After a long six months, the ship of Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador of the King of England, reached the Indian port-city of Surat in the autumn of 1615. On instructions from the East India Company he is supposed to solicit permission for a trade privilege from the Great Mogul for English merchants. The Dutch and the Portuguese already “have a foot in the door.”

A captain a surgeon, as well as some employees – and Christopher, a young draftsman – accompany Mr.  Roe. Christopher’s task is to make and bring back drawings of the people, the architecture, the landscape and the vegetation in India. Open – Minded  and curious as he is, Christopher quickly makes contact with the locals and learns their language, so that later he can even translate for Mr. Roe. But not everyone likes the young, talented feringi, the foreigner. More than once Christopher runs into trouble. His biggest adventure, however, is his encounter with the mysterious Amanda.

Gertraude Wilhelm relates this exciting tale of a first encounter with India in the Light of Thomas Roe’s diary and her own deep understanding of the country.

Gertraude Wilhelm

She has done German Studies and theatre Science. She knows India through Many long sojourns in that country in 1991 her culture and Travel Guide Rajasthan was published by Walter Verlaf. She has also translated into German, Two Major works on India: Cultural Atlas of India (Oxford 1995) and India: A celebration of Independence 1947-1997 (Aperture, 1999)

George Baumann

He has completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Indology of the South Asia Institute of Germany in 1973. From then until his retirement in 2001, He was director of the Oriental Department and it’s special Area collection on South Asia, sponsored by the German Research society and the German state of Baden-Wuerttembery at the University Library in Tuebingen, Germany. After his retirement, he has been spending a greater part of each year in Kerela, learning Malyalam and more about the classical culture of that Indian State.


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