The Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire

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9780141014999: The Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire

The story of the Black Hole of Calcutta was once drilled into every British schoolchild: how in 1756 the Nawab of Bengal attacked Fort William and locked the survivors in a tiny cell, where over a hundred souls died in insufferable heat. British retribution was swift and merciless, and led to much of India falling completely under colonial dominion. The Black Hole is the story of the propogation of a myth that arose as the British Empire came into being: a myth about the barbarism of a people the colonials sought to rule, and how that myth - based on improbable exaggeration and half-truth - helped justify the march of empire for two hundred years.

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Review:

'Dalley has unearthed company records, letters and historians' speculations to produce a vivid and damning account of the city's fall' The Times'Combining compelling narrative with impressive insight, [this] is an immensely enjoyable read' The Spectator'Dalley has written a quite brilliant book: fascinating, gripping, insightful and, above all, even-handed' The Telegraph'Imperial history at its best' Sunday Times'An imaginative and forensically relentless examination' Independent on Sunday

From the Back Cover:

`A vivid and damning account of the city's fall' The Times

`A quite brilliant book: fascinating, gripping, insightful and, above all,
even-handed' Sunday Telegraph

`An immensely enjoyable read' Spectator

`Imperial history at its best' Sunday Times

`An imaginative and forensically relentless examination' Independent on
Sunday

`An exciting and salutary tale of the era when British mercantile
ascendancy began its fateful metamorphosis into an empire' Financial Times

`As good a brief introduction to the British in India as anything I have
read' Guardian

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