Time and the Nation: Mughals, Maine and Modernities in Romesh Chunder Dutt’s Historical Fiction

  • Alex Padamsee


This chapter explores how Romesh Chunder Dutt’s historical novels set out to repossess the British myth of feudal India. At a time of crisis in agrarian relations, the future nationalist politician and economic historian saw the possibility of reworking the discrete jurisprudential stages of kinship and contract proposed as the exclusive European route to modernity. Seizing instead on the medieval past as a prior moment of change, Dutt’s popular fiction turned the Mughal empire into a vast (and eerily familiar) transcolonial network of uneven capital relations, spurring on the contractual affiliation of dispossessed—and decidedly modern—strangers to the impoverished nation-in-waiting.


Dutt Nationalism Maine Muslim Capitalism Modernity Indo-Aryan Imperialism 

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Padamsee
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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