Merchant & the State:
The French in India, 1666-1739

Volume 1: Establishment & Stagnancy
Volume 2: New Company & Expansion

By Aniruddha Ray
May 2004
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
ISBN: 81-215-1111-9
1107 pages, Illustrated, 5 " x 8 "
$125.00 Hardcover

This brief survey of the activities of the French East India Company in India, based principally on the unpublished factory records of the French archives, deals with their problems, their linkages with the mercantile groups and their relation with the local rulers.

Starting with their arrival at Surat in 1666, this study closes with the occupation of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1739, which marks the change of the attitude of the European powers including the French towards the Mughal Empire. However this work tries to give a total appraisal of the activities of the French and not their commerce only thus trying to understand the perception of the French in India, revealing in turn the changing Indian politico-economic situation.

The fortune of the French in India declined from the end of the seventeenth century but considerably improved with the formation of another Company in 1719. New factories were established at Mahe, Karikkal and Patna. By 1730s, the investment of the Company touched the English investment in Bengal where the activities of Dupleix, narrated here from his unpublished private letters, shows the rising commerce and the increasing aggressive attitude of the French.


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