Empires of the Mind: A History of the Oxford University Press in India Under the Raj

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - History - 471 pages
This is a book on the history of the Oxford University Press in India, from 1880 to 1947. It looks not only at the period when OUP, or the Press, as it has always been known to its members, was in British India, but also traces the troubled path by which it came there. This story travels from the centre of imperial rule to range over the whole extent of the British Raj and the Princely States, with sidelights on Burma, Africa, and East Asia as well. The history of these places and this time is filtered through the experience of one organization and its books and authors, recorded in private archives never intended for the light of day. South Asia had the largest, best documented and earliest of overseas operations (besides America), and the Press' relations with it started, at least nominally, from Friedrich Max Muller's edition of the Rig Veda of 1843. Yet, the Press took an inordinately long time to capitalize on this start. Not till 1907 was any concrete step taken to create a physical presence in India. The author has described the evolution of the Press in the first section of this book (chapters 1-6). factions that fought over control of the Press till 1900, with emphasis on their attitudes to India. The story then leaves Oxford, travels to London and then in 1912 to Bombay, now Mumbai. In chapters 7 to 14, the story goes into the histories of individual books, series and authors in more detail, dealing with authors and publishers, the concepts behind particular books and series, and (as far as possible) their sales and reception.

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About the author (2006)

Rimi B. Chatterjee is a Lecture in English at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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