The Rani of the small state of Jhansi in central India was one of the heroines of the Rebellion of 1857 (known in England as the Indian Mutiny). She was outraged at the British annexation of her state on the death of her husband, the Maharaja of Jhansi, in 1853. After taking her case to London, and seeing it rejected by the British courts, she seized her opportunity during the rebellion to become “the Indian Boadicea”, leading her troops in pitched battles against the British army. She died in action, at the age of twenty-two, in the battle of Gwalior in June 1858, and is still respected as an Indian nationalist and feminist champion.
Watercolour on paper