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The Black Hole of Calc...
Noel Barber
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The Black Hole of Calcutta (A Collier classic)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
A bare, low-ceilinged dungeon with two barred air-holes, the cell known
as the Black Hole prison, in the British East India Company's Fort
William, was intended to hold at most a couple of prisoners. But on the
terrible night of June 20, 1756, at the end of a four-day battle of
astonishing ferocity which saw a vast Indian horde overwhelm the Fort's
defenders, 145 men and one wo
Paperback, 254 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Collier Books
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Timothy Boyd
Jan 31, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great history book. I had always heard the term "The Black Hole of Calcutta" but never understood the reference. You will be amazed at the incompetence of the officers and the suffering of the people. One of the most interesting history books I have read. Highly recommended
Simon Wood
Feb 09, 2014 Simon Wood rated it did not like it

Noel Barbers book on the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta is a seriously flawed work. At the beginning he - honestly at least - admits that he has imaginatively reconstructed the history of the event and gives a couple of examples of where he has done this. Apart from this warning, one has no idea where the imagination begins and ends?

The imagination itself has more than a whiff of racial superiority about it, with Oriental stereotypes abound which rapidly become irritating
The Black Hole of Calcutta is one of those historical events that I've been aware about for some time but have never really known very much about.
Noel Barber's slim volume details the 1756 siege of Calcutta and the horrific fate of the survivors herded into a small ill-ventilated room overnight where over a hundred men and women died by the morning.
Equally shocking was the tale of incompetence and cowardice shown by both the civil and military leaders in Calcutta who failed to adequately defend
Oct 17, 2013 Tomi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iconic-india
Wow. This book was really, really good. I wanted to hop back in time and maim the men in charge at Fort William. The book gives the background to the event known as the "Black Hole of Calcutta" and tells what happened to those involved afterward. It shows a clear display of the profit motive of the British East India Company and the typical attitude of the British against other ethnic groups. I felt as if I were there, inside Fort William, during the siege. Barber is an excellent author and I ...more
Lisa Houlihan
I added titles from the defunct Common Reader catalog to my to-read list ages ago and finally thought to request them from the library. Not usually sympathetic to colonizers, I was not overly interested in the incident, and the book didn't inspire either or in the first few pages. With grotesque voyeurism, I flipped to the chapter, 3/4 of the way through, on the 14-hour horror itself. What I hadn't known that was worth learning was that the situation allowed the British to justify to themselves ...more
I started out having great expectation about this book, to be honest this book was a big disappointment, i didn't like how the author wrote the story...the book got to boring and dull very quickly and i had to skip many of the chapters to get to the point ......
Mar 24, 2014 John rated it liked it
Shelves: own, historical-novel
I was very disappointed in this book. I looked forward to learning more about the event but think I learned nothing from this book. It did have some good imaginary parts though
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THE BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA by Noel Barber (1965)
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Noel Barber was a British novelist and journalist. Many of his novels, considered exotic romances, as well as his works of 20th century history, are based on his first-hand experiences as leading foreign correspondent for the Daily Mail.

Most notably he reported from Morocco, where he was stabbed five times. In October 1956, Barber survived a gun shot wound to the head by a Soviet sentry in Hungar
More about Noel Barber...

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