Dawning of the Raj : The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings
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.
- Hardback | 335 pages
- 161 x 234 x 30mm | 644g
- 01 May 2000
- Ivan R Dee, Inc
- Chicago, United States
Back cover copy
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.
This is an excellent, lucid book on a difficult subject...readable and interesting. -- Phillip Hensher * The Spectator * A useful reminder of the vicissitudes of global power. -- Brian Young * London Review Of Books * A jewel in the crown...this is an absorbing and stimulating book. -- Lay Freeman * Booklist * A riveting book, beautifully researched and narrated. -- Oliver Sacks Comprehensible, entertaining, and accurate...an impressive book! -- Andrew Roberts * The Wall Street Journal *
About Jeremy Bernstein
For nearly three decades Jeremy Bernstein wrote profiles of scientists for the New Yorker. Many were prize-winners, and his book Einstein was nominated for the National Book Award. Mr. Bernstein, a theoretical physicist best known for his nonscientific work, has also written The Merely Personal and Oppenheimer as well as Hitler's Uranium Club; Three Degrees Above Zero; and Cranks, Quarks, and the Cosmos. He lives in New York City and Aspen, Colorado.-