An old locksmith in his shop is reading a letter from his son, a soldier in India. The letter begins ‘Lucknow March 1858. My dear old Daddy, I dare say you will read this in the old shop and here am I under the burning sun of India’. The Indian Mutiny of 1858 and the massacre of British troops inspired paintings by a number of artists. Most of them did not depict the violence of battle, but preferred to show war in terms of more reassuring domestic incidents. The inclusion of a letter in Victorian narrative paintings was a common way of bringing in events or places beyond the single moment and location depicted.