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Tipu’s folly

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As I mentioned previously, I am not a great fan of the Mysore Sultans Hyder and Tipu; in fact I have scant regard for them and disagree vehemently with those who tend to bracket them as freedom fighters. My studies on them however, are far from complete, especially their violent forays and ‘padayottam’ (military marches) periods in Malabar. Nevertheless, I must at the outset make it clear that British accounts of the Mysore sultans were filled with gross fabrications made in order to prop up and legitimize Richard Wellesly’s declaration of war against Tipu and justify the capture of the Mysore kingdom. But then this is more a story of Francois Ripuad and his masquerade, how it unwittingly brought about the downfall of Tipu Sultan.

The English in India greatly outnumbered the French who were finding their plans of creating their own allies and possibly an empire, thwarted at every turn. They possessed but a few small pockets of territory while the English were slowly increasing their gr…

Adela ‘Violet’ Florence Nicolson (Laurence Hope)

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Her life, poems and a bit about her days at Feroke - Calicut

There was a short period of time when a British couple lived in a bungalow in Feroke. The eminent Col Malcom Nicolson, once ADC to Queen Victoria was that person, and he and his wife spent an idyllic period enjoying the lifestyle of Malabar in retirement, but had to move soon after to the Dunmore house Madras, due to medical issues. He died soon after, following a messed up prostrate operation. To exacerbate matters, his wife Adela who loved her days in Malabar, killed herself shortly thereafter by drinking perchloride of mercury. She was just 39 and she is the one we are going to talk about. Adela had been publishing a number of sensitive poems under a famous male pseudonym Laurence Hope. Laurence Hope incidentally was the sister of yet another notorious writer with a pseudonym Victoria Cross. After her death, Adela became even more popular and is today studied by many people and oft quoted. Her list of admirers continue to g…