A History of British India - Vol. 1

A History of British India - Vol. 1

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A History of British India - Vol. 1

A History of British India - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

In this book I endeavour to complete a task which has occupied a large part of my life. Thirty-four years ago my attention was drawn to the historical materials in the record rooms of Bengal, and the inquiries then commenced have been continued from the archives of England, Portugal and Holland. I found that what had passed for Indian history dealt but little with the staple work done by the founders of British rule in the East, or with its effects on the native races. The vision of our Indian Empire as a marvel of destiny, scarcely wrought by human hands, faded away. Nor did the vacuum theory, of the inrush of the British power into an Asiatic void, correspond more closely with the facts.

Yet if we bring down England's work in India from the regions of wonder and hypothesis to the realm of reality, and if the Jonah's gourd growth of a night must give place for a time to the story of the Industrious Apprentice, enough of greatness remains. The popular presentment of the East India Company as a sovereign ruler, with vast

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