Dawning of the Raj: The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings

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Ivan R. Dee, Jan 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 319 pages
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Nothing in the history of empire is stranger than the creation of British rule in India, when a small European island became master of a subcontinent ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayas. In the late eighteenth century the person most responsible for this was Warren Hastings, Britain's first governor-general of India. In Dawning of the Raj, Jeremy Bernstein brings to life in vivid colors Hastings's story amidst the rise of British power. Orphaned early, Hastings worked his way up from the lowest clerk in the East India Company to its highest office in India. His concern for native cultures led him to sponsor the first British expedition to Tibet and the first translation into English of the Bhagavadgita. Brilliant and autocratic, he also made enemies, and upon his return to England they charged him with "high crimes and misdemeanors." His impeachment trial, one of the great spectacles of the age, lasted seven years and pitted Hastings against the likes of Edmund Burke and the playwright Richard Sheridan. It attracted the novelist Fanny Burney, who wrote of it with passion in her Journals. This parliamentary drama, replete with the trappings of state, forms the conclusion to Mr. Bernstein's fascinating, unusual, and completely captivating narrative. With 22 black-and-white illustrations.

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DAWNING OF THE RAJ: The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An odd mix of conversational commentary and detailed historical documentation that presents an account of burgeoning British imperialism in India. One might wonder how theoretical physicist, mountain ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

Most of this book is interesting, but it is very cursory either as a biography of Warren Hastings or as a history of the beginning of the Raj. It contains a lot of marginally relevant information that ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

For nearly three decades Jeremy Bernstein wrote profiles of scientists for the New Yorker. Many were prize winners, and his book Einstein was nominated for the National Book Award. Mr. Bernstein, a theoretical physicist best known for his nonscientific work, has also written The Merely Personal and Oppenheimer as well as Hitler's Uranium Club; Three Degrees Above Zero; and Cranks, Quarks, and the Cosmos. He lives in New York City and Aspen, Colorado.

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