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The Honourable Company: History of the English East India Company by [Keay, John]

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The Honourable Company: History of the English East India Company Kindle Edition

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Length: 506 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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A history of the English East India company.

During 200 years the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into "the grandest society of merchants in the universe". As a commercial enterprise it came to control half the world's trade and as a political entity it administered an embryonic empire. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire. In a tapestry ranging from Southern Africa to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, bizarre locations and roguish personality abound. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong the political geography of today is, in some respects, the result of the Company. This book looks at the history of the East India Company.

From the Back Cover

Over two centuries, the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into 'the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe' – a huge commercial enterprise which controlled half the world's trade and also administered an embryonic empire. A tenth of the British exchequer's total revenue derived from customs receipts on the Company's UK imports; its armed forces exceeded those of most sovereign states. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire.

John Keay reconstructs this epic of expansionist endeavour from the journals and records of the Company's employees: the first experimental voyages to the East; the earliest, often disastrous, settlements; the later, often inglorious, wars; and the often venal administrations. The story sweeps from southern Africa to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, abounding in bizarre locations and roguish personalities. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong, the political geography of today is undeniably the creation of the Company.

"The first accessible narrative history of the English East India Company which has appeared for some time…Keay recounts his story with the sweep of a James Michener, but one anchored in the meticulous scholarship of historians…Commercial successes and failures, battles and politics from Table Bay to Tokyo Bay are treated with verve and clarity."
CHRISTOPHER BAYLY, 'The Observer'

"Keay tells the story with skill and anecdotal lightness…Spices are aromatic, mosquitoes bite, the seas roar in Keay's fact-crammed book, and the narrative races as in a novel."
ANTHONY BURGESS, 'The Independent'

"Lively and thoroughly literate…an outstandingly wise and balanced account."
PROFESSOR B. H. FARMER, 'Geographical Journal'

"Enough rumbustious adventure stories to shock and delight any armchair reader."
RACHEL BILLINGTON, 'Financial Times 'Books of the Year''


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 506 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (2 July 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006380727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006380726
  • ASIN: B003UN703Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Customer Reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,035 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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20 March 2018
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14 August 2018
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews
Reed H. Stuve
4.0 out of 5 stars 2017
25 July 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful
Mr. Claggart
4.0 out of 5 stars Great narrative history....but.
27 October 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
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19 people found this helpful
Andrew Cobble
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and Engaging
9 November 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history
15 April 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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One person found this helpful
subhash kasturi
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading ..
16 November 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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4 people found this helpful