Charles Nedham was just twenty when he arrived in India in July 1845 as an ensign in HM 10th Foot. For the next four and a half years he lived as a young officer on duty in the sub-continent, finally seeing action in the Second Sikh War at the siege of Multan and the battle of Gujerat. His journal which he illustrated with fine pencil drawings of various sites and buildings offers glimpses of life in peace and war in India, as well as the contempt and prejudices shown by the British towards the native population. He was equally cynical and critical towards a number of the British commanders for their poor handling of the campaign. The journal provides a window into attitudes towards the empire, as well as the life of a bachelor officer in the early 19th century.
The book's editor, Peter Harrington, is Curator of the Anne S.K. Brown Military at Brown University Library in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He began his career as Assistant Curator in 1983 and became curator in 1990. A native of Manchester, England, he studied at London, Edinburgh, Brown, and Simmons College. While originally trained as an archaeologist specialising in the British Neolithic, his research over the past two decades has focused on artists and images of war; since 2000 he has taught an annual postgraduate distance learning course on the subject. He has written extensively on war and art, and has curated a number of art exhibitions including American and German artists of the Second World War, and pictorial illustrators of the Great War. Among his publications are British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914, and Queen Victoria's Army in Color: The Military Paintings of Orlando Norie. He has also co-authored several eyewitness accounts of late 19th century wars, and two exhibition catalogues on artists of the Boxer Rebellion, and the Spanish-American War. His other area of interest is conflict archaeology and he has written several books and articles on the archaeology of the English Civil War, and 16th-17th century castles, sieges and fortifications.