21 February, 2018
William Dalrymple presents a preview of his ongoing project and upcoming book focused on the East India Company, and tentatively titled The Anarchy.
In his illustrated talk, Dalrymple examines a 60-year period in history when the wealthiest empire in the world is built by a boardroom of London merchants – a company, which at the time of the Battle of Plassey was run from a single five-windowed room with a staff of thirty five people. Growing into one of the most heavily millitarised corporations in history, the East India Company was to replace the greatest and richest empire that India had, and by 1802, have more than twice as many troops as the British army. Deconstructing the idea that the Empire was a nationalist enterprise, Dalrymple walks us through the past to reveal the underwritten truths of corruption, corporation and lobbying politics that shaped the history of the British Empire in India.
William Dalrymple is a British historian, writer, curator as well as prominent broadcaster and critic. His books have won numerous awards including the Duff Cooper and the Wolfson Prize, and he has been 4 times longlisted and once shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Aside from being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society,he is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.