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Mukherjee, Soumyendranath (1963) Sir William Jones and the Beginnings of Indology. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In this thesis I try to reconstruct the ideas of Sir William Jones in the light of the unpublished manuscript sources. I have drawn heavily on his unpublished correspondence to be found among the Spencer papers at Althorp Park, Northampton. Perhaps his greatest contribution is Indology (meaning the science which enquires into Indian history and culture). The latter half of the eighteenth century saw the British expansion in India. The prevailing problem was how to rule her. This was also a period of discontent in the West, with the American Revolution, the Movement for Parliamentary reform and finally the French Revolution. I judge Jones's ideas against three back rounds: the British attitudes towards India, the English Whig philosophy and his own personality. The thesis is written in seven chapters. They are as follows:- 1. India and the West: An evaluation of the eighteenth-century European attitudes towards India. 2. "A philosopher among courtiers": A study of the growth of Jones's personality. 3. Early ideas about India and the Orient: A reconstruction of Jones's ideas of Asia prior to his departure for Indic. 4. Mr. Jones "a staunch Whig, but very wrongheaded": A study of Jones's political ideas and his association with the early movement for Parliamentary reform. 5. The Foundation and the early years of the Asiatick Society: A study of the impact of the birth of the Asiatick Society on the development of Indology. 6. The beginnings of Indology: An evaluation of Jones's own contribution towards the study of ancient India. 7. The legacy of Jones: A study of Jones's idea of Indian law and government. He thought his Digest of Indian law would be his legacy to India, but his real legacy was the discovery of ancient India.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:14

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