Pre-colonial India - and how it was perceived in Europe at the time - has been variously written about. Of late, historians have felt the need to reexamine the sources through which this history was reconstructed. In this collection Subrahmanyam questions the lines of political and cultural division that traditional history writing has accepted. He demonstrates that the interface and balance of power between the Mughals and the Europeans are an integral part of a wider system of international political alliances.
Mughals and Franks reflects on two and a half centuries of Mughal-European relations, beginning with the early years of the Mughals in India, and ending with the eighteenth century. It is based on extensive research into the Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and Persian Materials of the period, both archives and published texts. The work introduces the idea of contained conflict, which is used as a paradigm to study political and commercial relations in the period.
There essays are an instance of the author's command over the resources of Indian history, and a lively familiarity with archives across geographical boundaries. Like its companion from the Tagus to the Ganges, this work makes a major contribution to the understanding of Mughal-European relations in the early modern period. It will be of immense interest to historians of medieval India and to scholars and students engaged in debates about history writing in general.
About the Author
Sanjay Subrahmanyam is Professor of Indian History and culture, University of Oxford, and currently also Professor at the Department of History, University of California at Los Angeles.
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