Garden of Fools Reviews

“Robert Hutchison’s Garden of Fools is woven around the construction of the sacred Ganga Canal under the guidance of Proby Cautley and throws fascinating light on the social and administrative structure in India during the Raj. Though it is a fictional account of the remarkable engineering work, Hutchison has undertaken detailed research into the lives of real people who lit up the mid-19th century social scene in British India. This adds up to a gripping story elegantly written.”

Karan Singh

“Garden of Fools brings alive the story of Proby Cautley, an artillery officer by training, the unlikely civil engineer in the East India Company who channeled the waters of the snow-fed Ganga into the parched fields of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab to wipe out the shadow of famine. It is the story of one man’s epic struggle against all odds to achieve his dream.… One of the things that is most important about Cautley was that he didn’t build the Ganges Canal for money or fame. He built it because he believed it was needed to save lives and banish famine from the region of the Doab. He earned a modest salary and endangered his health to achieve his goal. Here was a British engineer with an Indian heart.”

Garden of Fools: A romantic compelling read, by Ganesh Saili, Garhwal Post, 9 August 2012

“Hutchison has combined his journalistic skills with solid research and added appropriate layers of fiction to give life to an important slice of history, to a largely unsung hero, a man described as the most eminent engineer in India during that period and, above all, a Britisher with an Indian heart.”

Irrigating History, by Dilip Bobb, Indian Express, 1 September 2012

“The story of Proby Cautley’s genius, perseverance and his betrayal makes compelling reading. He is the stuff of which great heroes are made. ”

Hutchison’s Garden of Fools released in Mussoorie, by Jaskiran Chopra, The Peioneer, 17 October 2012

“Robert Hutchison in his latest historical novel pays Proby Cautley a homage he so richly deserved.”

The unsung hero, by Anjali Nauriyal, The Times of India 

“Hutchison says that the construction of the sacred Ganga Canal can be in no way seen as a precursor to the river linking concept in India. ‘Cautley had no intention of altering the environment. He simply conceived a way of taking a portion of Ganga’s water to higher ground and let gravity pull it back to the river, irrigating fields and paddies along the way. There was little or no loss of water to evaporation and the canal’s excess flow was returned to the river downstream.'”

River Linking in India Will Only Profit Engineers, by Zafri Mudasser Nofil, Economic Times, 19 August 2012