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Based on a completely reconstructed archive of Persian, Hindi and Marathi documents, Nandini Chatterjee provides a unique micro-history of a family of landlords in Malwa, central India, who flourished in the region from at least the sixteenth until the twentieth century. By exploring their daily interactions with imperial elites as well as villagers and marauders, Chatterjee offers a new history from below of the Mughal Empire, far from the glittering courts of the emperors and nobles, but still dramatic and filled with colourful personalities. From this perspective, we see war, violence, betrayal, enterprise, romance and disappointment, but we also see a quest for law, justice, rights and righteousness. A rare story of Islamic law in a predominantly non-Muslim society, this is also an exploration of the peripheral regions of the Maratha empire and a neglected princely state under British colonial rule. This title is also available as Open Access.Read more
- Combines quantitative methods with micro-historical analysis to explore law, empire and society
- Provides a people-centred story of one of the greatest Islamic empires of all times
- Incorporates a wide range of sources, including a reconstructed archive of Persian, Hindi and Marathi documents
- This title is also available as Open Access
Reviews & endorsements
‘This book is an important work that enriches our understanding of family, empire and estate in South Asia. The analysis moves away from state policy and image-building to the micro-processes that actually reproduce state power. It achieves this through the mastery of difficult sources presented in a wide comparative frame.' Sumit Guha, University of Texas, AustinSee more reviews
‘In tracking a single family's legal documents over three centuries, Nandini Chatterjee has written an extraordinary book, upturning our understanding of how Mughal law worked and how it was experienced by its subjects. It will be revelatory for anyone interested in Islamic, South Asian, or Mughal history.' Samira Sheikh, Vanderbilt University
‘… it will be a valuable addition to the historiography of the Mughal Empire.’ P. P. Barua, Choice
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- Date Published: May 2020
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108486033
- length: 310 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 maps
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Malwa: land of many empires
2. Zamindars: lords of the marches
3. Contractors: engaging the state
4. Transactions: recording deals
5. Disputes: judges and courts
6. Invaders: marathas and the British
7. Identity: professionals or warlords?
Conclusion. Fragments to archives: a methodological manifesto
Appendix. A catalogue of the P Das archive
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