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After a military career with the East India Company, Charles Stewart (1764-1837) focused his attention on the study of oriental languages. Following his return to England in 1806, he assumed the professorship of Arabic, Persian and Hindustani at the East India College in Hertfordshire. His scholarly achievements include an 1809 catalogue of the library of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, and this work, published in 1813, which formed the first serious study in English of the history of Bengal. The book is split into six sections. The first five cover the early Islamic conquests and dynasties from the ninth century onwards. The bulk of the book then covers the Mughal era and ensuing period of independent nawabs, providing also a detailed assessment of the events leading up to the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the beginning of British dominance.