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Seventeenth-century French travellers and the encounter with Indian histories

Harrigan, Michael (2014) Seventeenth-century French travellers and the encounter with Indian histories. French History, 28 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 0269-1191. (doi:10.1093/fh/crt085) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1093/fh/crt085

Abstract

This article analyses a corpus of texts left by early modern French travellers to India in which they claimed to transmit testimony on Indian history. Seventeenth-century French conceptions of history (histoire) demonstrate a didactic function and crossover with forms traditionally linked with fiction (roman). Four French travellers (François Bernier, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Jean Thévenot, Barthélemy Carré) provide insight into the historiographical processes referenced in the writing of history. Travellers demonstrate varying levels of receptivity to Hindu and Persian historiography, or hint at the difficult recognition of certain forms. The rise to power of the Maratha leader Shivaji, and the accession of Aurangzeb to the Mughal throne, are reported in narratives that demonstrate the importance of recognizable signification in constructing history; Shivaji becomes a heroic figure, while Aurangzeb’s rise is determined by a recognizable order. The transferability of historical narratives is ultimately questioned, as is a reading of early modern histoire that neglects its ambiguities and ironies.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/fh/crt085
Uncontrolled keywords: India, France, Travel, Historiography, narrative
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Michael Harrigan
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2020 15:09 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 10:56 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/80135 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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