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Hindu Kingship and Polity in Precolonial India

Hindu Kingship and Polity in Precolonial India


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Part of Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society

  • Date Published: January 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521465489

£ 73.00

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About the Authors
  • Through the analysis of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century texts on the Hindu Kingdom of Kota in Rajasthan, in this 2003 book Norbert Peabody explores the ways in which historical consciousness, or memory, is culturally constructed and how this consciousness informs social experience. By building on the premise that no society receives the past in a transparent, universal and objective way, he unravels how the past in Kota has been fashioned. His analysis demonstrates how different styles of historical interpretation sustain different regimes, and how specific varieties of social and political activity are founded upon these different perceptions of the past. In this way, he suggests that different societies not only establish different co-ordinates of value in their constructions of the past, but also that the very processes of social and political transformation differ from society to society. This is a fascinating and challenging book which promises to become a classic in the field.

    • Author uses a wide and disparate array of documents, from literature as well as history, to explore the evolution of power and society in pre-colonial India
    • Interdisciplinary in approach, the book will appeal to students of anthropology, history, politics, and South Asia
    • An accessible and unusual book for scholars and students
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    • Joint winner of The Gladstone Prize for 2003

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a challenging and engaging book. Skilfully written, thoroughly researched, it poses provocative questions in the reinterpretation of Indian history. As the publishers note, this book has the potential to become a classic in the field. The fulfilment of this promise would be no surprise.' Journal of the Oxford University History Society

    'It is hard to imagine any ethnographer of the villages, temple towns, and former royal capitals of the subcontinent who will not find that their experience resonated with some aspect or other of Peabody's account.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521465489
    • length: 206 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The King is dead, long live the King!: or Karmic Kin(g)ship in Kota
    2. In whose turban does the Lord reside?: Kings, Saints, and merchants in Western India
    3. Military fiscalism and the cultural economy of devotion in eighteenth century Rajasthan
    4. From 'Royal Service' to 'maternal devotion' during the Jhala Regency: local politics at the end of the Old Regime
    5. An incidental history of a supplementary article: Hindu Kin(g)ship and early Colonial rule.

  • Author

    Norbert Peabody, University of Cambridge
    Norbert Peabody is a Graduate Officer in Research at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge.


    • Joint winner of The Gladstone Prize for 2003

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