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Sir Bartle Frere and His Times

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About the Book

The book recounts the chequered career of one of the distinguished British administrators, Sir Bartle Frere, for a period of well over 5 years. Appointed to such important administrative posts as Resident of Satara (1846-1848). Commissioner of Sind (1851-1859) he came to be admired by the best minds of hi generation before he rose to occupy the office of the Governor of Bombay (1862-1867). As an advocate of the policy of decentralisation and association of Indians with the administration he had been deeply convinced of the British responsibility to govern India in her own interest. His governorship was synchronised with the commercial prosperity of Bombay of his time. The book discusses in detail the failure of the Bank of Bombay and spotlights the brilliant career of a dynamic administrator who sought to mould Bombay Presidency according to his convictions and earned both admiration and censure. A gifted intellectual and an academicians of distinction, he made energetic efforts to promote the primary as well as higher education both of which found in him a friend and patron. Female education was his special forte. Cultural life of the Presidency in general, and of the Bombay City in particular received a fresh lease of life under him. A master builder with a refined aesthetic sense, Sir Bartle Frere built magnificent buildings which beautified the city of Bombay and changed its skyline. The Rajabai Tower, University Convocation Hall, the High court building etc., stand to this day as standing monuments to his creative power. In this book the author has attempted to give a gripping account of Sir Bartle Frere’s activities against the background of Western Indian society during its early formative period. She has drawn from all sources including private papers and archival material besides standard authorities on the subject and as a result, the book promises to be a new assessment of one of the makers of Bombay Presidency.


Dr. Rekha P. Ranade (b. 1952) B.Sc. M.A., Ph.D. had a brilliant academic career. She won University prizes for securing first rank in M.A. (History). Currently she is Lecturer in History in the University of Poona. She has published research papers in reputed journals.

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