During 200 years the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into the grandest society of merchants in the universe. As a commercial enterprise it came to control half the world's trade and as a political entity it administered an embryonic empire. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire.
About the Author
John Keay is a writer, broadcaster and historian whose books include 'Into India', 'India Discovered', 'When Men and Mountains Meet', 'Highland Drove', 'The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company', 'The Great Arc', 'China: A History' and (with his wife, Julia Keay) the 'Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland'. He has travelled extensively in India and the Far East, and specialised in Asian history and current affairs.