Kirti Chaudhuri - Early Life and Education

Early Life and Education

Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta and spent his childhood in Kolkata and Delhi. He sat for the entrance examination for the University of London and studied history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University College London, Birkbeck College, and the London School of Economics. His teachers included Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Cyril Philips, William G. Beasley, C. R. Boxer, Bernard Lewis, Eric Hobsbawm, G.J. Renier, Michael Oakeshott, and Karl Popper. Chaudhuri graduated with first-class honours in 1959 and was awarded the Derby Fellowship for Doctoral Research Studies.

Chaudhuri completed his PhD in 1961, in just over two years. His dissertation was on the early history of the English East India Company. He was immediately offered a position at the University of London and became a lecturer, reader, and professor of economic history. In 1991, Chaudhuri was invited to become the first Vasco da Gama Professor of the History of European Expansion at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, with the support of the Portuguese National Commission for Maritime Discoveries. Chaudhuri completed his contract in 1999 and has returned to his earlier activities as a creative writer and an artist.

Chaudhuri was elected to the British Academy (1990), the Royal Historical Society (1993), and Academia Europea (1994). The Portuguese government and National Commission for Discoveries awarded him the Don John de Castro Prize in International History (1994).

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