The Nabobs might best be described as the yuppies of the mid to late 18th century who made vast fortunes in India which they came back to spend in England. After the battle of Plassey (1757), the whole of the Indian state of Bengal lay open to the plundering of the victorious British, and there were many who took advantage of the opportunity. Robert Clive, who had managed the affair, was accused in the British parliament of enriching himself. A man who had gone out to India as a penniless clerk had returned with a huge fortune. Others, on their arrival back in England, were not particularly discreet in displaying their dubiously acquired wealth. Unlike the East India merchants, who had preceded them and made their fortunes through trade in India, they were not satisfied with the purchase of land and becoming country gentlemen. The new breed wanted more, desiring titles and deference, prestige and social distinction. The response of traditional British society was to throw up a wall of prejudice in an endeavour to keep out those they sarcastically called "Nabobs", after the Indian princely title of "Nawab".But the Nabobs were not easily discouraged in their attempts to join the class that was rejecting them. They built beautiful houses: Warren Hastings, for example, after the long ordeal of his impeachment, built Daylesford in Worcestershire. The Nabobs gave British society a "sense of Empire", especially so after the loss of the American colonies. In effect, they made India British - an area of responsibility for the legislature in London. They provide the subject for this book by the author of "High Noon of Empire", "India Temples and Palaces", "A Season in Hell", "The Defence of the Lucknow Residency", and more controversially "The Myth of the Mahatna".
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Book Description Constable, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0094691207