The Theft of India: The European Conquests of India, 1498-1765

Roy Moxham

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In the three centuries that followed Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route from Europe to India, European powers made a beeline for India’s fabled riches, its spices, gold and gems. Though they ostensibly came for trade and commerce and the thrill of discovering a new land, the lines between exploration and exploitation soon blurred. The Theft of India documents the intense rivalry for spoils that played out between the British, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese and the impact this had on Indians. It details the political intrigue, the agreements and the betrayals, the oppression, swindling and greed of these foreign powers as they each tried to strengthen their grip on this vast and ‘exotic’ land. Roy Moxham’s work, though, is no dry study of textual materials. Through probing research, he unearths eyewitness accounts and memoirs from the era. Moxham supplements these with an exhaustive study of academic works on the subject. The result is an unflattering picture of the ‘civilized’ West as it systematically strips India of its riches. About the Author :- Roy Moxham is the author of Outlaw - India’s Bandit Queen and Me (2010), A Brief History of Tea (2009), an updated edition of Tea - Addiction Exploitation and Empire (2003), The Great Hedge of India (2001) and two novels, The East Indian Company Wife (2014) and The Freelander (1990). He was born and brought up in Evesham, England. After working for a while on a fruit farm, he went to Africa in 1961 to manage a tea estate in Nyasaland, now Malawi. He spent thirteen years in eastern Africa before returning to London to set up a gallery of African art. Subsequently, Roy Moxham went to Camberwell College of Arts and qualified as a book and paper conservator. After a period at Canterbury Cathedral Archives, he became senior conservator of the Senate House Library, University of London.

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