Imagine a corporation so powerful that it rules trade across the globe, fuels the first truly world war, creates governments and even gives birth to new countries . The year is 1746, and the corporation is the East India Company. The War of the Austrian Succession has been blazing for six years. In India, Warring French and British trade interests are fighting for control of the decaying Moghul empire. Into this maelstrom steps trader's son, Hayden Flint, and Company clerk, Robert Clive. Love and war on a spectacular scale. A magnificent blend of historical adventure and romance "in the great tradition of James Clavell."
"Talwar" is a novel set against the history-making events of those early days, entwined with the mystery surrounding one of the world's greatest jewels, the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
War came to the trading ports of the Bay of Bengal, alliances were formed with various local leaders and conflict was carried inexorably into the interior. One of the foremost names associated with the Anglo-French disputes in India at this time was Robert Clive, who did much to prevent India from becoming French. Clive went out to India as a humble clerk, and the story of his transformation into the most successful soldier of his time is astonishing.
Clive was a driven individual and a would-be suicide. He was certainly not a paradigm of selflessness. As a young man, he worked as a clerk for the East India Company. Fortunately, for him, war broke out – otherwise he would have died young and poor. War gives people an opportunity to excel and there are many examples of people who are good at war and make a name for themselves. Clive was the right man at the right place and the right time. He was probably not a particularly nice person and might have been a gang leader in another world, but he was a great figure in military history not a faultless messiah and he did what he was good at.
The Flint family are fiction but there would have been plenty of people around engaged in doing the same kind of things that I have them doing in Talwar. All the Moghuls, on the other hand, are real, as are all the battles, and all the political machinations described in the novel are as close as possible to what actually happened. Anyone so minded can track down the various facets of my work and find the origins and primary source material that I used to construct the narrative.
I want my readers to enjoy their visit to the past. If a story of love and war against a backdrop of the history appeals to you, if you want to see how people meet circumstances beyond their control and, by their actions, fashion the turning points of history, then come along. When you finish reading every one of my books I want you to feel that you have visited a place you’d like to return to.
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