Book

Exploring the West

Edited by Mushirul Hasan

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198063117
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080199 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063117.001.0001
Exploring the West

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This book brings together three fascinating accounts of India's interaction with the West. The authors — Mirza Itesamuddin, Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, and Lutfullah Khan — present a unique perspective of travel writing in which they describe Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In his travel narrative, Itesamuddin narrates his experiences during his stay in Europe, commenting on the state and everyday life in England and offering insights on socio-cultural life, plants and animals, education, lifestyle. It also discusses questions of religious controversies, military, and law. Abu Taleb's travelogue provides a non-Western representation of the West and sheds light on the national customs and manners of Europeans and contains his impressions of England, France, Genoa, Malta, Turkey, and Baghdad during his travels. Lutfullah's autobiography explores events, people, and their culture beyond the mere East-West divide. He also presents a graphic account of his voyage to England in 1844. Together, these three writers examine social and political formations in the mid-first millennium BC and trace the transformation of lineage-based societies into state formations. Their narratives offer a glimpse into environmental influences on settlements, the particularities of caste, the role of rituals, and the interaction of ideology with these changes. Their experiences offer, at least to the generation that read their works, a corrective to the generalised images of the West.

Keywords: Mirza Abu Taleb Khan; Mirza Itesamuddin; Lutfullah Khan; Europe; travelogue; autobiography; England; West; India

Book.  830 pages. 

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Exploring the West

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The Start of the Journey in Exploring the West

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The Island of Mauritius in Exploring the West

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Rounding Africa in Exploring the West

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France to England in Exploring the West

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The Wonderous City of London in Exploring the West

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Entertainments in London in Exploring the West

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The University of Oxford in Exploring the West

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Edinburgh, Scotland in Exploring the West

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Concerning the Highlands in Exploring the West

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