Edmund Candler

Edmund Candler (1874–1926) was an English journalist, novelist and educator notable for his literary depictions of colonial India. His fictional tropes and settings are comparable in many ways to those of Rudyard Kipling, a writer whom he self-consciously imitated.

Life

Candler was educated at Repton School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he graduated in classics in 1895.[1] Candler embarked on a career in India which was to last intermittently for the next twenty-five years. He aimed to finance his literary ambitions by teaching, and was first employed by a school at Darjeeling in the Himalayan foothills. It was on the other side of the great range that he would first achieve prominence as a writer, after gaining an appointment as the Daily Mail correspondent accompanying the expeditionary force led by Sir Francis Younghusband into Tibet in 1903-4. His experiences in Tibet, including witnessing the storming of the Gyantse Dzong, later provided material for his travelogue The Mantle of the East and the short story 'At Galdang-Tso.' His account of the expedition, for which he is today principally known, was published in 1905 as The Unveiling of Lhasa. He returned to teaching in India but resigned his post at Manikpur in Bengal in a heightened atmosphere of political unrest following the Alipore Bomb Case. He claims in his autobiography that he resolved to leave after finding a death-threat lying on his desk. Preferring the politically quiescent atmosphere of a princely state, he took up the post of Principal at Mohindra College, Patiala. He left Patiala to serve as a war correspondent during the 1914–1918 War, and reported on the British capture of Baghdad for the Manchester Guardian in 1917.[2] On returning to India he was appointed Director of Publicity for the Punjab in 1919, a position which he held until his permanent retirement to England in 1921.[3]

Mohindra College 2
Mohindra College, Patiala

In comparison with most of the British population in India at the time Candler held some startlingly liberal and sympathetic views of Indian nationalism. Although he does regard the political resistance of his Bengali students with a very serious eye, he concedes in his autobiography that put in their position he too would seek a means of overthrowing imperial rule. However the lack of trust in those whom he wished to educate ultimately led him to despair of ever enjoying intimate friendship with Indians and to abandon hope in the British Empire as a civilising project. Disillusioned, he became gradually embedded in the political conservatism of 'Anglo-Indian' club society, and in 1913 his fellow-author E.M. Forster found him in the "loneliness and isolation of his life at Patiala"[4] a cantankerous and creatively parched figure. Candler's work, most notably his self-portrait as the schoolmaster Skene in the novel Siri Ram: Revolutionist, registers “the passage from romantic expectations to a disappointed acceptance of the unease which English and Indian generated in each other measures the distance between a traveller’s fantasies … and a white resident’s experiences.”[5]

Writings

In a letter of 1909 to his brother he writes that in his more confident moments he feels that “my stuff reeks of India more than any stuff but Kipling’s.”[6] Kipling had left India for the last time in 1891, and his admirer Candler self-consciously follows in his footsteps, literary and literal. The Kiplingesque image of India as a grandiose and irrational land comes naturally to Candler, and when describing locations significant in Kipling’s own fiction, such as Benares (Varanasi), he applies imaginative treatments and tropes such as the heroic, Romantic or Gothic to some degree pre-fabricated for him by his master. On some occasions he in fact cites Kipling directly. Kipling's fiction forms hence a palimpsest in which Candler, for all his considerable talent, is heavily enmeshed. He shows awareness however that India, which was by his time much further advanced upon its own project of self-definition, is no longer subject to British definitions. His major work of fiction, the novel Siri Ram: Revolutionist, shows a writer caught awkwardly between his great predecessor and his own original and perceptive, if jaded, view of Indian youth. The novel arguably registers the passing of the ‘High Noon’ of the British Empire.

Works

  • Edmund Candler, The Unveiling of Lhasa, E. Arnold (London, 1905)
  • Edmund Candler, The General Plan, W. Blackwood (Edinburgh, 1911),
    • (including ‘A Break in the Rains’ and ‘At Galdang Tso’)
  • Edmund Candler, The Mantle of the East, Thomas Nelson & Sons, (London, 1912)
  • Edmund Candler, Siri Ram – Revolutionist: A Transcript from Life, Constable & Co. (London, 1914)
  • Edmund Candler, The Long Road to Baghdad, Cassell and Company, (London, 1919)
  • Edmund Candler, The Sepoy, John Murray, (London, 1919)
  • Edmund Candler, Youth and the East: An Unconventional Autobiography, W. Blackwood (London and Edinburgh, 1924)

References

  1. ^ "Candler, Edmund (CNDR892E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ The Fall of Baghdad by Edmund Candler, Manchester Guardian, 16 March 1917
  3. ^ See the short biography of Candler in Empire Writing (ed. Boehmer), Oxford University Press 1998, pp.474–475
  4. ^ From Forster's Indian Diary , quoted by Robin Jared Lewis, E.M. Foster's Passages to India (pp.67–69)
  5. ^ Benita Parry, Delusions and Discoveries: India in the British Imagination, Verso (London, 1998), p.129
  6. ^ Benita Parry, Delusions and Discoveries: India in the British Imagination, Verso (London, 1998), p.136

External links

13th (Western) Division

The 13th (Western) Division was one of the Kitchener's Army divisions in the First World War, raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener. It fought at Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia (including the capture of Baghdad), and Persia.

