The Containment & Re-deployment of English India

Essays devoted to English India as it appears in Romantic studies, and the institutional effects of colonial discourse. Edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn, essays by Siraj Ahmed, L. M. Findlay, Daniel J. O'Quinn, Rita Raley, Susan B. Taylor, and Kate Teltscher.

Plate 8


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 8

Detail from Sir William Jones's "Poesos Asiaticae Commentarium ..." (1774) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 7


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 7

Specimen page of Arabic from Sir William Jones's "The Mahomedan Law of Succession ..." (1782) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 6


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 6

Ganga, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 5


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 5

Brahma, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

Plate 5
November 2000

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Plate 4


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 4

Nareda, the Hindu Hermes, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 3


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 3

Title page from Sir William Jones's "A Catalogue of Indian Plants" By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 2


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 2

Detail from Sir William Jones's "A Grammar of the Persian Language" (1771) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

Plate 2
November 2000

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Plate 1


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 1

Detail from Sir William Jones's "A Dissertation on the Orthography of Asiatick Words ..." (1788) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones"

Sir William Jones (1746-1794) remains a key figure in the continuing history of romantic and other orientalisms. At the very mention of the idea of "Containing English India," he leaps to mind not only as part of the contents contained within any envelope or archive so designated, but also as part of the discontent and unruly dissemination of such contents. Jones is both of the Indian sub-continent and in various senses incontinent within it and when writing about it (just as he is both inside and outside the dominant versions of Englishness in the later eighteenth century). In this essay, I revisit this dialectic of positioning or location, containing and incontinence, and the related contradictions that constituted Jones's early libertarianisim in England and his later legal and philological activities in India. My emphasis at every stage is on the Anglo-Indian Jones. Moreover, the echo in my title of that Gulf War euphemism, incontinent ordinance, is a deliberate gesture towards two points I stress in my conclusion: namely, that imperialism did not end with the British in India, and that imperialism's instabilities and illusions are always evident, if we care to look, in the language it uses to describe itself.
November 2000

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Ahmed, "An Unlimited Intercourse": Historical Contradictions and Imperial Romance in the Early Nineteenth Century

With parliament's 1813 decision simultaneously to end the East India Company's monopoly by opening the colonies to British free merchants and to permit British evangelicals to establish missions there, the nature of the empire in India began to change: the British public now had an opportunity to play an economic and spiritual role in the empire. Now, the economic and moral aspects of the empire, superintended by the British nation, separated from the political aspect, which remained in the hands of the EIC. The former staked the claims of "modernity" and the civilizing mission; the latter rationalized its openly despotic politics by insisting that it was concerned to preserve native "traditions." Sydney Owenson's early-nineteenth-century historical novel The Missionary: an Indian Tale was the first novel to represent the problem of colonial India in terms of a conflict between modernity and tradition, rather than between the principles of the nation-state and the politics of empire. In order to produce this new vision of the colonial encounter, The Missionary needed to produce a new narrative form that effaced a fact eighteenth-century writers rarely could: in the colonies, Indian "traditions" were a mask constructed by the colonial regime to conceal its violations of the fundamental principles of civil society.
November 2000

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