Visions of Mughal India: An Anthology of European Travel Writing

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The Mughal Empire, which conquered and ruled virtually all of today's India, Pakistan and Bangladesh over several centuries, created one of the richest and most colourful of all historical eras. Peoples of different cultures - including Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and others, originating from Iran, Central Asia, Europe, and South Asia itself - worked, traded and travelled throughout the Empire, contributing to its dynamism and power. A few of the Europeans who began criss-crossing the roads of Mughal India wrote, in the forms of diaries, letters and travelogues, about the people and lands they encountered. This illuminating and carefully chosen anthology contains a collection of among the best writings by European travellers from England, Italy, Russia, France, Spain and Portugal as they journeyed the length and breadth of the Empire over a 200 year period (1471-1671). Their experiences and observations form fascinating and informative visions of travel and life in India during this period and provide invaluable contributions to our understanding of life at the time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Michael Fisher has collected a fascinating collection of first hand accounts of Mughal India by European travelers. They were a diverse bunch; their individual idiosyncrasies enliven their narratives, though they were all struck by the power as well as the pomp of the Mughal Empire, arguably the most powerful state then in existence. By bringing these accounts together, Michael Fisher has made available for the first time an excellent selection of documents that will be of interest to students as well as the general reader who wishes to know more about encounters between Europeans and the wider world. The extracts have been well chosen, and they are masterfully edited and introduced by Michael Fisher. Some of them may be familiar to readers, others are very hard to come by, but in all cases, they yield a unique perspective on the early modern era."--Professor Douglas Peers, Associate Dean (Research and Development), Faculty of Social Sciences and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary

"The Mughal empire was one of the great success stories of imperial history, having an enduring effect on the lives and culture of the people it ruled, comparable to the Roman, Ottoman, British and Spanish world empires. It is therefore useful to have a collection of ten narratives that, with the limitations imposed by lack of knowledge of the language, explored that Empire before people were thinking of its decline, much less its fall. Each writer in this anthology was, in his own way and with his own non-Asian predilections, a child of the Renaissance weltanschauung, making man a subject of serious study, not, as in the pre-Mughal era, of legend or of myth."--Roderick Cavaliero, former director of the British Council in India, and author of Strangers in the Land: The Rise and Decline of the British Indian Empire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845113544
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael H. Fisher is Danforth Professor of History at Oberlin College, USA. He is a specialist on the Mughal and British Raj periods.

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