Battle of Dujaila

The Battle of Dujaila (Turkish: Sâbis Muharebesi) was fought on 8 March 1916, between British and Ottoman forces during the First World War. The Ottoman forces, led by Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz were besieging Kut, when the Anglo-Indian relief force, led by Lieutenant-General Fenton Aylmer, attempted to relieve the city. The attempt failed, and Aylmer lost 4,000 men.

Battle of Es Sinn

The Battle of Es Sinn was a World War I military engagement between Anglo-Indian and Ottoman forces.

It took place on 28 September 1915, during the Mesopotamian Campaign. The sides fought to determine control of the lower Tigres and Euphrates rivers, in what is now Iraq. The British and Indian governments also viewed it as a test of the Ottoman forces, and whether a further advance to capture Baghdad was possible. The Anglo-Indian forces of Indian Expeditionary Force D were under the command of Major-General Charles Vere Ferres Townshend, and the Ottoman forces by Colonel Nureddin.

The engagement took place just south of the town of Kut-al-Amarah, along the banks of the Tigris River. Following a night march, the British and Indian troops defeated the Ottoman forces, driving them from their defensive positions along the Tigris. The capture of the Es Sinn position allowed for the capture of Kut, and with it control over the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers, by British forces the following day.

Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad

The Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad (Turkish: Sağ Sahil) occurred between 6–8 January 1916 during the Mesopotamian Campaign of the First World War. The battle took place along the banks of the Tigris River between the Anglo-Indian Tigris Corps and elements of the Ottoman Sixth Army. The engagement was the first in a series of assaults by the Tigris Corps to try to break through the Ottoman lines to relieve the besieged garrison at Kut.

British expedition to Tibet

The British expedition to Tibet, also known as the British invasion of Tibet or the Younghusband expedition to Tibet began in December 1903 and lasted until September 1904. The expedition was effectively a temporary invasion by British Indian forces under the auspices of the Tibet Frontier Commission, whose purported mission was to establish diplomatic relations and resolve the dispute over the border between Tibet and Sikkim. In the nineteenth century, the British conquered Burma and Sikkim, occupying the whole southern flank of Tibet. The Tibetan Ganden Phodrang regime, which was then under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty, remained the only Himalayan state free of British influence.

The expedition was intended to counter Russia's perceived ambitions in the East and was initiated largely by Lord Curzon, the head of the British India government. Curzon had long obsessed over Russia's advance into Central Asia and now feared a Russian invasion of British India. In April 1903, the British received clear assurances from the Russian government that it had no interest in Tibet. "In spite, however, of the Russian assurances, Lord Curzon continued to press for the dispatch of a mission to Tibet", a high level British political officer noted.The expedition fought its way to Gyantse and eventually reached Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in August 1904. The Dalai Lama had fled to safety, first in Mongolia and later in China, but thousands of Tibetans armed with antiquated muzzle-loaders and swords had been mown down by modern rifles and Maxim machine guns while attempting to block the British advance. At Lhasa, the Commission forced remaining Tibetan officials to sign the Treaty of Lhasa (1904), before withdrawing to Sikkim in September, with the understanding the Chinese government would not permit any other country to interfere with the administration of Tibet.The mission was recognized as a military expedition by the British Indian government, which issued a campaign medal, the Tibet Medal, to all those who took part.

Government Mohindra College

Established in 1875, Government Mohindra College Patiala, Punjab, is the oldest institution of contemporary higher learning in Northern India.

Mohindra College was the first institution in Punjab to receive A+ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of the Government of India. It has been ranked as number one college in India by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2016 with highest CGPA of 3.86 which is highest in college section in India. The college offers undergraduate and graduate level education in basic sciences, political science, languages, history, public administration, commerce, computer applications, law, agriculture science, biotechnology,and clinical diagnostics.

Lala (VC)

Lala VC (20 April 1876 – 23 March 1927) was an Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth soldiers.

Pargo Kaling

The Pargo Kaling (Tibetan: བར་སྒོ་བཀག་གླིང, Wylie: bar sgo bkag gling) was a large chorten straddling across the road leading from Drepung between the Potala's Red Hill (Marpori) and the Iron Hill (Chagpori) at Lhasa, Tibet, and containing a through-passage or archway for people and animals. It formed the "Western Gate" of the city and led into the village of Shol. It was destroyed in 1967 but the Lhasa authorities had it rebuilt in 1995.

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( RUD-yərd; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888). His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story; his children's books are classics of children's literature, and one critic described his work as exhibiting "a versatile and luminous narrative gift".Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius, as distinct from fine intelligence, that I have ever known." In 1907, at the age of 41, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize and its youngest recipient to date. He was also sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, both of which he declined.Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century. George Orwell saw Kipling as "a jingo imperialist", who was "morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting".

Literary critic Douglas Kerr wrote: "[Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."

Wiltshire Regiment

The Wiltshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot and the 99th Duke of Edinburgh's (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot.

The regiment was originally formed as the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment), taking the county affiliation from the 62nd Foot (which became the 1st Battalion) and the honorific from the 99th Foot (which became the 2nd Battalion). In 1921, the titles switched to become the Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh's).

After service in both the First and Second World Wars, it was amalgamated with the Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) into the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire) in 1959, which was, in 1994, merged with the Gloucestershire Regiment to form the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, which later amalgamated with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, the Royal Green Jackets and The Light Infantry to form The Rifles, which continues the lineage of the regiment. The regiment's depot was at Le Marchant Barracks in Devizes.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.