The book deals mainly with the political history of the Sikhs from 1742 to 1831.
Henry Thoby Prinsep's (1792 - 1878) work is primarily based on the material collected by Murray. Prinsep has further enriched this information by adding from Captain Wade's (Agent at Ludhiana) report and from some other sources too.
Captain Murray spent sixteen years (1815 to 1831) among the Sikhs as Assistant Political Agent at Ludhiana, Deputy Superintendant of Sikh and Hill Affairs and later Political Agent at Ambala. During his stay among the Sikhs he collected a large amount of written material and oral information, which remained unpublished for sometime (it is now available in printed form).
Prinsep re-wrote certain sections and added a chapter on Bentinck and Ranjit Singh's meeting from his own observations.