Sometime in the 1760s, a Constantinople-born, French-educated Muslim arrived at the port of Balassor in north-east India. Known variously as Mustapha or Monsieur Raymond, he had, he later wrote, “with a mediocre dictionary and a bad grammar”, and by conversing with the ship's captain en route from Bombay, “learned enough of English . . . as I might delight in Bolingbroke's Philosophical works”. This student of contemporary intellectual history soon put his knowledge to work, securing a position translating for Robert Clive, the conquering hero of the English East India Company's new imperial administration in India. Subsequently falling from favour, Mustapha crossed over to seek employment with the English company's French rivals, earning himself a spell in prison as a spy. He also travelled to Mecca, where he gained the honorific “Haji” but lost his fortune, his cabinet of curiosities and his collection of books and manuscripts. He then became the keeper of a zenana (to the Europeans, a harem or seraglio), and he entered the world of publishing. In 1789, in Calcutta, Mustapha had printed for himself a pamphlet-length diatribe on the iniquitous administration of the law in British Bengal entitled Some Idea of the Civil and Criminal Courts of Justice at Moorshoodabad. In the same year he was also involved, as the pseudonymous editor “Nota Manus”, in the publication of a three-volume English translation of a Persian work of Indian history—Ghulam Hussain Khan Tabatabai's Seir Mutaqherin, or View of Modern Times (written in 1781–2)—which dealt with the British conquest and administration of Bengal, and offered a stern critique of the new rulers who seemed to have “an aversion to the Society of Indians, and a disdain against conversing with them”. Finally, Mustapha (who called himself a “Semi-Englishman” who had the interests of his “adopted countrymen” at heart) claimed to have published in London a work of futurology entitled State of Europe in 1800. In his encounters with Europeans, his travels within and beyond India (although he never made it to England as he had planned), and his involvement in the production of historical and geographical knowledge, Mustapha was deeply interested in that which shaped his own fortunes: the relationships of knowledge and power between Europe and other parts of the world.