PositiveThe Times (UK)A scholarly biography with an antiquary’s eye for detail. Das’s leisurely diversions into the world of Jacobean fashion, food and curiosities are fascinating ... Das works through irony and implication, showing how the 17th century had little time for the finer humanitarianism of our age.
MixedLos Angeles Review of BooksAn exhaustive tome ... I am not entirely persuaded by this tale of bourgeois betrayal. It’s a familiar trope and one as lazy as the character flaw it indicts. For one thing, it seriously underestimates aristocratic inventiveness ... Sassoon is drawn to neat moral narratives, which come at the expense of economic explanations ... All the same, the tale of bons vivants makes for riveting storytelling, if not terribly sound business history. Readers will take away a great deal of British and Asian modern history from Sassoon’s globetrotting account.