A Memoir of Central India: Including Malwa, and Adjoining Provinces

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Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833) was a soldier and diplomat in British India and Persia. He returned to India on the eve of the British conquest of Malwa, a region of central India previously little known to Europeans, in 1818. Malcolm studied the region's geology, its agriculture and the history of its ruling families in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His reports were first published in Calcutta in 1821, and were revised and expanded for publication in two volumes in London in 1823. Based on interviews with native inhabitants and oral testimonies, Malcolm's work was the leading authority on Malwa until the 1930s. Despite more recent scholarship on the region, Malcolm's work remains valuable for its first-hand account of nineteenth-century Malwa's politics, culture and society. Volume 1 contains overviews of Malwa's geology, agriculture and the government of the leading families.