A history of the English East India Company.
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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 undeniably the creation of the Company.
"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 scholarship 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'
"Keay tells the story with skill and anecdotal lightness...Spices are aromatic, mosquitoes bite, the seas roar in Keay's fact-crammed book, and the narrative races as in a novel."
ANTHONY BURGESS, 'The Independent'
"Lively and thoroughly literate...an outstandingly wise and balanced account."
PROFESSOR B. H. FARMER, 'Geographical Journal'
"Enough rumbustious adventure stories to shock and delight any armchair reader."
RACHEL BILLINGTON, 'Financial Times 'Books of the Year''
John Keay is a writer, broadcaster and historian whose books include ‘Into India’, ‘India Discovered’, ‘When Men and Mountains Meet’, ‘Highland Drove’, ‘The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company’, ‘The Great Arc’, ‘China: A History’ and (with his wife, Julia Keay) the ‘Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland’. He has travelled extensively in India and the Far East, and specialised in Asian history and current affairs.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. DJ spine lightly sunned. ; Text clean and crisp, binding firm. ; Black and white plates plus maps; 9.30 X 6.10 X 1.90 inches; xx, 475 pages; Subtitled: A History of the English East India Company. Maps on eps. Tan cloth with gold spine titles. Bookseller Inventory # 22637
Book Description HarperCollins, 1991. HardBack. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. FIRST EDITION. Harper Collins, London, 1991 A very good, near fine copy in golden-tan cloth boards, gilt title on spine with a very good, illustrated dust-jacket. Map end-papers, and further illustrations, maps etc as listed. The honourable company: a history of the English East India Company. xx, 475 p. : ill., maps ; 24cm. . Map on lining papers. Bibliography: p.457-464. . Bookseller Inventory # 100094398
Book Description Harper Collins, London, 1991. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Vg. Dust Jacket Condition: Vg. First Edition. 475pp. Plates. Endpaper and text maps Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 015757
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0002175150