Set mainly in India, this is a rich history of the connections between East and West from the early 17th century told through stunning interlocking biographies of Britain's greatest eccentrics and radical thinkers. Bloodless Revolution tells the story of Puritan revolutionaries, visionary scientists and British Hinduphiles who embraced radical ideas, foreign cultural influences and conspired to overthrow society's long-held carnivorous customs.The book will be grand history made up by interlocking biographies of some extraordinary figures across a timespan of post English civil war to the early nineteenth century. At its heart are the stories of three British men who travelled to India, converted to the animal-friendly tenets of Hinduism and returned to Europe to spread the word. John Zephaniah Holwell --survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta and temporary Governor-- concocted his own half-Hindu, half-Christian religion which had the prohibition of flesh at its core. His extraordinary story has never been told before.
Two East India Company men, John Stewart and John Oswald, returned from India to join the revolutionary politics of late eighteenth-century Europe, armed to the teeth with the vegetarian philosophies of the East and very divergent ideas as to how to enact them. And George Cheyne -- the Falstaff of Aberdeen -- friend of Samuel Richardson and at the heart of Enlightenment quackery. He took many of his ideas from Thomas Tryon who, in the 17th century, founded the first Hindu vegetarian society in the West. This is the first historical account of how Eastern philosophy merged with indigenous traditions of Christian asceticism and medical science to spawn the traditions of vegetarianism in the West. But it does so through wonderful biographical writing of eccentric, brilliant men espousing radical ideas. The book itself is a rich cornucopia of 17th and 18th century travel, adventure, radical politics, literature and philosophy.
Tristram Stuart graduated from Cambridge in 1999 with a double first in English, having won numerous academic prizes. Since then he has been a freelance writer for numerous Indian newspapers, a contributing editor/researcher on a book about Himalayan nomads and a project manager in Kosovo. 'The Bloodless Revolution' is his first book.