Surrounded by magnificent mountains, the city of Kandy, home of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth and the Royal Palace, was the capital of Lanka for about three hundred years. Gananath Obeysekere paints a vivid portrait of the kings of these great green highlands of Kandy, revealing a complex and advanced society every bit as violent as any other civilization. Focusing on kings Vimaladharmasuriya 1, Rajasinha II, Sri Vijaya Rajasinha and Kirti Sri Rajasinha, he brings the Kandyan monarchy to life, depicting them not as mythic figures but as real flesh and blood, larger than life characters who ruled over the last citadel of Lankan aristocracy
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
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