The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857
Edited by Margot Finn and Kate Smith | February 2018
Open Access PDF
About the book
The East India Company at Home, 1757–1857 explores how empire in Asia shaped British country houses, their interiors and the lives of their residents. It includes chapters from researchers based in a wide range of settings such as archives and libraries, museums, heritage organisations, the community of family historians and universities. It moves beyond conventional academic narratives and makes an important contribution to ongoing debates around how empire impacted Britain.
The volume focuses on the propertied families of the East India Company at the height of Company rule. From the Battle of Plassey in 1757 to the outbreak of the Indian Uprising in 1857, objects, people and wealth flowed to Britain from Asia. As men in Company service increasingly shifted their activities from trade to military expansion and political administration, a new population of civil servants, army officers, surveyors and surgeons journeyed to India to make their fortunes. These Company men and their families acquired wealth, tastes and identities in India, which travelled home with them to Britain. Their stories, the biographies of their Indian possessions and the narratives of the stately homes in Britain that came to house them, frame our explorations of imperial culture and its British legacies.
About the editors
Margot Finn is Professor of Modern British History at UCL. The author of After Chartism (1993) and The Character of Credit (2003), she has published extensively on the families and material culture of the East India Company. A former editor of the Journal of British Studies, she is President of the Royal Historical Society.
Kate Smith is Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century History at the University of Birmingham. Kate specialises in material culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. She published Material Goods, Moving Hands: Perceiving Production in England, 1700-1830 in 2014.