The Great Hedge of India by Roy Moxham

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Synopsis

This is the story of the author's "ridiculous" quest for a legendary hedge planted across the Indian sub-continent and manned and cared for by 12,000 men. The hedge stood for over 50 years and at its greatest extent, formed part of a barrier 2500 miles long. Although it is one of the largest man-made constructions in human-history, the hedge appears in no history books and remains forgotten in both Britain and India. This inspired Roy Moxham to travel to India and investigate whether it had existed, what its purpose had been and whether any part of it had remained. After several years of travel and research, the author finally unravelled the story behind the hedge, its place within commercial enterprise on the part of the Raj and, after much searching, the remnants of this folie de grandeur of imperial Britain. This book provides a view into the motivations and administrations of British Imperial India and in part tells the story of one man's obsession.
 

About Roy Moxham

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ROY MOXHAM, formerly a tea planter and gallery owner, is currently Conservator of the University of London Library as well as a teacher and Associate Fellow in the university's Institute of English Studies. Moxham is also the author of The Great Hedge of India. He lives in London.
 
Published January 25, 2001 by Constable. 224 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Education & Reference, Self Help, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Moxham refutes assertions that the British did India a favor by setting up a modern bureaucracy and railway system, maintaining that India had been self-sufficient until the British arrived and destroyed the native salt industry (thereby causing crop failures and, ultimately, famines).

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Publishers Weekly

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Moxham, a British library conservator, chanced one day on a book describing a giant hedge, running east to west, 2,500 miles long and six to 12 feet thick, and guarded by 12,000 men, in British India

Feb 05 2001 | Read Full Review of The Great Hedge of India

The Guardian

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'In its most perfect form, the hedge is a live one, from 10 to 14 feet in height, and six to 12 feet thick, composed of closely clipped thorny trees and shrubs, among which the babool, Indian plum, the carounda, the prickly pear and the thuer (euphorbia) are the most numerous.' Moxham sets out ...

Jan 14 2001 | Read Full Review of The Great Hedge of India

Publishers Weekly

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Moxham, a British library conservator, chanced one day on a book describing a giant hedge, running east to west, 2,500 miles long and six to 12 feet thick, and guarded by 12,000 men, in British India in the late 19th century.

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India Today

It is to Roy Moxham's credit that in The Great Hedge of India he has constructed a fascinating story out of a small aside in the memoirs of a civil servant.

Feb 26 2001 | Read Full Review of The Great Hedge of India

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