Afghanistan, the Indian “Mutiny,” and the Bicultural Stereotype of John Nicholson
This chapter argues that the literary constructions of John Nicholson, the “hero of Delhi,” constitute a bicultural stereotype. Sikh and Afghan martial exploits and prowess of the hero are as much a source for this construction as a certain Christian masculinity and the imperial “man-on-the-spot” ethos. The chapter, exploring the Nicholson stereotype in literature and biography, unpacks the three aspects of the subcontinental origins of this stereotype: trauma and grief, paternal militarism and a reversion to primitivism, which in turn signals a colonial discourse theme of the primitive Orient that corrupts the Irish hero. This Irish hero of the English East India Company is a creolised figure.