Drawing on contemporary critical work on colonialism and the cross-cultural encounter, this is a study of the emergence of Utilitarianism as a new political language in Britain in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, and focuses on the relationship between this language and the complexities of British Imperial experience in India at the time. Examining the work of Mill and Sir William Jones, and also that of the poets Robert Southey and Thomas Moore,Javed Majeed highlights the role played by aesthetic and linguistic attitudes in the formulation of British views on India, and reveals how closely these attitudes were linked to the definition of cultural identities. To this end, Mill's utilitarian study of India is shown to function both as anattack on the conservative orientalism of the period, and as part of a larger critique of British society itself. In so doing, Majeed demonstrates how complex British attitudes to India were in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and how this might be explained in the light of domestic and imperial contexts.
av Javed Majeed
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