Ungoverned Imaginings: James Mill's the History of British India and Orientalism

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This is a study of the emergence of Utilitarianism as a new political language in Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It describes the relationship between this language, defined by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, and the complexities of British Imperial experience in India at the time. Majeed concentrates on the role which the formulation of aesthetic and linguistic attitudes played as components of British views on India. These attitudes were related to the definition of cultural identities, with which both Utilitarianism and the conservatism of the time were preoccupied. This was also a major preoccupation in the work of Robert Southey and Thomas Moore, which has generally been neglected and misunderstood. By placing their work in the context of the attack by Utilitarianism on the conservatism of this period and its influence on British policy in India, the complexity of the issues which were dealt with in this body of literature is revealed.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A fresh look at James Mill and the idiom of utilitarianism that is also a wide-ranging intellectual history of his era....Recommended for graduate libraries."--Religious Studies Review

"Majeed's volume is distinguished by its independence from much of the current academic cant surrounding 28~entalism....The author has read deeply in both historical and literary sources. The author provides an important reading of an enlightenment mind functioning in the age of romantic sensibilities. In that regard this volume begins to open a new dimension to the intellectual world in which James Mill and his utilitarian generation functioned."--Albion

"A thought-provoking study of the importance of India for the development of James Mill's utilitarianism....This is an important book....It is well-argued, clearly written and deserves a wider readership than will be attracted by the somewhat restrictive title....We are in Majeed's debt. This is a stimulating study which adds considerably to debates about Mill and depictions of the Orient by the West."--Itilitasr

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198117865
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/1992
  • Series: Oxford English Monographs Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Centre for South Asian Studies
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Sir William Jones 11
2 Robert Southey and the Oriental Renaissance 47
3 Thomas Moore and Orientalism 87
4 James Mill's The History of British India 123
5 Susceptible Imaginations 151
Conclusion: Mill's History as a 'Classic in the History of Philistinism' 195
Bibliography 201
Index 223
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