This is the third in Edward Ingram's widely acclaimed series of books about the nature of Great Britain as a great power during the industrial revolution, as illustrated by British imperialism in India and the Middle East. In 1801 and again in 1809 the British made a treaty with the Qajar regime of Persia. The two treaties and the seven roles the British prepared for Persia to play in the British empire were known at the time as the Persian Connection. The Qajars were expected during the Napoleonic Wars to help to consolidate British rule in India, to isolate India from the European states system, and even to help to destroy the Napoleonic Empire. Instead, they disappointed the British by asking for help against Russia. The entanglement of the Persian Connection in Anglo-Russian relations in the years after the Napoleonic Wars showed the limits to the power of Great Britain. It also showed that symbols are sometimes more important in international relations than substance and that successful empire-builders must act within a closed world of their own imagining. The Persian Connection was abandoned in 1828 as the British devised an alternative method of separating India from Europe, known as the Great Game in Asia.
`Wide and meticulous research in British, Russian, French and Persian sources is the sound base of a very scholarly analysis; rather an historian's history, albeit well written in lively style, than a story of stirring times for the general reader. ... the trilogy completed by this work makes a substantial contribution to the history of imperial relations.'
Asian Affairs Oct 1993
`Readers of Ingram's earlier books will find familiar qualities in this one. A vast corpus of primary material, both government records and personal papers, has been mastered. He is deeply learned in the history of international relations and willing to venture on illuminating comparisons with episodes from very different periods.'
Times Literary Supplement
'The research which underlines it, the sheer effort which has obviously gone into its making, are very hard to fault. There is no significant source of information on the subject which Professor Ingram has failed to comb with remarkable thoroughness. Professor Ingram is to be warmly congratulated on the completion of what has been almost a life-work. It is a consoling thought that he is still young enough for us to hope for other and equally significant
books from him in due course.'
M.S. Anderson, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 22, No. 1, Jan '94
'Ingram writes with confidence and conviction; his scholarship is formidable. His sources include a comprehensive range of British government departmental and East India Company documents, relevant family papers, and a rich selection of books and articles. His is narrative history at its best, interspersed with insightful analyses, analogies, and conclusions, sometimes unconventional but always thought-provoking. Together with the two companion volumes,
this study stands out as the best yet on the Great Game in Asia. It belongs in every academic library.'
Edward B. Jones, Furman University, Journal of Asian Studies, May 1994
'This book is an excellent pice of history writing ,, because it is based on very wide research in the archives and broad reading of monographs in various areas of strategy, foreign and imperial policy and because it is written in an exciting way. It is full of ideas and comments on a variety of issues.'
M.E. Yapp, BSOAS, Vol. 57, No. 1, '94
`Ingram maintains a vigorous style well supplied with challenging epigrams. This is a fine diplomatic history... Ingram has produced another significant book, full not only of lively narrative but also intriguing analysis and thoughtful insight regarding Britain's imperial pre-occupation in the early nineteenth century.'
Journal of South Asian Studies
`This is the third volume in Ingram's sustained and wise inquiry, and it as worthy of praise as its predecessors...provides...the richest, mostly widely researched, and intellectually elegant statement about the place of India in British foreign policy...his style, which while clear and compelling, requires close attention to nuance. Theresult is a series of books...which not only demand the attention of imperial and area studies specialists but indeed of
any scholar who is attempting to understand just what a genuinely "international history" may be.'
Journal of Modern History