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Edge of Empire
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Talented historian Maya Jasanoff offers an alternative history of the British Empire. It is not about conquest - but rather a collection of startling and fascinating personal accounts of cross-cultural exchange from those who found themselves on the edges of Empire. A Palladian mansion filled with Western art in the centre of old Calcutta, the Mughal Emperor's letters in an archive in the French Alps, the names of Italian adventurers scratched into the walls of Egyptian temples: in this imaginative book, Maya Jasanoff delves into the stories behind artefacts like these to uncover the lives of collectors in India and Egypt who lived on the frontiers of European empire. `Edge of Empire' traces their exploits to tell an intimate history of imperialism.Written and researched on four continents, `Edge of Empire' tells a story about the making of European empires, ones that break away from the grand narratives of power, exploitation, and resistance, to delve into the personal dimensions of imperialism. She asks what people brought to imperial frontiers and what they took away, and what motives drove them, whether ambition, opportunism, curiosity or greed. This rich and compelling book enters a world where people lived, loved and died, and identified with each other across cultures much more than our prejudices about `Empire' might suggest.
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/ Includes PS Section Talented historian Maya Jasonoff offers an alternative history of the British Empire. It is not about conquest -- but rather a collection of startling and fascinating personal accounts of cross-cultural exchange from those who found themselves on the edges of Empire. / A narrative of British Empire that gets to the heart of the people involved, not just the politics. / Maya Jasanoff is one of the most talented young historians to have emerged in recent years, 'Edge of Empire' received rave reviews on publication of the hardback -- the paperback will undoubtedly build on this success. / Winner of the prestigous 50th Duff Cooper Prize and was shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book of the Year. / Six newspapers and magazines voted it their Book of the Year including the Guardian, Observer and The Economist. / Competition: William Dalrymple

About the Author

Maya Jasanoff was born in 1974. She graduated from Harvard before earning her Masters degree at Cambridge University. Her PhD was completed at Yale. She is now Professor of British History at the University of Virginia. She is widely known for her pioneering work on the study of Empire.

Reviews

'Maya Jasanoff ! triumphs in this memorable debut. This is partly because, mirroring her subject, she has adopted a vivacious methodology that defies category. Jasanoff's investigation of the world that made her evokes the midday sun, the unforgettable stench and blare of the East, but populates it with characters to whom the reader can relate, as strange as fiction, but actually found in real life.' Robert McCrum, Observer 'This is a very clever and wonderfully researched and written book which illuminates French as well as British imperial existence, artifacts and culture, and which looks at all the actors invoved in a vivid and nuanced fashion. An original new voice.' Linda Colley 'This is an extraordinary debut. Maya Jasanoff is one of the most exciting historians to emerge in years. Her crackling prose and outstanding research have resulted in a ground-breaking book. "Edge of Empire" is a "must-read". Amanda Foreman, author of 'Georgina Duchess of Devonshire'.

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