The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History

The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History

by Emma Rothschild
     
 

"Tracing the lives of a single Scottish family whose eleven siblings roamed the globe to seek their fortunes, Emma Rothschild has explored the great elements of the eighteenth-century world: empire, politics, slavery, warfare, and Enlightenment thought and sensibility. An extraordinary book, weaving back and forth between microhistory and the greater world, it

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Overview

"Tracing the lives of a single Scottish family whose eleven siblings roamed the globe to seek their fortunes, Emma Rothschild has explored the great elements of the eighteenth-century world: empire, politics, slavery, warfare, and Enlightenment thought and sensibility. An extraordinary book, weaving back and forth between microhistory and the greater world, it is based on archival research on three continents, written with literary grace, and inspired by a sensitive historical imagination."—Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor, emeritus, Harvard University

"Emma Rothschild presents a fascinating view of the ties of family, patronage, and business which linked the emerging British power across the world in the eighteenth century. Her book provides a valuable context for our contemporary discussions of globalization."—C. A. Bayly, University of Cambridge

"This remarkable book is both a moving evocation of an extended family's intimate experience of empire and Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, and a powerful meditation on the work of historical writing in the post-Enlightenment, postimperial present. Profound and strikingly original, this book will become a classic."—Robert Travers, Cornell University

"This is an important and original book. Based on a wealth of archival research—much of which has been neglected by previous historians—The Inner Life of Empires looks at the Johnstone family to explore issues of British imperialism. It makes a critical intervention in the history of intimacy and interiority, and poses a series of challenges to concepts of the public and private. A wonderful read."—Margot Finn, Warwick University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691156125
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/25/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
891,811
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(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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