An important biography of the first Governor-General of Bengal and architect of the growing dominance of the British in India during the 18th and 19th centuries.
“The influence of Warren Hastings in laying the foundation of Britain’s empire in India is second only to that of Clive. While Clive made his mark primary in the military realm, Hastings’ contribution was administrative. One would typically suppose that the life of a military man would involve more danger and drama than that of an executive, but Britain’s newly won realm in India was a positive snake-pit, complete with crooks, swindlers, busy-bodies, corrupt officials, corrupt natives, seething discontent, bribery, treachery, looming warfare, and rank depravity.
“Into this cesspool, Hastings was sent as governor-general, and for twelve years, under nearly impossible conditions, he implemented a great many reforms and fought two major wars. He left the administration of the East India Company in Bengal immeasurably better than the way he found it, and yet on his return to Britain, he was indicted for corruption by people who had no idea of the conditions he worked under. His trial lasted for seven years, nearly bankrupted him, and was largely a vehicle for sanctimonious grand-standing and political theatre. Most sane people would prefer an honorable death in combat to what Hastings endured, or, like Clive, simply blown their own head off. But Hastings endured all, and in the end was roundly vindicated.- heritage-history.com