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A Jingle of Bells

Basudeb Chattopadhyay (Author)
Synopsis A Jingle of Bells charts the development in the postal system in Bengal with the General Post Office as its centrepiece. It begins by taking a look at the indigenous postal systems, which were primarily geared to administrative or commercial requirements. The arrival of the Europeans changed the situation. The need for a regular and reliable postal system came to be acutely felt by trading companies, Jesuit missionaries and individual Europeans many of whom thought they were condemned to live in the ‘land of regrets’. While they evolved their own channels of communication, it was with the growth of British power in Bengal that the postal system received an institutional foundation. Professor Chattopadhyay examines the relationship between the postal system and the priorities of a growing empire. The introduction of the Grand Victorian Technology by O’Shaughnessy and his men in mid nineteenth century had a revolutionary impact on the transmission of messages the true import of which was realized during the revolt of 1857. The author traces the changes which took place after 1857. While telling this story the book traces the history of the GPO buildings from the early days of the East India Company’s rule in Bengal. The construction of the present building on the site of the so-called Black Hole of the Old Fort William was a major event in the architectural history of the Raj Designed by Walter B. Granville, Calcutta’s leading Victorian architect of the time, it is one of the few surviving relics from the past that has mingled with the present.
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About the author

Basudeb Chattopadhyay

Basudeb Chattopadhyay is currently Asutosh Professor of Medieval and Modern Indian History and Head of the Department of History, University of Calcutta. He has published extensively on colonial Calcutta. His latest works include Crime and Control in Early Colonial Bengal, 1770-1860 (Calcutta, 2000) and the Fown Hall of Calcutta (Calcutta, 1998).

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Bibliographic information

Title A Jingle of Bells
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170742587
length xi+98p., Col. & B/w Plates; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History