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Trading Places: the East India Company & Asia
Anthony Farrington

The British merchants who began trading with Asia in 1600 in the late 1500s found a sophisticated and thriving trading community. Goods were manufactured and traded on a scale never seen in Europe, and Britain discovered a wealth of products imported from these lands including silks, porcelain, tea, herbs and spices, wallpaper and furniture. The East India Company was founded in 1600 to consolidate and exploit these markets, and over its 200 years history 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.

This new book examines the history of trading with Asia, drawing on the extensive collections of The British Library, the prime holder of the documentary legacy of the East India Company. The book will show the human cost of creating this early ‘global market’ and how the British trading companies’ activities displayed some of the worst aspects of colonialism. On the positive side, the book presents the importance of Asia in the making of Europe, celebrates the cultural exchange which took place through trade in Asia, and examines the continuing influence of Asian culture on British life today.

Details: Publication May 2002
128 pp, 246 x 189mm, 75 col and 10 b/w ills; paperback
ISBN 0 7123 4756 9

Publisher: Distributed in North America by University of Toronto Press, all other rights held by The British Library

Price: £15.00 until 22 September 2002, then £17.95

 

 

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Anthony Farrington retired recently as head of the India Office Records, The British Library. He has written several important historical reference books, including The English Factory in Japan.

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The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company
John Keay

John Keay reconstructs this epic of expansionist endeavour from the journals and records of the East India 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 the 1st to that of Victoria, abounding in bizarre locations and roguish personalities.

Details: 475 pp, 196 x 130 mm, b/w ills, paperback
ISBN 0006380727

Publisher: Harper Collins 1993

Price: £9.99

 

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Lords of the East: The East India Company and its Ships
Jean Sutton

For nearly a century a massive oriental empire was administered by a commercial company with its head quarters half a world away. How the 'honourable' East India Company attained this unique position despite the opposition of its European rivals is the question posed in this beautifully illustrated book.

Details: 160pp, 260 x 210 mm, 100 colour and b/w illustrations, cloth
ISBN 0851777864

Publisher: Conway 2000

Price: £28.00

 

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The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600
Anthony Wild

Established by royal charter in 1600, the East India Company quickly came to control over half the world's trade and a quarter of its population. The diverse range of commodities with which the company forged its trading dominance is examined chronologically in this detailed yet broad introduction to the East India Company's fortunes.

Details: 191 pp, 280 x 220 mm, col and b/w ill, paperback
ISBN 000710121X

Publisher: Harper Collins 2000

Price: £16.99

 

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Empire of Free Trade – The East India Company and the Mking of the Colonial Market Place
Sudipta Sen

On the eve of the British conquest of India, northern India was rich in marketplaces that served as centres for an extensive and vigorous organisation of inland and oceanic trade. Indigenous commercial practice, which the British never fully understood, was based on an intricate network of social, political, and religious relationships. In Empire of Free Trade, Sudipta Sen demonstrates that these marketplaces became the first sites of conflict between the East India Company and the traditional rulers of Bengal, as the Company fought to supplant the rulers authority and settle northern Indian centres of trade.

Details: 208pp, 152 x 229 mm, cloth
ISBN 081223426X

Publisher: Pennsylvania 1998

Price: £28.00

 

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The Worlds of the East India Company
Edited by H.V Bowen

The English East India Company was one of the most powerful commercial companies ever to have existed. It laid the foundations of the British Empire in South Asia and lies at the very heart of the inter-linked histories of Britain and Asia. This multidisciplinary history of the company has been published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of this unique and extraordinary institution.

Historians of art, culture, and trade explore the origins, operation and influence of the company as an organisation that remained firmly engaged in maritime commercial activity in many different spheres even as it acted as a powerful agent of territorial expansion on the Indian sub-continent.

Details: 260pp, 234 x 156 mm, 9 col and 6 b/w ills, cloth
ISBN 0851158773

Publisher: Boydell, June 2002

Price: £45.00

 

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The Campaigns and Medals of the Honourable East India Company and Indian Army: The Victoria Cross of the Honourable East Indian Company and Indian Army.
A.G Stone OBE, Chris Kempton

Comprehensive references guide to the military skirmishes and conflicts in which the East India Company and Indian Army became embroiled. Taking the form of a chronological table of the military and naval affairs in which India was mainly concerned as a matter of its own internal and colonial experience, a complete listing of campaigns and medals is given between the years 1778 and 1912.

Details: 84pp, 295 x 210 mm, paperback
ISBN 0854203095

Publisher: Military Press, 2001

Price: £12.99

 

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Samurai William
Giles Milton

Best selling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Giles Milton's latest work on the rise of trade in the East is set to become another popular eye-opener. Samurai William is a tale of two worlds. Illuminated by first-hand accounts, it is a fascinating story of the first Englishman to visit the forbidden lands of Japan. However his homesick letter to London sparked off a frenzied attempt by merchants of the East India Company to use his presence there as a key to opening the opulent trade routes to Japan and the East Indies.

Details: 400pp 198 x 129 mm, line drawings, cloth
ISBN 0340794674

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002

Price: £14.99

 

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The Spice Route: From Europe to Asia
Harry Holcroft

The Spice Route was one of the greatest trade routes in history connecting West to East. Harry Holcroft retraces this historical journey and with paintings and diary recollections portrays the magic of its mysterious cities and romantic landscapes.

Details: 88pp, 222 x 255mm, col ills, cloth
ISBN 186205424X

Publisher: Pavilion Books 2000

Price: £14.99

 

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The Spice Routes
Chris and Carolyn Caldicott

In The Spice Routes intrepid travellers Chris and Carolyn Caldicott combine recipes from around the world with an informative description of spice trade. They follow the historic trails of spice traders across the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian subcontinent, Asia, the Americas, Africa and the spice islands of the Indian Ocean.

Details: 200 x 251 mm, 100 col ills, cloth
ISBN 0711217564

Publisher: Francis Lincoln 2001

Price: £20.00

 

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My Cup of Tea
Sam Twining

Sam Twining has spent his working life in the tea trade, from pot boy and tea taster to a Director of the world-famous company which carries his name. Long-time lecturer and broadcaster on the subject, he is widely recognised as one of the world experts on tea (of which he drinks up to 15 cups a day).

Details: 64 pp, 255 x 215 mm, col ill, cloth
ISBN 0907383866

Publisher: James & James

Price: £9.95

 

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Social History of Tea
Jane Pettingrew

Enjoying a cup of tea is something we now very much take for granted. This has not always been the case. In the sixteenth century this new herb from the East was an exotic luxury only the rich could afford to indulge in.

In this intriguing story Jane Pettigrew explores the important place tea has occupied in British society. The Boston Tea Party, the eccentricity of tango tea dances, clipper races, smuggling and unusual tea ware all make their appearance in this illuminating book which charts the development of tea from an exotic commodity to its present day position as a pick-me-up for just about everyone.

Details: 213x 241mm, col and b/w ill, cloth
ISBN 070780289X

Publisher: National Trust 2001

Price: £18.99

 

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