Siege of Lucknow

One of the things we’re really enjoying doing together is reading through Sprigge family letters from the 19th century (that John has brought) and figuring out what to do with them – there are so many published collections of letters in the literature already (it would appear that they had nothing else to do except write letters! Sort of like blogging!) (And some of the letters were copied out two or three times so that their news could be shared with others – not uncommon in that period) – it’s difficult to find a new ‘spin’ to impart. Lack of originality has never been an impediment to us, so we’re using the huge resource of the Toronto Reference Library to write a commentary about the historical events referred to therein, and extracting short bits, to put together for the interest (I hear Martha and Libby rolling their eyes from here) of the family – you have been warned.

Anyway, this week it’s the siege of Lucknow (Colonel Purnell was involved in the first attempted relief) and the use of chloroform routinely for the multiple amputations performed by the two doctors in Lucknow – 10 years after its first use as an anaesthetic and four years after Queen Victoria used it during labour. Gripping stuff…


It’s just like editing – joy for me, pain (possibly) for the recipients!


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