The East India Company has played a crucial role in the development of the world as we know it and is key to the very fabric of British society and culture. In the year 2000, a major exhibition at the British Library celebrated the 400th anniversary of the birth of this unique institution. Established by Royal Charter in 1600, the East India Company quickly came to control over half the world's trade and a quarter of its population. It ruled India, raised its own army and navy, minted its own currency and traded with every corner of the globe. The structure of the book is broadly chronological, but also focus on particular subjects and incidents - tea, silks, jewellery, cashmere, spices, ships and navigation, battles, communication routes, the opium trade, the English gentleman abroad, India's First War of Independence, etc. Beautifully illustrated with paintings and photographs spanning three centuries. A vibrant and humerous narrative by the author. The margins of the text pages are lightly tanned. Dust jacket is unclipped.