Chapter

Introduction

Kumkum Chatterjee

in The Cultures of History in Early Modern India

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780195698800
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195698800.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter outlines the core theme of the book, which involves an exploration of the cultures of history writing in early modern Bengal. The seventeenth, eighteenth, and the first decade or so of the nineteenth centuries provide the temporal framework for this study — a period which witnessed the consolidation of the Mughal political and cultural order, its subsequent political decline and the transition to early colonial rule. A related theme which runs through the book is the connection between culture and the production of history and specifically, between a Persianized Mughal political culture and history writing. The chapter then presents a critique of pre-modern Indian historiography, followed by discussions of the Mughal Empire and Persianization, and interactions between Islamicate and Indic cultures. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: early modern Bengal; Mughal Empire; colonial rule; Persianization; history writing; Indian historiography; Islamicate culture; political culture

Chapter.  9060 words. 

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