The devastating story of how the British came to rule India is one characterised by aggression, ruthlessness and violence. From trading silks and spices to running a vast private security force twice the size of the British army, the East India Company mercilessly conquered the entire Indian subcontinent.
So how did a company headquartered in a single office, five windows wide, bring down one of the world’s most magnificent empires?
Historian and best-selling author William Dalrymple delivers a rich account of Britain’s harrowing colonial history, exploring how a dangerously unregulated private enterprise managed to corrupt the most senior British politicians and officials in the process.
We still talk about the British conquering India, but that phrase disguises a more sinister reality.