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Lords of the East: The East India Company and Its Ships (1600-1874)

Lords of the East: The East India Company and Its Ships (1600-1874)

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For nearly a century a massive Asian empire was administered by a privately owned company located half a world away. The turbulent story of England's Honourable East India Company and its rise to power is recounted in this lively and informative history of the company's past four hundred years. From 1600 to 1863 the East India Company prevailed against rival European companies and almost continual warfare to gradually win control of India and spearhead the Western penetration of China. The author goes beyond the company's commercial exploits, the scandals of the opium trade, and the stirring nineteenth-century Tea Clipper races to delve into the lives of its employees, East India's peculiar organizational structure, and the technical details of its ships, the lordly East Indiamen. She also covers the lesser-known aspects of the enterprise, such as the company's private navy, and its contribution to the development of early steam navigation.

Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated, and recently updated, this account reflects both the social and maritime history of the East India Company and its contributions to the expansion of the British Empire.