Courting India: An Evening with Nandini Das & Matthew Sweet

Friday 5th May 2023
19:00 at Waterstones, Oxford

Courting India: An Evening with Nandini Das & Matthew Sweet

Join us for what promises to be a fascinating evening with Prof. Nandini Das in conversation with Matthew Sweet to talk about her new book Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire.

About the Book
Shining a light on the four years that James I's ambassador Thomas Roe spent in Mughal India, Das' riveting account of the origins of the British Empire paints a vivid portrait of both Jacobean England and Imperial India.

When Thomas Roe arrived in India in 1616 as James I's first ambassador to the Mughal Empire, the English barely had a toehold in the subcontinent. Their understanding of South Asian trade and India was sketchy at best, and, to the Mughals, they were minor players on a very large stage.
Roe was representing a kingdom that was beset by financial woes and deeply conflicted about its identity as a unified 'Great Britain' under the Stuart monarchy. Meanwhile, the court he entered in India was wealthy and cultured, its dominion widely considered to be one of the greatest and richest empires of the world...

In Nandini Das's fascinating history of Roe's four years in India, she offers an insider's view of a Britain in the making, a country whose imperial seeds were just being sown. It is a story of palace intrigue and scandal, lotteries and wagers that unfolds as global trade begins to stretch from Russia to Virginia, from West Africa to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. A major debut that explores the art, literature, sights and sounds of Jacobean London and Imperial India, Courting India reveals Thomas Roe's time in the Mughal Empire to be a turning point in history - and offers a rich and radical challenge to our understanding of Britain and its early empire.

About the Author
Nandini Das is professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture in the English faculty at the University of Oxford. Brought up in India, she was educated at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata, before moving to England for further study. A BBC New Generation Thinker, she is co-editor of The Cambridge History of Travel Writing and regularly presents television and radio programmes.
Oxford Waterstones, Oxford
Friday 5th May 2023

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