The Creation of the British
Although British traders had been present in India since the 17th century, the subcontinent was under direct rule for just 90 years, from 1857 to 1947. This study focuses on the 20 aristocratic men who wielded supreme power as Viceroy – literally the monarch’s deputy – from Charles Canning to Louis Mountbatten. It assesses their characters, policies, achievements and failures, and examines the continuing influence of this autocratic system of government in both Britain and India today.
The Buddha and Dr Führer
An Archaeological Scandal
In 1898 a casket was excavated near the India-Nepal border; an inscription declared that it contained the Buddha’s ashes. This account of the discovery focuses on the ensuing scandal, in which a local British magistrate accused a German archaeologist of faking results and selling bogus relics. Off-mint.
The Prince Who Beat the Empire
How an Indian Ruler Took on the Might of the East India Company
In 1844 and again in 1853 the Hindustani prince Meer Jafar Ali Khan voyaged to England, to challenge the bosses of the East India Company for their unseemly violation of a treaty, to win back his family’s property and to call for an end to British rule. This account of those events traces the long-forgotten campaign of the man who became one of Victorian England’s best-known figures, won over its political establishment and defeated the world’s most powerful corporation.
The Jains are one of India’s great heterodox communities but their doctrines are little known in the rest of the world. Among these ideas are Jain scholars’ precisely detailed descriptions of the cosmos as a gigantic theatre where souls play out their role. This volume comprises more than 100 illustrations from manuscripts of classical texts on cosmology, each accompanied by a commentary on the concepts that it represents. Slightly off-mint.
Empires of the Indus
The Story of a River
The Indus rises in Tibet to flow west across India before turning south through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries it has been a route of imperial conquest. Following the mighty river upstream, this award-winning travelogue takes the reader on a voyage through 2,000 miles of spectacular landscapes and fiercely contested territory, and back through 5,000 years.
Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
Sikkim, a tiny Buddhist kingdom sandwiched between India and China, survived the withdrawal of the British Empire and the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Then, in 1975, it was quietly annexed by India, bringing its 300-year-old dynasty to an end. Drawing on interviews and archive material, and retracing a 1922 journey by the author's grandfather, this book tells the remarkable story of this forgotten Shangri-La, its last king and his American wife, and the global power struggles that spelled its doom.
The Siege of Tsingtau
The German-Japanese War 1914
With support from the Allies in the First World War, Japan took the opportunity to invade Germany’s Pacific colonies. Drawing on records from both sides, this book reveals the political background to a conflict that climaxed in the siege of the German base at Tsingtau, China.
A Brief History of the Martial Arts
East Asian Fighting Styles, from Kung Fu to Ninjutsu
Many of the martial arts of East Asia claim a history dating back thousands of years; this introduction to the subject traces the evidence to the Middle Ages and unravels the legends that claim a more ancient provenance.
The King Never Smiles
A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej
When he died, King Bhumibol (1927–2016) was the world’s longest serving monarch, having reigned since 1946. Seen by his people as the living Buddha, he was hailed as the saviour of democracy after a coup in 1991. Subsequently, criticism of his lucrative links to business and the military was firmly suppressed. Defying the ban on investigating the monarchy, this 2006 biography profiles a shrewd political operator who veiled autocracy beneath an egalitarian public image.