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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
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Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

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Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

(p.243) 14 Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography

K. M. De Silva

Oxford University Press

The historiography of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from the early 19th century to the 1830s was profoundly affected by the British conquest of the littoral districts during 1795–96, and the absorption from 1815 to 1818 of the interior Kandyan kingdom, the last of a long line of Sinhalese kingdoms. The last quarter of the 19th century may be described as the second stage in the rediscovery of Sri Lanka’s ancient past. The most striking feature of historical scholarship on the island at that time is a comparative paucity of books and monographs. Four scholars, three Sri Lankans and the other a British civil servant, have established the focus on Sri Lanka within an Imperial context. In Britain, Sri Lanka lay in the shadow of Indian history.

Keywords:   Ceylon, Sri Lanka, historiography, Britain, Indian history, Kandyan kingdom, Sinhalese kingdoms

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