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Ungoverned ImaginingsJames Mill's The History of British India and Orientalism$
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Javed Majeed

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198117865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117865.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Ungoverned Imaginings

Javed Majeed

Oxford University Press

This book explores the emergence of utilitarianism as a political language in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, focusing upon James Mill's The History of British India (1817). It describes the relationship between the emergence of this language, as defined by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, and the complexities of British imperialism in India at the time. Edward Said has argued that the Orient was the creation of a whole apparatus of intellectual practices which were a part of such ventures. In the oriental works of Robert Southey and Thomas Moore studied here, it is clear that the Orient was a creation which played a vital role in constituting their differing religious, political, and aesthetic positions. Furthermore, the intimate and complex relationship between popular and scholarly orientalism in their works can also be interpreted in the light of Said's conception of the orientalist venture. Much of Mill's History of British India was an attack upon Sir William Jones and the body of ideas which Mill believed he had defined.

Keywords:   Britain, imperialism, utilitarianism, India, James Mill, The History of British India, orientalism, Sir William Jones, Robert Southey, Thomas Moore

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