By David Weir

Argues that the myths and beliefs of William Blake's poetry have been seriously motivated by means of the Oriental Renaissance - the British discovery of Hindu literature.

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Extra resources for Brahma in the West: William Blake and the Oriental Renaissance

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That task fell to Warren Hastings, who had impressed Clive during the fighting in Bengal and was appointed to the Calcutta Council in 1761 (Robert, 78–79, 85). Here is the point where the story of the East India Company begins to intersect with the career of William Blake, since it was Hastings who encouraged Charles Wilkins to translate the Bhagavad Gita. Of equal importance, however, is the role Hastings played—unwillingly, to be sure—in helping to keep India in the foreground of the political consciousness of English radicals in the 1790s.

Of equal importance, however, is the role Hastings played—unwillingly, to be sure—in helping to keep India in the foreground of the political consciousness of English radicals in the 1790s. In 1772 Warren Hastings was named Governor-General of Bengal, a title that was changed to Governor-General of India the next year (Robert, 85). The change of title was mandated by the Regulating Act of 1773 that brought India more directly under parliamentary control but stopped short of full regulation: the Company still enjoyed a considerable measure of independence, which the traders and administrators took full advantage of to amass enormous private fortunes at the expense of the native population.

The British and French negotiated their way out of continued hostilities at this time, and Madras was returned to English control, but the episode was the harbinger of numerous military engagements to come between England and France in India over the second half of the eighteenth century. No less than the Caribbean Islands, India was to be the colonial staging ground for conflicts between the two countries, especially during the Seven Years War and, later, throughout the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era.

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