This is a thorough description of life in England for one of Indian descent at the dawning of the twentieth century. Author Gordon Weaver demonstrates how easily people in power can be swayed by popular opinion.
George Edalji, son of an Indian clergyman and an Englishwoman, was accused and convicted of mutilating livestock and writing threatening letters. At a time when livestock was part of one’s livelihood, these were serious charges. As an outsider in an isolated and completely English community, George Edalji was identified early on as the most obvious suspect. Though the evidence was scanty, the police appeared determined to show he was the guilty party. Fortunately for Edalji, the case garnered national attention and caught the attention of the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Weaver chronicles the struggles of Edalji’s supporters as they sought legal exoneration for his crimes. He demonstrates his exhaustive research on this subject, drawing in both local and national resources. While his is not a book for casual reading, Weaver certainly has an enjoyable writing style - clear, precise, and easily understood. I expected the legal terminology to be daunting but found Weaver’s explanations informative. This is an invaluable resource for those interested in historical legal proceedings or the evolution of civil rights. It has little to do with Mr. Conan Doyle’s most famous character, Sherlock Holmes.