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Dawning of the Raj: The Life and Trials of Warren Hastingsby Jeremy Bernstein
Synopses & Reviews
Nothing in the history of empire is stranger than the creation of British rule in India, when a small European island became master of a subcontinent ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayas. In the late eighteenth century the person most responsible for this was Warren Hastings, Britain's first governor-general of India. In Dawning of the Raj, Jeremy Bernstein brings to life in vivid colors Hastings's story amidst the rise of British power. Orphaned early, Hastings worked his way up from the lowest clerk in the East India Company to its highest office in India. His concern for native cultures led him to sponsor the first British expedition to Tibet and the first translation into English of the Bhagavadgita. Brilliant and autocratic, he also made enemies, and upon his return to England they charged him with high crimes and misdemeanors. His impeachment trial, one of the great spectacles of the age, lasted seven years and pitted Hastings against the likes of Edmund Burke and the playwright Richard Sheridan. It attracted the novelist Fanny Burney, who wrote of it with passion in her Journals. This parliamentary drama, replete with the trappings of state, forms the conclusion to Mr. Bernstein's fascinating, unusual, and completely captivating narrative. With 22 black-and-white illustrations.
Book News Annotation:
American retired theoretical physicist Bernstein, best known for his , describes the historical oddity of the tiny island of Britain becoming master of the huge tropical subcontinent of India. His story pivots on the career of Hastings (1732-1818), who made his way from the lowest clerk in the British East India Company to its highest office in Calcutta then returned to England and a seven-year trial for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Warren Hastings, Britain's first governor-elect of India, was in the 18th century the person most responsible for the creation of British rule in India, according to the author. Hastings' eventual and dramatic impeachment forms the conclusion to Bernstein's unusual and powerful narrative. 12 illustrations.
This historical adventure story of the first order chronicles the life of Warren Hastings, who planted the roots of the British Empire in India. In the late eighteenth century Hastings worked his way up from the lowest clerk in the East India Company to become Britain's first governor-general of India. He sponsored the first British expedition to Tibet and the first translation into English of the Bhagavadgita. Yet upon his return to England his enemies charged him with "high crimes and misdemeanors". His trial was one of the great spectacles of the age. His impeachment, filled with drama and replete with the trappings of state, forms the conclusion to Jeremy Bernstein's gripping narrative.
Nothing in the history of empires is stranger than the creation of British rule in India.
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