Warfare, Trade, and the Indies in British Literature, 1652–1771 demonstrates how British travel narratives of the long eighteenth century distinguished between Mughal and American “Indians.” Through a New Historical and postcolonial lense, it argues that the distinction between East and West “Indians” was widely recognized and shaped British people’s tendency to view Mughal Indians as similar and in some ways even superior to Europeans while they distained native populations in the Americas. Drawing on representations of “Indians” in Peter Heylyn’s critically neglected 1652 Cosmographie as well as representations in the works of canonical literary authors such as John Dryden, Richard Steele, and Henry Mackenzie, this monograph provides a more nuanced account of the origins and (d)evolution of “Indian” stereotypes than scholars have to date. A text committed to the exposure and eradication of colonial rhetoric and violence, Peter Craft’s Warfare, Trade, and the Indies in British Literature, 1652–1771 proposes a modification of Saidian postcolonial theory that better applies to texts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Peter Craft received is associate professor of English at Felician University.
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Voyage Accounts and Collections from Heylyn to Bernier
Chapter Three: Dryden’s West “Indian” Emperors
Chapter Four: Mughal History and Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe
Chapter Five: British Men of Feeling on “Indians” and Wealth: Addison, Steele, and Mackenzie