Book on “Pahari” Wilson to be released in August
MUSSOORIE, 23 June: On his recent visit to Mussoorie, eminent Canadian born Swiss Author Robert Hutchison informed media persons at a formal meeting here that he was looking forward to launch of his book, “Raja of Harsil”, on Fredrick Wilson popularly known as ‘Pahari Wilson’. The book will be out in early August, this year.
Hutchison said he was glad that Roli Books would launch it from New Delhi or Uttarakhand. Fascinated by the character of Pahari Wilson, he recalled how the adventure seeker had carved out a kingdom for himself. Throwing more light on Pahari Wilson, Robert recalled he was a fugitive from the Army and made Harsil and Mukhba his home.
He was introduced to the legend of Pahari Wilson by eminent environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna in Mussoorie in April 1987 while staying at the old Charleville Hotel. During a hail storm, Sunderlal Bahuguna rushed into his room and said, “Did you hear the ghost of Pahari Wilson walking on the roof, Robert?”
Robert became inquisitive about Pahari Wilson and began researching the person. The research went on for 5 years and many new things about Fredrick Wilson came to light. For instance, he learned that Frederick Wilson had owned – or at least financed – the Charleville, naming it, according to some, after his middle son, Charles. He had hoped the lad would play a role in its management. Unlike the father, Charles Wilson was a bounder of the worst order and never showed a flicker of interest in the hotel. This was probably a good thing for the Charleville, as it went on to become the most famous resort hotel in India, while the son went on to become Mussoorie’s most notorious swindler.
Commenting further about the timber merchant from Harsil, Robert said that Pahari Wilson was from the town of Wakefield in Yorkshire. Wilson was in his late teens when he came to British India, the only country he really ever knew, a country he would fight, spy and live for, and whose great Himalayan mountains he would plunder for their game and timber. His earliest years in India were spent in the Army, stationed at Meerut – not brilliant years by any means, in fact, rather unhappy ones. And then he left the Army, under a cloud it seems, at the time of the First Afghan War.
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