women who did the season in India without finding husbands were called Returned Empties when they arrived back in the UK. Marvelous insights into the British in India, along with a glimpse into gay life. This has a narrative sweep reminiscent of Christopher Hibbert's social histories.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

subtitle
My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
popularity
174
publisher
HMH Books
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