The Rise and Fall of Bartle Frere: Colonial Rule in India and South Africa
In the nineteenth century Bartle Frere was one of the great heroes of the British Empire. His achievements in India brought him a knighthood and a baronetcy. His opinion was sought by politicians, military men and civil servants. He was a favourite of Queen Victoria, and arranged a tour of India by the Prince of Wales.
He was appointed Governor-General of the Cape, in South Africa, with the mission to bring together the collection of British colonies and semi-autonomous republics in a confederation of South Africa.
Within three years he was regarded as a villain by the British Government, and pilloried in the press. His career was ruined, and he died in ignominy. His sin was to start a war against the Zulus which led to the disaster at Isandlwana, where the British army suffered one of its worst ever defeats.What went wrong? Why did a man with such a proud record blunder so seriously? Why did he start a war against the express instructions of the British Government? This book will attempt to answer these questions, in the course of which it will show the influences which caused Frere to risk everything, and fail.