Reviews

  • "Wholly original...a dense, rich, exhilarating piece of work that moves deftly between worlds and peoples...she keeps the big events always in view, dramatizing and humanizing the workings of history, particularly the story of empire and its machinations, in a way a novelist would – by making it a story of individuals... It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that there is something Tolstoyan to her vast project...remarkable"

    Neel Mukherjee, Wall Street Journal
  • "In The Last Englishmen, Deborah Baker has written an exuberant, scene-changing, shapeshifting group biography, with John Auden and Michael Spender as its chief human protagonists. But she makes the Himalayas, and Mount Everest, palpable and vivid characters in her story too"

    Richard Davenport-Hines, Spectator
  • "Deborah Baker combines a novelistic alertness to the inner life with an anthropologist’s understanding of multiple cultures and a historian’s eye for major events. The result, yet again, is a continuously absorbing and stimulating book, which enlarges the cultural and political history of the mid-20th century even as it grippingly relates the adventures of a few men and women"

    Pankaj Mishra
  • "Love, war, politics, psychoanalysis, poetry, Calcutta and, especially, the Himalayas – Deborah Baker’s meticulously researched account of India and Britain in the forties reads like the very best of novels."

    Siddhartha Deb
  • "An enlightening and utterly compelling read… what really distinguishes the book is its brilliant characterisation and its structural agility. It reads like fiction. Anyone seeking only information will be disappointed. Non-fiction ought always to be this engaging"

    John Keay, Literary Review