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The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomed (1759-1851) in India, Ireland and England

Michael H. Fisher (Author)
Synopsis The first Indian ever to write and publish a book in English, Dean Mahomed (1759-1851), lived a varied life. After serving as a subaltern in the East India Company's Bengal Army, he migrated in 1784 to colonial Ireland where he married a woman of Anglo-Irish descent. Moving to London around 1807, his activities included being a therapeutic masseur {'shampooer') for a Scottish nobleman, and opening the Hindostanee Coffee House. He later lived in Brighton as 'shampooing surgeon' to the English royal family and sundry gentry. His book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet, is reprinted here for the first time since its publication in 1794. It observes the British conquest of India from an Indian perspective, providing a unique account of Indian society in the eighteenth century. Very few Indian voices appear in the range of official records which are the main source material for this period. With this book, Michael H. Fisher not only recovers a valuable forgotten text for the reader, he also contextualizes it with an exhaustively researched history of the life and times of Dean Mahomed. He analyses the political situation prevailing in India at the time and provides a detailed account of the Bengal Army at the end of the eighteenth century, even as he traces the origins of Dean Mahomed's family and explores his varied career. Written in a lively and accessible style, this book combines a range of topics that all interested in literature, travel writing, ethnography, and the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will value.
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About the author

Michael H. Fisher

Michael H. Fisher is Professor of History at Oberlin College. He also wrote The Politics of the British Annexation of India 1757-1857 and Indirect Rule in India : Residents and the Residency System.

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Bibliographic information

Title The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomed (1759-1851) in India, Ireland and England
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 019565238X
length xviii+368p., Map; Plates; 22cm.