9780007101214 / 000710121X

The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600


Publisher:HarperCollins Illustrated



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About the book:

The East India Company, which laid the foundations for parts of the British Empire, now exists as a plc. Its past achievements, and indeed its dangers, blunders and corruption, are the subject of a book by one of its current directors, a writer of several other books on related subjects. Antony Wild packages the research of historians together with a distinctive writing style which is frequently irreverent and droll, resulting in a text which can be unexpectedly humorous. The glorious illustrations, often full page and in full colour, are almost a distraction from the text, though diligent readers will be rewarded by discovering some fascinating historical minutiae. Describing how the Company diverted from its original conception as a trading organisation to a kind of quasi-state with its own army and navy, annexing, manipulating and politicking its way to power, the book reveals its many and varied legacies. The breadth of that influence is reflected in the coverage, which touches on subjects as diverse as shipbuilding, Paisley shawls, war and opium, concentrating for the most part, but not exclusively, on the Company's impact on Westerners. Entertaining and beautifully presented The East India Company provides the non-specialist reader with a palatable dose of social history and plenty of valuable general knowledge. Karen Tiley

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