Edge of Empire: Conquest and Collecting in the East 1750-1850 (Paperback)Maya Jasanoff (author)
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Talented historian Maya Jasanoff offers an alternative history of the British Empire. It is not about conquest - but rather a collection of startling and fascinating personal accounts of cross-cultural exchange from those who found themselves on the edges of Empire.
A Palladian mansion filled with Western art in the centre of old Calcutta, the Mughal Emperor's letters in an archive in the French Alps, the names of Italian adventurers scratched into the walls of Egyptian temples: in this imaginative book, Maya Jasanoff delves into the stories behind artefacts like these to uncover the lives of collectors in India and Egypt who lived on the frontiers of European empire. `Edge of Empire' traces their exploits to tell an intimate history of imperialism.
Written and researched on four continents, `Edge of Empire' tells a story about the making of European empires, ones that break away from the grand narratives of power, exploitation, and resistance, to delve into the personal dimensions of imperialism. She asks what people brought to imperial frontiers and what they took away, and what motives drove them, whether ambition, opportunism, curiosity or greed. This rich and compelling book enters a world where people lived, loved and died, and identified with each other across cultures much more than our prejudices about `Empire' might suggest.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 388
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 26 mm
`Maya Jasanoff...triumphs in this memorable debut. This is partly because, mirroring her subject, she has adopted a vivacious methodology that defies category. Jasanoff's investigation of the world that made her evokes the midday sun, the unforgettable stench and blare of the East, but populates it with characters to whom the reader can relate, as strange as fiction, but actually found in real life.' Robert McCrum, Observer
`This is a very clever and wonderfully researched and written book which illuminates French as well as British imperial existence, artifacts and culture, and which looks at all the actors invoved in a vivid and nuanced fashion. An original new voice.' Linda Colley
`This is an extraordinary debut. Maya Jasanoff is one of the most exciting historians to emerge in years. Her crackling prose and outstanding research have resulted in a ground-breaking book. "Edge of Empire" is a "must-read".' Amanda Foreman, author of `Georgina Duchess of Devonshire'
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