Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.
It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her Multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.
Londonderry Dreaming, Christine’s romance novella set in N. Ireland releases Feb. 21, 2014.
Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network. She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.
Illustrious Pomp and Majesty of the British Raj of India
I’ve always loved British history and grew up reading the huge blockbuster novels by MM Kaye, written about Colonial India. In my opinion, the British Raj (rule) of India was as exciting as the Wild West was to America. While both the Wild West and the British Raj were exciting times, they were also times fraught with great injustice toward Native First Nations people, and in India, the Indian people.
I tried to convey that injustice fairly in my novels, Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, by having Gandhi and his desire for a free India feature behind the scenes. While Gandhi may have been the political savior of India, it is clear to this author that he could never be the Savior that the Indian people needed to free their souls. In my research, it has saddened me to see the terrible injustices the Indian people did to their own in the name of Hinduism, mainly in their caste system.
But at the same time I wanted to show the romance of the British Raj era in my novels—the stalwart British Cavalry officers and soldiers who lead the Indian army. Stiff upper lip and all that as they faced similar foes that our peacekeepers are facing today in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One of the previous military struggles—the Third Anglo Afghan War—features in Shadowed in Silk.
But one cannot have a novel and only show the tough times. English military, political, and medical men also brought their wives out to serve with them in the great subcontinent of India. Set against the beauty and muddle of India, these English people lived their lives or died quickly from any number of diseases and danger. But they did it with style—the romance of a British memsahib serving her guests in a flower-laden garden, grand balls at the various governors’ palaces or at the Viceroy’s palace outshines at times even the pomp of the British at home in England.
You’ve seen photos of the current Monarch’s opening of British Parliament, or her Coronation. As the representative of the Crown in England, the Viceroy held similar if not greater pomp. The Viceroy opened the government, and sat on gilded thrones in a palace equally or perhaps even more opulent and more massive than Buckingham Palace.
India was referred to as the jewel of the British crown, holding the wealth of England’s coffers with all her natural resources from the 1700’s. With the conquest of India, England became an empire. And without India, England would cease to be an empire. As much as England wanted to retain its grip of that huge and exotic land, the Second World War had cost Great Britain too much. The end of the British Raj occurred in 1947, and so too did that empire.
My series focuses on the twilight of that great rule of India. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk shows the historical event that started the independence movement in earnest. Book 2 Captured by Moonlight shows the development of that independence movement, and the third and final book talks about the very end of the Raj, and the brutal Partition of India into what we now know of as India and Pakistan.
But through it all, my novels attempt to show that strange love-hate relationship that India and England shared, and which in political ways still affects us today.
I’m especially excited as I write the third book to this series, Veiled at Midnight, featuring the pomp of that last Viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was the favorite uncle of the current Prince of Wales’s, Prince Charles.
In fact, when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip married, Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife flew from India to be a part of that illustrious wedding.
So, in the midst of my fictional characters falling in love and being placed in danger during these chaotic and tumultuous times, the twilight of the British Raj sets the historical background. Nothing could set a more colorful stage.
Try to envision the white naval uniform of Lord Mountbatten, the gold braid and medals as he strides up a crimson carpet to gold thrones in a massive marble throne room with vaulted ceiling. Imagine his wife, Lady Edwina Mountbatten walking at his side in white silk, with trumpets blaring, and surrounded by hundreds of English and Indian dignitaries in their Indian finery.
This is the setting for the last book of Twilight of the British Raj, coming August 2014, Veiled at Midnight.
Watch the Book Trailer for Shadowed in Silk
And here is the Trailer for Captured by Moonlight