Two hundred years ago, India was seen as a place with little history and less culture. Today it is revered for a notable prehistory, a magnificent classical age and a cultural tradition unique in both character and continuity. How this extraordinary change in perception came about is the subject of this book by the author of "India: A History". The story is one of painstaking scholarship primed by a succession of sensational discoveries. The excitement of unearthing a city twice as old as Rome, the realization that the Buddha was not a god but a historical figure, the glories of a literature as rich as anything known in Europe, the drama of encountering a veritable Sistine chapel deep in the jungle, and the sheer delight of categorizing "the most glorious galaxy of monuments in the world" fell, for the most part, to men who were officials of the British Raj. Companion volume to John Keay's own "The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of How India was Mapped and Everest Named".
John Keay is an author and broadcaster specialising in Asian history and current affairs. His other books include: Into India, When Men and Mountains Meet, Eccentric Travellers and Explorers Extraordinary. He lives with his wife Julia in Argyll, Scotland.