Shivaji And His Times is a comprehensive account of the life and times of one of Maharashtra's greatest heroes. After a brief introduction to the geography of Maharashtra, and a description of the people of that land, the book traces the rise of Shahji Bhonsle, Shivaji's father in the service of the Adil Shah of Bijapur, Shivaji's boyhood, his early victories and his wars with the Mughals and the Adil Shah are recounted in detail. A major portion of the book is devoted to Shivaji's relations with the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb and his constant struggles to capture Maratha territory. Shivaji's coronation, his subsequent forays into southern India, his efforts to build a strong navy, his relations with foreign powers, all are discussed in the book. The author also makes a critical assessment of Shivaji's contributions and achievements, and his place in history.
Sir Jadunath Sarkar (1870-1958) born in Karachmaria village. In 1891, he passed the B.A. examination with honours in English and History from Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1892, he stood First in the First Class in the M.A. examination of Calcutta University in English. In 1897, he received the Premchand-Roychand Scholarship. He became a teacher in English literature in 1893 at Ripon College, Calcutta (later renamed Surendranath College). In 1898, he started teaching at Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1899, he was transferred to Patna College, Patna, where he would continue teaching until 1926. In between, in 1917-1919, he taught Modern Indian History in Benaras Hindu University and during 1919-1923 he taught in Ravenshaw College, Cuttack, now in Odisha. In 1923, he became an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society of London. In August 1926, he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. In 1928, he joined as Sir W. Meyer Lecturer in Madras University. Sarkar was honored by Britain with a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire CIE and knighted in the 1929 Birthday Honours list. He was invested with his knighthood at Simla by the acting Viceroy, Lord Goschen, on 22 August 1929.
A new and critical study of Shivaji's life and character has long been due, as the last scholarly work on the subject was composed, by Captain, James Grant Duff, a century ago, and a vast mass of original material unknown to him has 'become accessible to the student since then. To put the case briefly, the present work differs from his eminently readable and still valuable History of the Mahrattas, (3 Vols., 1826), in the rigid preference of contemporary records to later compilations, and the exhaustive and minute use of the available sources, both printed and Ms in Persian, English, Marathi and Hindi, as -well as the Dutch Records in the India Office, London. (The Portuguese Vida do Sevagy, though composed only 15 years after his death, has proved disappointing, as it is based upon the popular stories of the camp and the bazar, and not upon State-papers or contemporary memoirs.) The present work marks an advance on Grant Duff's history in three points in particular: First, among Persian materials his only authorities were Khafi Khan, who wrote 108 years after the birth of Shivaji and is admittedly unreli able where he does not borrow faithfully from earlier writers, and Bhimsen, an incorrect and brief translation of whose Journal (by Jonathan Scott, 1794) alone was then available. I have, on the other hand, relied on the absolutely con temporary official histories of Shah Jahan and Aurangzib, many historical letters in Persian, the entire letter-books of Jai Singh and Aurangzib, daily bulletins of Aurangzib's Court, and the full text of Bhimsen as well as another contemporary Hindu historian in Persian, viz., Ishwardas. Nagar, all of which were unknown to Grant Duff. Secondly, he relied too much on the uncritical and often deliberately false Chitnis Bakhar, written 183 years after Shivaji's birth, while I have preferred the work of Shivaji's courtier, Sabhasad, and also incorporated whatever is valuable and above suspicion in the mass of Marathi materials published by a band of devoted Indian workers at Puna and Satara during the last 40 years. Grant Duff, moreover, worked on single manuscripts of the Marathi chronicles; but we live in a happier age when these sources have been carefully edited with variations of reading and notes. Thirdly, the English and Dutch Factory Records have been more minutely searched by me and every useful information has been extracted from them. Two minor improvements which, I hope, will be appreciated by the reader, are the exact positions of all the places mentioned, traced with the help of the extremely accurate Government Survey maps, and the chronology, which is the most detailed possible in the existing state of our knowledge and corrects Grant Duff's numerous inaccuracies in this respect. It is only on the basis of a fully detailed and critically established knowledge of the facts of Shivaji's life that a criticism of his character and policy can be safely made. Such a criticism I have attempted in the last two chapters. The historian must be a judge. From the purely literary point of view, the book would have gained by being made shorter. But so many false legends about Shivaji are current in our country and the Shivaji myth is developing so fast (attended at times with the fabrication of documents), that I have considered it necessary in the interests of historical truth to give every fact, however small, about him that has been ascertained on unimpeachable evidence and to discuss the probabilities of the others.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (792)
Emperor & Queen (493)
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