Chapter

The English East India Company

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/9780195698800.003.0007
The English East India Company

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This chapter focuses on a range of English language accounts of India's and Bengal's past composed during the mid-to late eighteenth century. Most of these accounts were written during the decline of the later Mughal political order in Bengal and the transformation of the English East India Company into the sovereign ruler of a large part of eastern India as a prelude to the extension of its empire to other parts of the subcontinent. The narratives present a contrast to the colonialist historiography of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They also embody a phase in the evolution of colonialist discourse about India when the tendency to marginalize and look down upon Indian traditions of writing about the past had either not crystallized, or had not yet acquired the strength and conviction that it did later.

Keywords: accounts; Bengal; East India Company; historiography; colonialist discourse; Indian traditions

Chapter.  11146 words. 

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