India: The British Contribution to its History, Archaeology, Architecture and Languages – Oliver Everett

Britain’s historical involvement with India is sometimes criticised. And there were undeniably dark and culpable episodes. But a number of British individuals were very dedicated to India and made great contributions to the study of its history, languages, religions, archaeology, architecture, topography, sociology, zoology and botany. The talk describes the very successful work in those fields of a series of Britons who are not often given the recognition they deserve. Between Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General, and Lord Curzon, a most prominent Viceroy, there were civil servants, soldiers, judges, doctors, engineers, surveyors and others who immersed themselves in the local culture and revealed a great deal about India’s amazing past.

Oliver Everett

He was educated at Cambridge University and did post graduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA; and at the London School of Economics. Following service in the Foreign Office, including postings in India and Spain, he was Assistant Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales,1978 80; and then Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales, 1981-3. He was Librarian in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, 1984 2002. He is now Librarian Emeritus following his retirement in 2002. He wrote the official guidebook and audio tour on Windsor Castle, taught a course on its history and advised on a television programme about it. He wrote articles on the Royal Library and helped with two books on aspects of the Royal Collection. He is advising on a possible history series for television. He lectures widely in Britain and abroad and also on cruise ships.