THE EMPIRE WRITES BACK
Part 2: Black and Asian visitors to Britain, 1734-1942
We received a terrific response to Part 1 of this series and many recommendations for additional texts that we should consider. These are all featured in this second part, which brings together 86 volumes describing the reactions of 44 Africans and Asians living in or visiting Britain between 1734 and 1920. Texts include:
- The memoirs of Thomas Bluett, a Muslim merchant kidnapped and put into slavery in Maryland, then freed to England.
- Various sources on the life, travels and business interests of Sake Dean Mahomed (1759-1851), describing the ‘conquest’ of India from an Indian perspective, relocation to London, opening a coffee house, bankruptcy, and the establishment of his famous bath houses in Brighton (he was the first major Asian businessman in England).
- The History of Mary Prince (1831), the first account by an African female slave.
- Documents relating to the Edjali case, an Indian wrongfully accused of mutilating a horse, whose cause was taken up by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- The rare periodical article describing Wondeful adventures in many lands, giving an account of the life of Mary Seacole, the Crimean nurse.
- Biographical and political writings of Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917), the first Indian member of the Imperial Parliament.
These are only a sample of the texts covered, and we also feature a number of works of general reference such as The East London Evangelist (1868), Indian worthies (1881), In Darkest England (1890), Sketches of some distinguished Indian women (1891) and Representative Indians (1897), which detail many hundreds of other distinguished or less fortunate African and Asian lives.