Nabobs: Empire and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Tillman Nechtman explores the relationship between Britain and its empire in the late eighteenth century through the controversy that surrounded employees of the East India Company. Labelled as 'nabobs' by their critics, Company employees returned from India, bringing the subcontinent's culture with them - souvenirs like clothing, foods, jewels, artwork, and animals. To the nabobs, imperial keepsakes were a way of narrating their imperial biographies, lives that braided Britain and India together. However, their domestic critics preferred to see Britain as distinct from empire and so saw the nabobs as a dangerous community of people who sought to reverse the currents of imperialism and to bring the empire home. Drawing on cultural, material, and visual history, this book captures a far wider picture of the fascinating controversy and sheds considerable new light on the tensions and contradictions inherent in British national identity in the late eighteenth century.
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Introduction an imperial footprint
1 An India of the mind Enlightenment and empire in eighteenthcentury South Asia
2 Flesh and Blood cannot bear it private lives and imperial taxonomies in lateeighteenthcentury British India
3 The nabob controversy debating global imperialism
4 Imperial clutter the nabob controversy in the public sphere
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American argued Asia’s Asian Barwell Bengal Britain British empire British imperial British India British nation British observers Britons Burke Burke’s Calcutta Cambridge University Press colonial Company employees Company servants Company’s corruption Crusoe Culture despotism diamonds domestic Britain East India Company Eighteenth-Century Britain eighteenth-century British empire and nation English Enlightenment European fortune George Gillray’s global governor-general Harwood Horace Walpole House human Ibid imagined Imhoff impeachment imperial world island James Gillray Journal Kathleen Wilson Lady late eighteenth century letter Linda Colley lived Lord Lord Clive luxury Madras Marian Hastings memoirs metropolitan nabob controversy nabobinas nabobs Nabobs in England native noted OIOC Mss Oxford University Press Parliament Public Advertiser Quoted relationship returned to Britain Richard Robert Clive Robert Orme Rumbold Sarah Bonner Scottish Scottish Enlightenment seemed Smith South Asia stadial subcontinent suggested Thompson trade volunteer Walpole’s Warren Hastings wealth William Hickey women Wraxall wrote York young