This book is a history of British India from 1599 to 1947. It is divided into three parts addressing political history, topical studies, and a collection of four hundred biographies of noteworthy English men and women who played a role in the creation of British India.
As the Elizabethan era approached its end, English life exuded a high sense of energy and optimism that drove men to the ends of the earth. The lure of wealth in the spices of the East Indies correlated well with English naval strengths. In London, the East India Company set the national vision of competition with the Portuguese, Dutch and French while in India it developed the ports of Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta. Britain dominated India's political landscape for over 300 years, yet in the twentieth century, the emergence of Gandhi and his use of civil disobedience shook the British government to its foundations. By March 1947, Lord Mountbatten had little more choice than to grant Indian independence or see it taken by Indians themselves.