Hay Festival: William Dalrymple on The Anarchy

The multi-award-winning historian William Dalrymple, presents The Anarchy, a cautionary tale of the rise of the East India Company.


Saturday 30th May, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

  • In Conversation
  • Questions & Answers
  • Talk


About the Event

The multi-award-winning historian presents The Anarchy, a cautionary tale of the rise of the East India Company, a vast and ruthless private army, perpetrators of one of the most supreme acts of corporate violence in world history.

Dalrymple’s award-winning books include In Xanadu, City of Djinns, Age of Kali, Nine Livesand The Last Mughal. 

This event is live and there will be a Q&A afterwards.

About the Book

The Anarchy
The Anarchy

William Dalrymple

Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date:10 Sep 2019


3.79 out of 5
11 reviews
"Dalrymple has done a great service in not just writing an eminently readable history of 18th century India, but in reflecting on how so much of it serves as a warning for our own time."
The Scotsman
"the book’s real achievement is to take readers to an important and neglected period of British and south Asian history, and to make their trip there not just informative but as colourful as a Maratha army in full battle array"
The Observer
"Appalling and enriching – but not in equal measure"
Irish Times
"Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India. Yet from this book of beauty, a stark warning emerges"
The Times
"Greed of the empire within an empire"
Evening Standard
"providing a brave and stirring narrative of India’s 18th-century fragmentation"
Literary Review
"This riveting account of how a piratical corporation subjugated India resonates with today’s global capitalism"
Financial Times
"As the pages go by, it becomes glaringly obvious that he is not really interested in the company at all"
The Sunday Times
"Dalrymple’s spirited, detailed telling will be reason enough for many readers to devour The Anarchy"
The Guardian
"Dalrymple’s prodigious talents are on full display in the telling of this story"
The Spectator

The Anarchy tells the remarkable story of how one of the world's most magnificent empires disintegrated and came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company, based thousands of miles overseas in one small office, five windows wide, and answerable only to its distant shareholders. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.