The India nineteenth century Irish (and British) writers imagined was part of a generally exoticized Orient, eventually stretching from Morocco to China and Japan, and characterized by a kind of impotent lassitude--in Tennyson's phrase, "Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay." In "Lame Jervas" (1804), Maria Edgeworth describes how a poor boy, treated kindly by his employer, eventually becomes an engineer in India, and introduces the son and heir of the notorious Tipu Sahib
to modern science and the principles of good government, thus carrying out the West's civilizing mission.
Born at Chambery, in a French-speaking part of Savoy (1751); joined the French army (1768), but left it to enter the Russian service (1773); captured by the Turks (1774), he traveled to India after his release and took service with the British East India Company (1778); fought against Tipu Sahib
in the Second Mysore War, but left the company and took service with the Maratha chieftain Mahadaji Rao Sindhia (c.
These were later owned by Tipu Sahib
, captured by Warren Hastings and eventually bought by N.M.'s son Lionel, the first Jewish Member of Parliament.