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India and Europe in the global eighteenth century

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment
Vol. No.
Vol. No.: 


Volume editor(s)
Volume editor(s): 
Simon Davies, Daniel Sanjiv Roberts and Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
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About the Book

About the Book: 

The long eighteenth century was a period of major transformation for Europe and India as imperialism heralded a new global order. Eschewing the reductive perspectives of nation-state histories and postcolonial ‘east vs west’ oppositions, contributors to India and Europe in the global eighteenth century put forward a more nuanced and interdisciplinary analysis. Using eastern as well as western sources, authors present fresh insights into European and Indian relations and highlight:

• how anxieties over war and piracy shaped commercial activity;

• how French, British and Persian histories of India reveal the different geo-political issues at stake;

• the material legacy of India in European cultural life;

• how novels parodied popular views of the Orient and provided counter-narratives to images of India as the site of corruption;

• how social transformations, traditionally characterised as ‘Mughal decline’, in effect forged new global connections that informed political culture into the nineteenth century.

Daniel Sanjiv Roberts, Introduction

Anthony Strugnell, A view from afar: India in Raynal’s Histoire des deux Indes

Claire Gallien, British orientalism, Indo-Persian historiography and the politics of global knowledge

Javed Majeed, Globalising the Goths: ‘The siren shores of Oriental literature’ in John Richardson’s A Dictionary of Persian, Arabic, and English (1777-1780)

Deirdre Coleman, ‘Voyage of conception’: John Keats and India

Sonja Lawrenson, ‘The country chosen of my heart’: the comic cosmopolitanism of The Orientalist, or, electioneering in Ireland, a tale, by myself

Daniel Sanjiv Roberts, Orientalism and ‘textual attitude’: Bernier’s appropriation by Southey and Owenson

Felicia Gottmann, Intellectual history as global history: Voltaire’s Fragments sur l’Inde and the problem of enlightened commerce

James Watt, Fictions of commercial empire, 1774-1782

Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa, The Spanish translation of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's La Chaumière indienne: its fortunes and significance in a country divided by ideology, politics and war

John McAleer, Displaying its wares: material culture, the East India Company and British encounters with India in the long eighteenth century

Mogens R. Nissen, The Danish Asiatic Company: colonial expansion and commercial interests

Lakshmi Subramanian, Whose pirate? Reflections on state power and predation on India’s western littoral

Florence D’Souza, A comparative study of English and French views of pre-colonial Surat

Seema Alavi, The Mughal decline and the emergence of new global connections in early modern India


List of contributors





The BARS Review

‘The broad range of scholarship here will guide many experienced researchers to the volume, in search of particular essays, or clusters of essays on specific research questions or focal areas. The same breadth may recommend the entire volume to teachers keen to show their students that transnational history of colonialism is a thriving interdisciplinary field in which much exciting work remains to be done.’

‘Adopting multi-disciplinary approaches, contributors stress the complexity, subtlety and intricacy of the remarkable global connections between India and Europe in the eighteenth century. It will undoubtedly provoke not only lively debate, but also much further research.

French studies

'[This book] offers an interesting insight into the ad hoc nature of empire-building and the polyvalent nature of orientalist production that invites further reflection into the complexity of European colonial history.'

Académie des sciences d’outre-mer : les récensions de l’Académie

‘ces récits, par leur fraîcheur et leur couleur ne manquèrent pas d’impressionner l’imaginaire collectif.’