In our 2018 symposium on India, Roger Jeffery introduced his curiousedinburgh.org website. For an in-depth look at the previously largely undocumented impact on Edinburgh of British interaction with India, then Roger Jeffery’s book; India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present; will be of great interest.
“Roger Jeffery has brought together 10 original, well-researched and well-written essays which bring to life the presence of India in Edinburgh. On the surface Edinburgh is a purely Scottish city: its ‘India’ past is not easily visible. Yet, from the late 17th century onwards, many of Edinburgh’s young men and women were drawn to India. The city received back money and knowledge, sculpture and paintings, botanical specimens and even skulls! Colonel James Skinner, well-known for establishing Skinner’s Horse, brought his sons to Edinburgh for their schooling. Though Sir Walter Scott visited India only in his imagination (and tried to stop his own sons going there) he crafted a dashing India tale — The Surgeon’s Daughter — involving Tipu Sultan. The money from India helped create Edinburgh’s New Town, Edinburgh’s schools (whose former pupils careers ranged from tea-planters to Viceroys). People who came to Edinburgh from India established Edinburgh’s second women’s medical college. Many such hidden stories of Edinburgh’s India connections are brought to life in this path-breaking book, using novel approaches to look at Edinburgh as an imperial city, one for which India held a special place. Focusing on the interactions between individual lives, social networks and financial, material, cultural and social flows, leading experts from Edinburgh’s history provide fascinating detail on how Edinburgh’s links to India were formed and transformed.”
Roger Jeffery (ed.) India in Edinburgh: 1750s to the Present, New Delhi: Social Science Press; London & New York: Routledge.
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