The ‘Real’ Mauritius Command
- This project aims to recount the factual story of the ‘Mauritius Campaign’ of 1809-10 in which the combined forces of the Royal Navy and the East India Company conquered the French-controlled islands of Rodrigues, Bourbon and Mauritius – an an important step in securing Britain’s dominant position in the Indian Ocean world.
- The events depicted have already been popularized in the fiction of Patrick O Brian. The Mauritius Command appears in the Aubrey-Maturin series, one of the most popular collections of historical fiction ever written.
- This project pays tribute to the meticulous research of Patrick O’Brian, and analyses the sources the novelist used to compose his insightful work, drawing attention to aspects of the campaign in which fact deviates from O’Brien’s scenario.
Subalterns, Rebellion and Migration
- Building upon research into ‘Mutiny at the Margins’ [www.csas.ed.ac.uk/mutiny/] and assisted by a grant from the British Association for South Asian Studies (2009-10), this project enquires into the massive upswing in out-migration to the sugar colonies of the British Empire that followed the Indian Uprising of 1857.
- The project offers a new perspective on the revolt within the context of the wider questions of empire and Indian labour – including issues relating to the recruitment of soldiers (‘sepoys’) in the Indian army, caste, and labour mobility.
- The aim is to re-position the global circulation of labour and products and the role of Indians in empire as inseparable from the uprising and indeed part of its larger story and impact.
- A co-authored book [Crispin Bates & Marina Carter] will be published shortly.
The Chagos Archipelago: A History
- This project [book and website] aims to offers insights into the history of the islands.
- access to documentation, expert and academic research, travel accounts, photographs and other memorabilia of the people who have worked, lived, visited and studied the Chagos archipelago is provided.
- A start has been made with the website [visit www.chagos.info] and a co-authored book is nearing completion.
Pirates & Treasure Hunters
- This book tells the remarkable stories of mariners who became marauders, in and around Mauritius in the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Pirates stopped here to rest their crews, provision their ships, offload their captives, and occasionally to maroon their own men.
- The project separates the fictional presentation from the real life stories of pirates like John Bowen and Olivier La Buse who once haunted these shores.
- The book also tells the stories of the treasure hunters who followed in their wake and provides details of the ‘pirate topography’ of modern Mauritius.