Aniruddha Ray retired as Professor of History, from the Department of Islamic History and Culture, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal. Well known for his profound interest in historical research, Aniruddha Ray has written extensively about Mughal administration, technology and travelogues; the society and culture of Medieval Bengal; the economic history of the Sultanate and Mughal periods; overseas trade and merchants; and the French East India Company on the basis of a fine blending of his knowledge of Bengali, English and French sources. As a mark of esteem and affection, scholars in India and abroad have joined hands to offer him this volume. The festschrift reflects the range of Aniruddha Ray's interests and influences in some measure.
The theme of the present volume includes the contemporary effort within academia to question the traditional representation of Indian history and the attempts in various areas of study to de-centre the writing of history, and to provide an alternative perspective to the history of fifteenth to nineteenth-century India. In this eclectic collection of essays one can see an innovative approach at work, which raises interesting questions when one situates these ideas and the historical evidence within the big picture, as one moves back and forth between the macro-perspective and the micro-history addressed in most of these essays.
With eminent historians of the subcontinent contributing to it, The Varied Facets of History: Essays in Honour of Aniruddha Ray throws new light on aspects of Indian history: its sources and their interpretations, the evolution of cultural aspects like languages especially Hindi and Bengali, archaeology, painting, technology, trade and commerce and labour.