What happened in Mughal India in the quarter century after Akbar’s death? Nothing that really mattered – according to received wisdom. Through a complete re-examination of the reign of the fourth Mughal emperor Jahangir based on the analysis of a wide range of imperial and non-imperial texts, as well as vestiges of material culture, Consolidating Empire upends that traditional view. In contrast to the historiography that categorises the monarch as a political lightweight, I show an intellectually complex, astute, and multi-faceted Jahangir who managed a tightrope act between self-indulgence and the serious business of kingship. However, more important than looking at the king or providing yet another biography is, or so I argue, examining the nature of the empire under his reign. To that end, I move the focus onto the Mughal military, administrative, and religious elites, and highlight how they readjusted to contemporary
transformations involving imperial authority, ethno-religious diversity, and state centralism.
Corinne Lefèvre received her PhD in History from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris 2005). She taught at the INALCO University before becoming a CNRS Research Fellow and a member of the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS) in 2006. She has published articles in the Annales HSS, Indian Economic and Social History Review, The Medieval Journal, Religions of South Asia, chapters in edited volumes, and co edited Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud. Sources, itinéraires, langues (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle), and Cultural Dialogue in South Asia and Beyond: Narratives, Images and Community (Sixteenth–Nineteenth Centuries) – a special issue of the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. In 2022, her Pouvoir impérial et élites dans l’Inde moghole de Jahāngīr (1605-1627) was published by Permanent Black in English