The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History

The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History

by Emma Rothschild
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691148953

ISBN-13: 9780691148953

Pub. Date: 05/29/2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

They were abolitionists, speculators, slave owners, government officials, and occasional politicians. They were observers of the anxieties and dramas of empire. And they were from one family. The Inner Life of Empires tells the intimate history of the Johnstones--four sisters and seven brothers who lived in Scotland and around the globe in the fast-changing

Overview

They were abolitionists, speculators, slave owners, government officials, and occasional politicians. They were observers of the anxieties and dramas of empire. And they were from one family. The Inner Life of Empires tells the intimate history of the Johnstones--four sisters and seven brothers who lived in Scotland and around the globe in the fast-changing eighteenth century. Piecing together their voyages, marriages, debts, and lawsuits, and examining their ideas, sentiments, and values, renowned historian Emma Rothschild illuminates a tumultuous period that created the modern economy, the British Empire, and the philosophical Enlightenment.

One of the sisters joined a rebel army, was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, and escaped in disguise in 1746. Her younger brother was a close friend of Adam Smith and David Hume. Another brother was fluent in Persian and Bengali, and married to a celebrated poet. He was the owner of a slave known only as "Bell or Belinda," who journeyed from Calcutta to Virginia, was accused in Scotland of infanticide, and was the last person judged to be a slave by a court in the British isles. In Grenada, India, Jamaica, and Florida, the Johnstones embodied the connections between European, American, and Asian empires. Their family history offers insights into a time when distinctions between the public and private, home and overseas, and slavery and servitude were in constant flux.

Based on multiple archives, documents, and letters, The Inner Life of Empires looks at one family's complex story to describe the origins of the modern political, economic, and intellectual world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691148953
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/29/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ideas and Sentiments 1

Chapter One::Setting Out 11

The Four Sisters and Seven Brothers 15

Difficult Circumstances 23

Tragic News from the Indias 29

The Frontiers of Empire in the West 34
Small Congratulatory Elephants 45

Chapter Two: Coming Home 59

The Finances of the Family 60

The Politics of the East and West Indies 68

The Arts and Sciences of Enlightenment 76

The Ruins of the Indies 80

Intran Bell alias Belinda 87

Joseph Knight 91

Chapter Three:: Ending and Loss 97

The Detritus of Empire 99
The James Johnstones 105

Indian Yellow Satin 109

The Treasurer 112

Distant Destinies 116

Chapter Four:Economic Lives 121

Possible Empires 125

What Is the State? 131

What Was, and What Was Not Law 137

A Society of Persons 141

A Moderate Empire 146

Economic Theories 148

Chapter Five: Experiences of Empire 154

Slavery in the British Empire 154

?This Age of Information? 170

Family Histories 185

Connections of Things 197

Intimate Lives 202

Chapter Six: What Is Enlightenment? 210

The Sect of Philosophers 211

The Milieux of Enlightenment: Books and Booksellers 220

Legal Information 224

Clerks and Clerics 231

The Milieux of Political Thought 239

The Atmosphere of Society 247

The Enlightenment of the Johnstones 252

The Coexistence of Enlightenment and Oppression 258

Chapter Seven: Histories of Sentiments 263

The Eye of the Mind 263

The History of the Human Mind 266

Family Secrets 270

The Discontinuity of Size and Scenes 277

The Incompleteness of Information 279

Chapter Eight:: Other People 284

The Johnstones and the Mind 285

Intran Bell alias Belinda 29

Other People 299

Acknowledgments 303

Appendix 307

Abbreviations 309

Notes 311

Maps 463

Index 469

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