The Honourable Company

The Honourable Company

by John Keay
     
 

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A history of the English East India company.During 200 years the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into "the grandest society of merchants in the universe". As a commercial enterprise it came to control half the world's trade and as a political entity it administered an embryonic empire. Without it there would have been no…  See more details below

Overview

A history of the English East India company.During 200 years the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into "the grandest society of merchants in the universe". As a commercial enterprise it came to control half the world's trade and as a political entity it administered an embryonic empire. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire. In a tapestry ranging from Southern Africa to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, bizarre locations and roguish personality abound. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong the political geography of today is, in some respects, the result of the Company. This book looks at the history of the East India Company.

Editorial Reviews

David Rouse
Conventional wisdom has it that the commercial imperialism of the early English trading companies was intertwined with the political imperialism of the expanding British empire. In this reexamination of the English East India Company, Keay, an author and broadcaster specializing in Asian history, acknowledges that "but for the Company there would have been not only no British India but also no global British Empire." But he also shows that the triumph of imperialism helped bring about the downfall of the company by eliminating its monopolies and creating conditions for the 1857 Indian mutiny. Keay's title is intentionally ironic; he reports, "venal and disreputable, [the company's] servants were believed to have betrayed their race by begetting a half caste tribe of Anglo-Indians, and their nation by corrupt government and extortionate trade." Published two years ago in Britain and cited as one of that year's three best books by the "Financial Times" (London), "The Honourable Company" fascinatingly illuminates one of the lesser-known chapters of Asian history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007395545
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/08/2010
Sold by:
HarperCollins Publishers
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
File size:
595 KB

Meet the Author

John Keay is the author of four acclaimed histories: 'The Honourable Company', 'Last Post', about the imperial disengagement of the Far East; the two-volume 'Explorers of the Western Himalayas' and 'India: A History'. His books on India include 'India Discovered', 'Into India' and 'The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of How India was Mapped and Everest was Named'. John Keay is married with four children, lives in Scotland and is co-editor with Julia Keay of the 'Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland'.

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