Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 January 2014
The essays published here celebrate the work of Professor John F. Richards, a historian who significantly changed our understanding of Mughal history, and who, long before it became fashionable, argued the case for tackling certain historical problems from a global perspective. A list of his publications appears at the end of this volume and it is, by any measure, an impressive contribution to knowledge and understanding.
He was born on 3 November 1938 in Exeter, New Hampshire, USA and was the first of his family to go into higher education. They were happy to support him in this venture, since, whatever his undoubted intellectual prowess, he demonstrated from an early age an amazing lack of practical ability when it came to tasks like changing light bulbs or mowing grass. (Later in life he would, with a twinkle in the eye, rather trade on these shortcomings, despite the fact that they sat rather uneasily against his mastery of difficult languages and complex financial spread-sheets.) In 1961, he graduated Valedictorian of his class at the University of New Hampshire, marrying his childhood sweetheart, Ann Berry, on the same day. After Ann had completed her own Bachelor's degree, the couple moved to the West coast where John pursued a doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley.