Sadiah Qureshi
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Tipu’s Tiger and images of India, 1799–2009
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Tipu's Tiger, the artefact responsible for making such an impression, was taken at the siege of Srirangapatam (Seringapatam) in 1799. A battle that ended the Mysore Wars between the British, Haidar Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. Tipu's Tiger has fascinated the public ever since, drawing generations of visitors to London's museums. The British victory in Mysore consolidated British claims to South Asian territory and, despite resistance lasting into the later nineteenth century, laid the foundations for the incorporation of India into the British Empire. By the later nineteenth century, Tipu's defeat had become a staple of children's and adult fiction alike, periodical literature and history textbooks. For example, in 1894, nearly a century after Tipu's death, the Illustrated London News published a series depicting 'Battles of the British Army'. In Britain, tigers exemplified the deplorable nature of the beast.

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Curating empire

Museums and the British imperial experience


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