the Raj

Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of Tysoe Saul Hancock, his wife Philadelphia (née Austen) and daughter Eliza (rumoured to have been the child of Warren Hastings) with their Indian maid Clarinda, c. 1764–5. Eliza was Jane Austen’s cousin and later sister-in-law, and is said to have inspired several of Austen’s characters, including the playful Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park

The scourge of Christian missionaries in British-Indian history

1 September 2018 9:00 am

India’s wealth made it irresistible to the British. But over the centuries, plundering it also cost them dear, says Peter Parker

Brian Hodgson finds his vocation in Kathmandu

12 December 2015 9:00 am

It started as a ‘shoke’ — the Anglo-Indian slang word for ‘hobby’. Bored and lonely in Kathmandu, the young Assistant…

A Sikh member of the Indian Army Services Corps at Dunkirk, 1940

Britain didn’t fight the second world war — the British empire did

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Had it not been for the empire, Britain might have lost the second world war, says William Dalrymple. The war certainly lost Britain the empire

Lieutenant William Alexander Kerr earns the Victoria Cross in the Great Uprising of 1857

British India — the scene of repeated war crimes throughout the 19th century

14 March 2015 9:00 am

William Dalrymple is uncomfortably reminded of the astonishing savagery by which the East India Company maintained the Raj throughout the 19th century

Colonel James Tod, travelling by elephant through Rajasthan with his cavalry and sepoys (Indian school, 18th century)

From Scylax to the Beatles: the West's lust for India

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Peter Parker on the age-old allure of the Indian subcontinent