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

Keay, John

453 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0025611690 / ISBN 13: 9780025611696
Published by Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1991
Condition: good, fair to good
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

474, illus., maps, bibliography, index, some soiling to fore-edge, some wear and small tears to DJ edges. The English East India Company was the greatest trading power of all time. Bookseller Inventory # 41157

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Honourable Company: A History of the ...

Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, New York

Publication Date: 1991

Book Condition: good, fair to good

Edition: First American Edition. First Printing.

About this title


Chronicles the history of the famous trading company, which dominated world trade, raised armies, demolished nations, and established one of the most extensive empires the world has ever known

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."

"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 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''

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