India and Europe in the Global Eighteenth Century

BookIndia and Europe in the Global Eighteenth Century

India and Europe in the Global Eighteenth Century

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2014:01


January 15th, 2014



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The long eighteenth century was a period of major transformation for Europe and India as imperialism heralded a new global order. Eschewing the reductive perspectives of nation-state histories and postcolonial ‘east vs west’ oppositions, contributors to India and Europe in the global eighteenth century put forward a more nuanced and interdisciplinary analysis. Using eastern as well as western sources, authors present fresh insights into European and Indian relations and highlight:

  • how anxieties over war and piracy shaped commercial activity;
  • how French, British and Persian histories of India reveal the different geo-political issues at stake;
  • the material legacy of India in European cultural life;
  • how novels parodied popular views of the Orient and provided counter-narratives to images of India as the site of corruption;
  • how social transformations, traditionally characterised as ‘Mughal decline’, in effect forged new global connections that informed political culture into the nineteenth century. 


‘The broad range of scholarship here will guide many experienced researchers to the volume, in search of particular essays, or clusters of essays on specific research questions or focal areas. The same breadth may recommend the entire volume to teachers keen to show their students that transnational history of colonialism is a thriving interdisciplinary field in which much exciting work remains to be done.’
‘Adopting multi-disciplinary approaches, contributors stress the complexity, subtlety and intricacy of the remarkable global connections between India and Europe in the eighteenth century. It will undoubtedly provoke not only lively debate, but also much further research.
The BARS Review

'[This book] offers an interesting insight into the ad hoc nature of empire-building and the polyvalent nature of orientalist production that invites further reflection into the complexity of European colonial history.'
French studies

‘Ces récits, par leur fraîcheur et leur couleur ne manquèrent pas d’impressionner l’imaginaire collectif.’
Académie des sciences d’outre-mer : les récensions de l’Académie

Author Information

Simon Davies was formerly Professor of Enlightenment Studies and the founding Director of the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the assistant Director of the correspondence of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (Electronic Enlightenment) and the general editor of two volumes of Bernardin’s Complete Works (Garnier).