A Princely Impostor?: The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal

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März 2002



""Princely Impostor" is spell-binding narrative history--as gripping as a novel by Charles Dickens--that presents a vivid portrait of life in Bengal during the first half of the twentieth century. In addition, Chatterjee unobtrusively reflects on narrative history, historical truth, and the meanings of personal identity. A superbly written, thoroughly engrossing, provocative, and informative book."--Richard Bernstein"This is the first scholarly rendering of the incredible tale of the Bhawal sannyasi. Its strengths and contributions are many. Chatterjee's gripping story offers a fascinating portrait of a colonial society. It also wonderfully demonstrates the historian's craft as a narrator, keeping the reader glued to the page."--Gyan Prakash, author of "Another Reason""This extraordinary book represents an immensely valuable addition to the literature on South Asia. It will have great influence both within and outside of the academy and will soon be regarded as a classic."--Amitav Ghosh, author of "The Glass Palace"


List of Illustrations ix Preface xi List of Abbreviations xvii Chapter One: The Facts of the Matter 1 Chapter Two: An Estate Called Bhawal 15 Chapter Three: On Hunting and Other Sports 32 Chapter Four: What Happened in Darjeeling? 46 Chapter Five: First Brush with the Law 72 Chapter Six: The House on Lansdowne Road 81 Chapter Seven: A Fondness for Miracles 97 Chapter Eight: The Identity Puzzle 115 Chapter Nine: The Trial Begins 138 Chapter Ten: Darjeeling: The Plaintiff's Case 172 Chapter Eleven: Experts on Recognition 186 Chapter Twelve: For the Defense 207 Chapter Thirteen: The Climax 224 Chapter Fourteen: Reasonings 237 Chapter Fifteen: The Judgment 258 Chapter Sixteen: The Appeal 277 Chapter Seventeen: Razor's Edge 307 Chapter Eighteen: The Decision 342 Chapter Nineteen: To London and Back 367 Notes 389 Bibliography 409 Index 417


Partha Chatterjee is Director and Professor of Political Science at the Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of many books, including Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World and The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton). He is also a founding member of the editorial collective Subaltern Studies as well as a playwright and essayist in Bengali.


"Chatterjee has written a true account the reads like a mystery novel... A good reviewer should not give away the ending to a mystery, and the same applies in this case. But curious readers who want to discover the outcome will find this book--a fascinating introduction to the culture of British India--well worth their while."--Foreign Affairs "Like Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, Chatterjee's narrative refracts the complicated story through the prisms of the many participants... Chatterjee, besides narrating the story with all its twists and turns, delves into the metaphorical issues surrounding proof of identity and into the dynamics of western legal systems operating in an alien social and cultural framework."--Krishna Dutta, Times Higher Education Supplement "This book is a strange amalgam of storytelling and research, mixing the skills of a novelist with the rigor of academic writing... [L]ike a conductor waving his baton, the author is able to orchestrate all the elements of this complex and difficult work into a whole with a strange, compelling readability."--Apratim Barua, Times Literary Supplement
EAN: 9780691090313
ISBN: 0691090319
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: März 2002
Seitenanzahl: 456 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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