This article examines the immediate historical context within which an image of Tagore – one that persists today – was constructed. It looks at the expectations and prejudices of Tagore’s contacts in London such as William Rothenstein, W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound; some of the ideas about Tagore articulated in the British press; and the Nobel Prize controversy. In so doing it seeks to clear away some of the historical misunderstandings surrounding Tagore’s visit to London in 1912 and 1913 and the awarding of the Nobel Prize. It argues that this is a starting point for a better appreciation of Tagore as an historical actor, and hence to understanding both his real motivations for visiting to London in 1912 and the grander, more theoretically interesting, nature of Tagore’s anti-colonial project.
|Keywords:||History, Intellectual history, Colonialism, Britain, India, Culture, Identity, Power, Postcolonialism|
Lecturer, UCL, UK
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