British Rule in India; a historical Sketch …

London: Smith, Elder and Co … 1857.

8vo., pp. vi, [2], 356, with half-title and 4 pp. publisher’s catalogue at end; slightly shaken in the original smooth light brown glazed linen, printed in black on covers, publisher’s advertisements on endpapers; bubbling to front cover, spine creased.


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First edition. Martineau wrote regularly for the Daily News from 1851-66, and produced nearly 1600 leaders in which she addessed international issues such as the American Civil War, and Britain’s position in the West Indies, Ireland and India. Her articles on India contributed to this work, the aim of which is to provide ‘a general notion of what our Indian empire is, how we came by it, and what has gone forward in it since it first became connected with England.’ The immediate context of publication is that of the Indian Mutiny, which had begun in May 1857 and was not to be entirely put down until the following spring; it is referred to in the preface, dated October 1857 – ‘Our hearts are palpitating too strongly at this moment to leave our judgment free and fair’ – and in the chapter on earlier ‘Sepoy Mutinies’. Martineau was subsequently to write a volume of Suggestions Towards the Future Government of India (1858). Rivlin 21.

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