Decadence of a Society
Alok Sheel
LAND, LANDLORDS AND THE BRITISH RAJ: NORTHERN INDIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY by Thomas R. Metcalf Oxford University Press, 1979, 436 pp., 90.00
Mar-Apr-May-June 1980, volume 4, No 3/4/5/6

Thomas Metcalf’s scholarly work des­cribes the process by which the taluqdars of Oudh were transformed from rulers of men into modern rentier landlords. He has a small chapter on the origin of the Rajput clans—how they were super­imposed on the local cultivating commu­nity through conquest and inter-clan rivalry. On this issue, however, he has little to add to Richard Fox’s excellent work, Kin, Clan, Raja and Rule. It is in the later sections, particularly those relating to the taluqdars of Oudh on whom the book focusses throughout, except for the hund­red-odd pages on the North-Western Provinces, that Metcalf has much to add to our knowledge.

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