Books about Old Madras
Old Madras! What a multitude of associations are called up by the simple words.What curious picture of the past flash before our eyes”
Those are not the words of a nostalgic old man today. That is the opening sentence of the book, Madras in The Olden Times – A history of the Presidency 1639-1702, compiled by J. Talboys Wheeler, Professor at the Madras Presidency College, in the year 1861. Somethings never change I guess.
Google’s Library project has digitized a lot of books from various libraries across the world. On a whim, one day I searched for Madras in Google Books. And felt like a kid in a candy shop. There are tons of books about old Madras, and though most of them offer only snippet views, there were some that offer the entire book. That is how I landed up with the History of the Presidency book mentioned above.
This book is a treasure trove of information about Madras in the initial days.Some of the things I learnt from browsing through the book are
– The East India Company thought that setting up a factory in Madras was not profitable and wanted to censure Francis Day for setting up the city of Madras
– French occupied Santhome as early as 1672
– gifts were sent to Shivaji when he was on his way to attack the Fort of Gingee.
Some of the other interesting books I found through Google Library project are
If you are interested in the history of the City, these diverse books will be of a lot of help to you.