The Tiger and the Ruby

Pages: 288
Subject: History
Imprint: Oneworld

The Tiger and the Ruby

A Journey to the Other Side of British India

Kief Hillsbery

A beautifully written, personal history as Kief Hillsbery sets out to discover what happened to his ancestor who disappeared in Nepal over 150 years ago
9781786073457 (1 Jan 1970)
RRP £9.99

The Book

In 1841, Nigel Halleck left Britain as a clerk in the East India Company. He served in the colonial administration for eight years before leaving his post, eventually disappearing in the mountain kingdom of Nepal, never to be heard from again.

A century-and-a-half later, Kief Hillsbery, Nigel's nephew many times removed, sets out to unravel the mystery. Tracing his ancestor's journey across the subcontinent, his quest takes him from Lahore to Calcutta, and finally to the palaces of Kathmandu. What emerges is an unexpected personal chapter in the history of the British Empire in India.

Additional Information

Subject History
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Kief Hillsbery is an American writer and Lambda Literary Award nominee. He has published two novels - War Boy and What We Do Is Secret - and teaches creative writing at Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn and Maine.


‘A fascinating and very surprising read.'

- Financial Times

‘There are travellers who can't write and writers who can't travel. Fortunately for his readers, Kief Hillsbery can do both. Part travelogue, part family memoir, The Tiger and the Ruby is a fine and moving tale, sensitively explored and beautifully written.'

- Justin Marozzi

‘A unique take on the social history of British India.'

- Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

‘A moving and enjoyable read.' 

- Geographical Magazine

‘Great details abound, both from historical accounts and from Hillsbery's own trips… Marvellous insights into the British in India… This has a narrative sweep reminiscent of Christopher Hibbert's social histories.'

- Booklist, starred review

‘An absorbing story, told with an eye for suspense and the odd, engrossing detail.'

- Shelf Awareness

‘A compelling microhistory, personal memoir, and incredibly vivid account.'

- Library Journal