Stones of Empire: The Buildings of the Raj

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - History - 234 pages
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No empire in history built so variously as the British empire in India. The buildings there attest to the richness of an imperial presence that lasted--from the first trading settlement to the end of the Raj--some three hundred years. The attitude of the British to India was compounded partly of arrogance, but partly also of homesickness, and it shows in their constructions. Georgian terraces were adapted to tropical conditions, Victorian railway stations were elaborately orientalized, seaside villas were adjusted to suit Himalayan conditions, and everywhere the fundamental ambivalence of the British empire, a baffling mixture of good and evil, was mirrored in the imperial architecture.

This book, now reissued with an introduction by Simon Winchester, was the first to describe the whole range of British constructions in India. The text and photographs illustrate these buildings not simply as physical objects, but as reflections of an empire's mingled emotions. Stones of Empire charts an enterprise in architecture, engineering, and social adaptation unique in human history.
 

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Contents

Theoretical
13
Domestic
38
Public
84
Practical
120
Spiritual
158
Civic
196
Envoi
223
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Jan Morris, hailed by Rebecca West as 'perhaps the best descriptive writer of our times', and by Alastair Cooke as the 'Flaubert of the jet age', is the author of numerous best-selling works on places, travel, and history, including Pax Britannica, Venice, and Fifty Years of Europe: An Album. Simon Winchester is the author of the bestsellers The Meaning of Everything, The Surgeon of Crowthorne, and The Map That Changed the World. After studying geology at Oxford, he became foreign correspondent for the Guardian and Sunday Times, and was based in Belfast, New Delhi, New York, London, and Hong Kong. He has written for the New York Times, Smithsonian, Spectator, and National Geographic, and is a frequent contributor to the BBC. He lives in Massachusetts, New York, and the Western Isles of Scotland.

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