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The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company

Publisher: Unknown

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Product Description

Media: BOOK - paperback, 504 pages
Author: J. Keay
Year: 1993
ISBN: 0006380727
Other: b&w photos, maps, bibliog, index
Publisher: 0

Over two centuries, the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into 'the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe' - a huge commercial enterprise which controlled half the world's trade and also administered an embryonic empire. A tenth of the British exchequer's total revenue derived from customs receipts on the Company's UK imports; its armed forces exceeded those of most sovereign states. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire.

John Keay reconstructs this epic of expansionist endeavour from the journals and records of the Company's employees: the first experimental voyages to the East; the earliest, often disastrous, settlements; the later, often inglorious, wars; and the often venal administrations. The story sweeps from southern Africa  to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, abounding in bizarre locations and roguish personalities. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong, the political geography of today is undeniable the creation of the Company.

Acknowledgement and Author's Note

Part 1: A Quiet Trade 1600-1940
1. Island of Spicerie: The Voyages of James Lancaster
2. This Froth Nation: The Spice Race
3. Pleasant and Fruitfull Lands: Japan, Siam and The Coast
4. Jarres and Brabbles: The Arabian Sea
5. The Keye of All India: The Cape, Surat and Persia

Part 2: Fluctuating Fortunes 1640-1710
6. These Frowning Times: Recession, Famine and War
7. A Seat of Power and Trade: Bombay and Surat
8. Fierce Engageings: Calcutta and Bengal
9. Renegades and Rivals: Pirates, Interlopers and Competitors
10. Eastern Approaches: Madras, Siam and China

Part 3: A Territorial Power 1710-1760
11. The Dark Age: Bengal and the Farman
12. Outposts of Effrontery: The Lesser Settlements
13. One man's Pirate: Bombay and the Argreys
14. The Germ of an Army: Madras and Dupleix
15. The Famous Two Hundred Days: Revolution in Bengal

Part 4: A Parting of the Ways 1760-1820
16. Looking Eastward to the Sea: South-East Asia and the China Trade
17. The Transfer of Power: London and Bengal
18. Too Loyal, Too Faithful: Hasting's India
19. Tea Trade Versus Free Trade: The Far East and the Pacific
20. Epilogue

The first accessible narrative history of the English East India Company which has appeared for some time ... Keay recounts his story with the sweep of a James Michener, but one anchored in the meticulous acholarship of historians ... Commercial successes and failures, battles and politics from Table Bay to Tokyo Bay are treated with verve and clarity - Christopher Bayly, The Observer

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