A translation of a manuscript by Eudelin de Jonville who came to the island of Ceylon in 1798
Available in French and English. de Jonville came to Ceylon as a naturalist and a member of the administrative staff recruited by Frederick North, first British governor of the new colony. During the seven years he spent in Ceylon, he travelled, investigated, questioned, counted and measured, drew, painted and above all wrote an astonishing manuscript.
'The co-author Marie-Hèlène Estève of this new book should be congratulated for her painstaking detailed biographical research on this 'most elusive of the naturalist'. In other words Joseph Marie Eudelin Marve de Jonville has re-emerged from this splendid biographical account of Jonville. The book is replete with seven water color drawings and several other black and white drawings' – Hemantha Situge
How did the British come to conquer South Asia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
Answers to this question usually start in northern India, neglecting the dramatic events that marked Britain's contemporaneous taking of the island of Sri Lanka. In Islanded, Sujit Sivasundaram reconsiders the arrival of British rule in South Asia as a dynamic and unfinished process of territorialization and state building, revealing that the British colonial project was framed by Sri Lanka's traditions and maritime placement and built in part on the model they provided. Picking up a range of unusual themes, from migration, orientalism, and ethnography to botany, medicine, and education, Islanded is an engaging retelling of the advent of British rule and a theory of colonial impact that speaks to other places that have been lost from dominant histories.
'A wonderful read that calls into question many assumptions on the nature of colonial domination.' - Nira Wickramasinghe, Leiden Univesity
'Sujit Sivasundaram's Islanded is one of the most important historical studies on Sri Lanka in the early colonial period. It deals with the British advent to Sri Lanka in the context of the country's recent past and its strategic location in the Indian Ocean.' - Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
This book attempts to pinpoint, through a study of the island's past and present histories, what constitutes the basis of its multiple identities, which has been constantly nourished by outside elements and shaped over the past two thousand years.
On 24 Jan 1816, the captured king of Kandy was escorted on board the Cornwallis together with his queens, relatives and servants. Almost a month later, King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha arrives at the Vellore Fort in India, to spend his remaining days in exile. Thus ends the tragic tale of the Doomed King of Lanka.
Using Kadaimpot, vittipot and documents from English servicemen, Gananath Obeysekere reveals a portrait of a king who was much maligned and betrayed by those he trusted. The Doomed King makes for fascinating reading where a master spy, a Machiavellian governor and an opportunistic nobleman together, bring about the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom.
'This book confirms that Obeysekere, probably the most distinguished living anthropologist, remains at the peak of his prodigious scholarly powers.' - Rajeev Bhargava, Professor, CSDS, Delhi
'Essential reading, not only for its accounts of colonial rule in Kandy, but also for providing an example of the long-lasting persistence of historical knowledge that was constructed to justify imperial expansion.' - John Rogers, American Inst of Sri Lankan Studies