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  • Writer's pictureMax Sinsheimer

Sold! The Maurya Dynasty and Ashoka the Great (by Colleen Taylor Sen)

This deal actually closed in early October, but I am hopeless at timely self-promotion, so here we are a month later. NEVERTHELESS I am delighted to announce that Colleen Taylor Sen's eighth book, a history of the Maurya dynasty in India and its greatest ruler, Ashoka the (aptly nicknamed) Great, will be published by the British press Reaktion Books. Here is the deal memo on PublishersMarketplace:

Historian of Indian cuisine and culture Colleen Taylor Sen's THE MAURYA DYNASTY AND ASHOKA THE GREAT: THE VICTORY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, on the largest empire ever known to the Indian Subcontinent, distinguished not only for its size but for its greatest ruler, Ashoka, who abandoned war and violence and advocated vegetarianism, becoming a model for Buddhist rulers of Southeast Asia and China and an inspiration for the founders of Independent India, to Michael Leaman at Reaktion, in a nice deal, by Max Sinsheimer at Sinsheimer Literary (World).

Here is (some of) what I learned from Colleen's proposal:

  • The Maurya empire (326-180 BCE) was the largest ever known on the Indian Subcontinent; at its peak it stretched over five million square miles, covering the entire Subcontinent (including part of what is now Afghanistan and southeast Iran).

  • Ashoka is celebrated as the model of a Buddhist leader not only in India, but also Japan and China.

  • In the ninth year of his reign he abandoned war and violence.

  • Ashoka practiced and advocated vegetarianism.

  • His servants and guards were all women (but mainly for security reasons).

Interesting, right?! Perhaps not the most well-known dynasty or ruler here in the U.S., but certainly a hot topic in India, where a TV show about Ashoka called Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat won major awards last year. Lucky for you, you can catch every episode on YouTube here. 35 MILLION views!

Congrats to Colleen, and to her editor at Reaktion, Michael Leaman!

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