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100 years of Colonial Rule in British India 1850-1947 through the personal stories of one family.

Caught in two World Wars, pre Mutiny skirmishes, and the Great Sepoy Rebellion the true saga of lives not so “pukkha” as might be supposed. Hugh Rose’s back-story exposes child marriage, social taboos, adulterous affairs over many summers in a Himalayan Hill Station, illegitimate pregnancies and banishment to England. More a poet than a soldier, Hugh, a British Officer of the Raj, serves with the 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles in the Kyber Pass bordering the Northwest Frontier Afghanistan.

Gentlemen’s sports, bandits, tribal warlords, missionaries, ordinary men and ghosts are not enough. Bored, Hugh seconds to the Political and Foreign Service in Arabia, Persia, and Waziristan, until disgraced, he is “invited” to return to his regiment after five years. A naked Colonel’s dictum “conformity kills” guides Hugh’s adventurous life. Partition frees both India and Hugh.



“The intriguingly arcane, hothouse world of British India in its final decades is authentically recalled and decoded here by Elizabeth Rose, as she delves into her own roots and the enthralling life of an “officer and a gentleman” who dares to flout the rigid social strictures of his time.”
~David de Vaux, El Kumanand Press

“What I found so moving about Hugh Rose’s thoughts on India were his memories of the Himalayan foothills – and higher – in which the spiritual and the physical can meld into one. I KNOW that is so because I have felt the same way.”
~Bill Stewart, Foreign Service Journalist Delhi, India and Time Magazine

“… a striking evocation of a past life lived in times past, with colourful episodes in pre-war India, Aden and the more remote reaches of what was, in those days, the Aden Protectorate….”
~Ian Skeet, Author of ‘Muscat and Oman, The End of an Era’

“To those of us who have spent our lives traveling in the service of our government, this story of Hugh Rose’s life and adventures rings so true. It vividly portrays the spirit of the times; a great read.”
~Philip and Barbara Pfeiffer, US Department of Defense.

“…a terrific story of a rogue soldier’s adventures during the last years of Colonial rule in India. The main character now lives in me. The closing passages are especially wonderfully penned. I have a copy of the page on my desk, and read it regularly. I am moved by these words every time. Liz Rose, thanks for writing this outstanding story…”
~Chuck Koehn

“An enthralling glimpse into a world that no longer exists, this family saga of the Raj goes beyond the veil of society to reveal one family’s extraordinary story. Intimate and passionate, Poet Under A Soldier’s Hat is history, romance and adventure, beautifully recalled.”
~Lissa Reidel

Included in Poet Under A Soldier’s Hat are many photographs from Hugh’s personal albums.

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031     Listen to Poet Under A Soldier’s Hat read by Jonathon Richards for KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio

105     Watch a reading of Poet Under A Soldier’s Hat at Collected Works bookstore in Santa Fe, NM