Friday 20 February 2015

SOLD Silk and Empire * £10 €20 $50 Shipping Included

This is a softback book of nearly 200 pages in excellent condition. I suppose another title for this book could have been Silk Wars. Trade in silk was high value and high risk, dependent as it was on fashion and the periodic epidemics that wiped out populations of silk worms.
Britain has a poor reputation with regards to exploitation of overseas textile manufactures - the exception is silk. Since James I's failed attempts to raise silkworms to stem the flow of wealth overseas for silk imports, it was realized that Britain had not the climate for silk raising. However, with the growth of British control in India, the problem seemed solved, Kashmir and Bengal had ideal climates and had been silk producers and weavers for centuries. However, there were problems - silkworm disease and the lack of technology to meet the competition from the French and Italian silk industry had resulted in a massive decline of production and subsequent impoverishment of these regions.
Enter Thomas Wardle whose sole intent was to revivify those industries for the people themselves. This book is the history of the circumstances that existed before and after Wardle's passionate and philanthropic intervention.

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