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Carey, D
Etudes Anglaises
Edward Terry's A Voyage to East-India (1655): A Chaplain's Narrative of the Mughal World
Optional Fields
The Anglican chaplain Edward Terry's extended account of India, published in revised and expanded form in 1655 as A Voyage to East-India, has often been misunderstood by his critics. His tendency to engage in digressive homilies has presented an obstacle for some readers, preventing access to otherwise useful historical information on the country and the Mughal court of Jahangir (1569-1627). I argue that, far from posing a barrier to his narrative, these interpolations constitute a crucial feature of his design of the work. Inset stories allow scope for his moral vision to emerge. The moral and spiritual meaning of travel is then drawn out through commentary, above all in the form of glosses that define the meaning of his observations and experience. This is also a work of considerable literary sophistication, distinguished not only by the author's religious sensibility but also by his fashioning of character portraits-vibrant studies of marginal European figures in India living in strained circumstances. This essay attempts to recover aspects of Terry's text that have been overlooked previously, both generically and in terms of his religious purpose.
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