This volume continues the story of Burke and the affairs of the East India Company which was begun in Volume V (OUP 1981, GBP70.00, 0-19-822417-6). By 1786, Burke had fixed on Warren Hastings as the main culprit for the abuses that seemed to him so glaring. He greeted Hastings's return to Britain with a parliamentary attack which culminated in a trial by impeachment in the House of Lords. This was to be one of Burke's major preoccupations for the rest of his life. The material presented in this volume covers two years of proceedings in the House of Commons and the first session of the trial in the Lords. Its highlights are two great set-piece speeches delivered to the Commons, which can be reconstructed from manuscript material as well as from contemporary reports; and the four-day oration with which Burke opened the prosecution before the Lords: for this a complete verbatim shorthand record exists. The material in these and other speeches is not only central to an understanding of Burke and India, but to his moral and political thought as a whole in the years immediately before the outbreak of the French Revolution.
`The edition is valuable for many reasons, of which three are especially important. First, it presents more Burke with greater accuracy than any previous edition, and that in a handsome volume. Secondly, the reader is treated to ripe scholarship, for Professor Marshall has studied Burke and India now for 30 years. And although the series makes annotation austere, the introduction affords a wider view than the editor allowed himself in Volume 5. Thirdly,
on these bases, cheery misrepresentations by those whose fame outweighs their scholarship are destroyed. This will be a standard work.'
Ian Harris, Political Studies
`These are most welcome additions to a valuable series. ...I find Volume Six admirable, both in its editing and its introduction. I was glad to read Marshall's firm acknowledgement of something that has been often perversely contested, Burke's basic consistency:'
Conor Cruise O'Brien, The Times Literary Supplement
`The editing is full and informative, including valuable notes on the sources, transcription and currency, and a list of Burke's speeches and writings on India during 1786-8. This volume makes readily accessible Burke's moral and political thought in the years before the French Revolution.'
EHR Shorter Notices vol 109, issue 434