William Dalrymple – The Anarchy

William is speaking at our festival on 17th October at 3 PM

Anna Edgar writes:

We are indeed fortunate to have William Dalrymple as one the speakers at this

year’s festival.  His historical account of the East India Company in The Anarchy

is another outstanding example of the exhaustive research which has accorded

him many international awards and accolades. 

More than that, The Anarchy is also a roller coaster of a tale, told by a master

story teller, of how “men with deep purses and great designs” laid the

foundations of empire, and changed the history of India forever.  Not for

nothing is the Anarchy subtitled, The Relentless Rise of the East India

Company.  With the Dalrymple eye for detail, he draws us, with perspicacity,

into the character and fate of the great protagonists like Clive, as the British

Empire expands across the globe.

This story of empire building may also challenge some of our own traditional

views on the British Empire, and colonialism in general.   In an earlier book, The

Return of a King, William Dalrymple chronicles the disastrous nineteenth

century incursions into Afghanistan by the British and others.   Looking at

recent events in that country, both books may challenge us to think again and

review our own ideas on the meaning of empire.

For those of us who have heard William Dalrymple speaking before, he is a

natural raconteur.  If you are listening to him for the first time, this will be a


Mike Fraser