Britain in India, 1858–1947

Britain in India, 1858–1947

By Lionel Knight

Anthem Perspectives in History

‘Britain in India, 1858–1947’ examines the last ninety years of British India, from the establishment of Crown rule after the Mutiny to withdrawal and partition in 1947.

Paperback, 228 Pages


November 2012

£12.99, $22.95

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About This Book

‘Britain in India, 1858–1947’ seeks to trace the last 90 years of British rule in the light of modern historical debates. The volume examines the ambiguities of British rule that followed from the post-Mutiny settlement: the tensions between an authoritarian bureaucracy and the promise of a liberal vision of the future, and between imperial interests and the growing coordination of Indian aspirations for self-rule. The volume analyses these tensions with reference to contemporary historical debates, and traces them through changing international relations and world wars to Indian independence and partition in 1947.


‘This is a well-written and thoughtful narrative of British rule in India from 1858 to 1947. Composed unapologetically from a British point of view, it offers a balanced treatment of the main historiographical debates, supported by good guidance to further reading. This book will be of great value for sixth form and first-year university teaching.’ —Francis Robinson, Professor of the History of South Asia, Royal Holloway, University of London

Author Information

Lionel Knight is the retired head of history and politics at the City of London School in England. He holds an MA from Cambridge University and a teaching qualification from the Institute of Education, University of London, and was a schoolteacher fellow at St Hugh’s College in Oxford. He has served on the councils of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Hakluyt Society.


Anthem Perspectives in History

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Preface; Introduction; Chapter 1. Crown Rule to 1880; Chapter 2. Liberal Imperialism, 1880–1899; Chapter 3. The Consequences of Lord Curzon: India or the Empire, 1899–1916; Chapter 4. The First World War, 1914–1922; Chapter 5. Dyarchy and Depression, 1922–1939; Chapter 6. The Impact of War, 1939–1945; Chapter 7. Independence, 1945–1947; Conclusion; Appendix; Chronology; Notes; Glossary; Further Reading; Questions; Index


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