How art brought down the East India Company
Tom Young tells us what the work of amateur artists can reveal about the changing nature of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent
After years of ruling over the Indian subcontinent, the East India Company was nationalised by the British state in 1858. India and its people were to be governed by the newly created British Raj, with Queen Victoria at its helm. But how did this once-powerful organisation lose its grip on power? Dr Tom Young tells Jon Bauckham why he believes that the answer lies in the sketchbooks and scrapbooks of amateur artists in India, and explores how art reshaped ideas about colonial rule in the early 19th century.
Tom Young is the author of Unmaking the East India Company: British Art and Political Reform in Colonial India, c1813-1858 (Yale University Press, 2023)
Jon is the production editor at BBC History Revealed, where he is responsible for writing, editing and proofreading content. When he’s not poring over pages with a red pen, he can be found recording episodes of the award-winning HistoryExtra podcast, chatting to authors about subjects ranging from Lord Kitchener to Russian pianos.
Enhance the festive season with a subscription to BBC History Magazine + David Mitchell's latest masterpiece UNRULY - signed and hardback!
As a print subscriber you will also get FREE access to HistoryExtra.com worth £34.99