This book has explored the engagement between Europe and Asia through trade and empire using the lens offered by the history of writing, or the history of the book. In various ways it has demonstrated different forms and technologies of writing, in script and print, at work in and around the English East India Company. The royal letters from Elizabeth I and James I that were carried east on the Company's earliest voyages are understood as traveling objects in order to demonstrate how the nature of the relationship between Company and state shaped how the Company's generals and merchants encountered Asian polities. By treating these texts in terms of their production, carriage, and delivery, the book demonstrates the contingencies involved in the active construction of global trading connections on the basis of historically and geographically specific encounters and performances.
Keywords: trade, empire, writing, royal letters, print, English East India Company, Elizabeth I, James I, Asia, Europe