David Gilmour

Colonial Conundrums

India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire

By Jon Wilson

Simon & Schuster 549pp £25 order from our bookshop

Favourable judgements on the British Raj are in short supply nowadays. We have come a long way from the time when Bismarck was predicting that Britain’s work in India would be ‘one of its lasting monuments’ and Teddy Roosevelt was praising the British for doing ‘such marvellous things’ that they would transform the subcontinent as thoroughly as Rome had transformed Western Europe. Even conservative historians now only hesitantly suggest that possibly or ‘on the whole’ British rule might have had some benefits, that it established the rule of law and preserved religious freedoms, and that it bequeathed a fine civil service and set India on the road to constitutional government.

Subscribe to read the full article

KentState_Sept2016_online

University of Chicago Press

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : I've got approx. 100 copies of from early 1990s-2000s to give away (most w/ covers).… ,
    • 'I Contain Multitudes is popular science writing at its best.' Wendy Moore is fascinated by a study on microbes ,
    • 'Costume of the life force? Words fail.' Germaine Greer on an ode to the condom ,
    • It's Write on Kew for the next four days. There are free copies of Literary Review about; why not dip your toe into the magazine?,
    • Which sci-fi author time-travelled to ancient Rome and lived a parallel life a persecuted Christian named Thomas? ,
    • You can pick up free copies of Literary Review at Write On Kew, which begins tomorrow. Fill your boots (with magazines).,
    • Michael Burleigh reads a survey of the rise of Asia ,