The Cambridge Shorter History of India

The Cambridge Shorter History of India

The Cambridge Shorter History of India

The Cambridge Shorter History of India

Excerpt

The Cambridge Shorter History of India seeks to provide the general reader with a complete account of Indian political history from its beginning down to the year in which the reforms of 1919 were initiated. For many reasons no single person could hope to succeed in such an attempt. No living person possesses, or indeed is likely to possess, an adequate knowledge of the Sanskrit and Pali texts and inscriptions, of the Persian and Marathi chronicles and documents, and of the administrative records of the English Government. A co-operative method is therefore unavoidable. But it was thought that, if the collaboration were limited to three persons, a volume might be produced founded in each of its sections on original materials, and yet possessing, so far as each section went, a unity of conception and treatment unattainable when individual topics are handled by individual specialists.

The general aim of the authors has been to take full advantage of the knowledge and experience embodied in the various volumes of the Cambridge History of India, but to reserve to themselves complete liberty of judgment. The present volume is far from being a mere résumé of the larger work, and it is hoped that it will provide in a compact form that survey of Indian history as a whole which has long been sorely needed and which no existing volume satisfactorily supplies.

In two respects the present volume departs from the practice of the later volumes of the Cambridge History. In order to bring them into line with the Cambridge History of the British Empire of which they also form a part, diacritical marks were omitted, and no maps were included. But the considerations which justified those decisions do not apply to the present volume. The general reader cannot be expected to be familiar with the pronunciation of the less common Indian names. The long vowels have therefore been marked in order to provide him with a rough guide. For a similar reason a series of maps has been included. With one exception these maps have been specially drawn. But the editor has gratefully to acknowledge the courtesy of Dr C. C. Davies, in allowing him to illustrate the North-West Frontier with a section of a map which appeared in Dr Davies's work on that subject.

June, 1934 H. H. D.

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