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The Great Hedge of India

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781841194677

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 28th March 2002

Genre: Humanities / History / Regional & National History / Asian History

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This is the quest for a lost wonder of the world, in the author’s words his ‘ridiculous obsession’, arose from the chance discovery of some dusty memoirs that told of a mighty hedge spanning the Indian subcontinent in the nineteenth century.

The hedge was set in place to allow the collection of the Salt Tax by British customs officers, Inspired by the concept of this amazing living barrier, now forgotten, Roy Moxham set off to find out what has happened to it and whether any remnant existed today. His travels in India, and what he found there, form the basis for this illuminating book.

Writer Jan Morris comments, ‘At first I thought this remarkable book must be a hoax . . . It tells the story of one of the least-known wonders of Queen Victoria’s India – a customs barrier 2,300 miles long, most of it made of hedge. It was patrolled by 12,000 men and would have stretched from London to Constantinople, yet few historians mention it and most of us have never heard of it. Could anything be more astonishing?’

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Moxham has written a parable at once light-handed and melancholy about the cruelty and folly fo the empire.
Financial Times
Marvellous....Moxham sets out to find the remnants of this qunitessentially English folly, writing an affectionate and scholarly narrative'.
Moxham has pulled out a jewel.
The Times
The Great Hedge is part history, part detective story, part travel book. Above all, it's a great read.
Mail on Sunday
Both scholarly and funny - a rare combination, It surprised me and I hugely enjoyed it.
Eric Newby