Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Great Game

India Black and the City of Light is set against the backdrop of the "Great Game" between Russia and Great Britain.  For nearly a hundred years, from approximately 1813-1907, the Brits and the Russkis conducted a contest to see who would be master of Central Asia.  The Brits wanted to protect India (the country, that is, not our heroine) from Russian advances, and so spent a significant amount of time bribing the tribes living north and west of the colony to stay loyal to Britain.  When that didn't work, Britain brought out the guns.

For their part, the Russians kept probing south and east toward India.  The two never came to blows, but the Russians devoted quite a bit of time to poking Britain and watching the folks in London and Delhi jump.

French is off to Paris to exchange a Russian spy for a British agent, who has been picked up by the Russians while spying on their military in a Central Asian country.  India gets to play a small role in the Great Game.

The Great Game is the subject of one of the finest novels of espionage ever written:  Kim, by Rudyard Kipling.

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