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This 1937 book gives a vivid picture of the realities of British trade in Asia around 1800.
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This 1937 work is framed as a maritime history as distinct from an economic history, and was highly acclaimed on first publication. Parkinson's focus is the activities of the East India Company in India and the East Indies between 1793 and 1815. Although a scholarly work, firmly founded on primary sources, it presents a potentially dry subject in a vivid and lively way which is extremely readable. Rather than narrating the history of the East India Company, Parkinson provides a series of descriptions of how it operated, the goods it traded, and the experiences of employees or passengers who sailed east. He reminds the modern reader of how fundamental the prevailing winds were to the trade routes, and the great discomforts of long sea voyages. This is a fascinating story of the realities of British economic involvement in India and the Far East during a key period of consolidation.
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