Somewhat disappointing little volume about the Dutch colonial adventure on the Indian subcontinent in the 17th century, when, according to the author, the Dutch were more successful than all other Europeans, including the English.

The author describes the battles against the Portuguese, the embassies to the Moghuls, the products the Dutch traded (pepper, indigo, nitrite, opium, silk, textiles) or got produced (Malabar textiles for sale in Indonesia, exceptional for the Dutch East India Company), and how these products fitted into the VOC's pan-Asian trade network.

However, I would have liked to learn more about the interaction with local culture, including the Christians and Jews living in Cochin that are completely omitted. The list of sources at the end of the book is quite interesting, with many of them now available free on the internet.

Besides some graveyards and a few buildings, the most lasting monuments to this interlude are these scientific studies about Hinduism, agriculture and medicine, as well as languages.