The French East India Companies: Background information when reading Beyond the Door of No Return

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Beyond the Door of No Return

A Novel

by David Diop

Beyond the Door of No Return by David Diop X
Beyond the Door of No Return by David Diop
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  • Published:
    Sep 2023, 256 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Katharine Blatchford
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About this Book

The French East India Companies

This article relates to Beyond the Door of No Return

Coat of Arms of the French East India CompanyIn David Diop's novel Beyond the Door of No Return, French botanist Michel Adanson journeys across 18th-century Senegal to discover the fate of a woman who was kidnapped. At the time of the story, much of the area was either directly or indirectly under the control of the French East India Company, a less-known competitor to the United East India Company.

Known in French as the Compagnie Française des Indes Orientales, the first French East India Company was founded in 1664 by Jean Baptiste Colbert with the backing of King Louis XIV as part of a wider plan to strengthen the French economy. The company was given several potentially lucrative grants, including a 50-year monopoly on trade east of the Cape of Good Hope. It was a joint stock company, meaning investors could buy shares in the company, much like modern stocks. However, the company initially struggled to secure investors and funding. Efforts to advertise the opportunity were met with mixed success, and the ...

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