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Facets Of Modern Ceylon History by Michael Roberts.

Facets Of Modern Ceylon History by Michael Roberts.

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Hannadige Jeronis Pieris (1829-94)

Printed within these covers are 24 letters written by Hannddige Jeronis Pieris in the period 1853-1856 and a letter of his, in Sinhala, sent from Britain in the year 1877.

Using Jeronis Pieris' letters as a point of departure and assisted, by the stock of knowledge he has gathered during his researches into the island's history, the author analyses several facets of colonial history. This analysis is threaded by information on the Hannadige Pieris and Warusandrinadige de Soysa families and by attention to the various sources available to the historians of nineteenth century Ceylon.


Educated at St. Aloysius College, Galle, Michael Roberts secured a First Class in History Honours at Peradeniya University and became a Rhodes Scholar for Ceylon in 1962 before returning to Peradeniya University in 1966 to teach history. This monograph was drafted in 1969 when the author was working within the British empiricist tradition adhered to by the Department of History at Peradeniya University. This orientation directed his work on nineteenth century agrarian history for his D. Phil. dissertation at Oxford as well as his ongoing work on the processes of elite formation in the British period — the latter involving documentary research as well as oral history. These endeavors eventually resulted in his Caste Conflict and Elite Formation. The Rise of a Karava Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 (Cambridge University Press, 1982). That work was leavened by his move in 1977 from the Department of History at Peradeniya to the Department of Anthropology at Adelaide University.

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