Palaces and Counting Houses: The Culture and Identity of the British East India Company Administrator, 1773-1833
The East India Company’s transformation from a trading organisation into a ruling power has increasingly been recognised as a complex tale. My thesis examines the impact of imperial roles and responsibilities upon the Company’s administrators and, in particular, on their identities and sense of self. Charting the experiences and encounters of the Company’s employees from preparation to arrival, through experience and departure to retrospect and legacy, it explores the complexities of the Anglo-Indian administrator’s identity during a period in which employees were increasingly finding themselves performing the work of government rather than commerce. It asks how administrators dealt with these newfound responsibilities and considers how this altered the manner in which they perceived themselves and their relationship to empire.