Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. History ignored yields history repeated

Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History.  History ignored yields history repeated”, MWC News, 19 September 2008.


Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. History ignored yields history repeated.


TEN years ago I published the First Edition of a book called “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History, Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in global sustainability” and have now been obliged to publish an updated Second Edition (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) . In short, the thesis of this highly referenced, eclectic book was that history ignored yields history repeated. It initially explored the life, connections, novels and literary impact of the marvellous English novelist Jane Austen and then exposed how her famous novel “Sense and Sensibility” actually tells the true story of a major Austen family scandal, the productive adultery of Jane Austen’s aunt, Mrs Philadelphia Hancock (née Austen) with Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of British India and the only  major British figure to have been tried for Crimes against Humanity (the product of this affair was Jane Austen’s cousin Eliza Hancock, the evident inspiration for some key characters in Jane Austen’s novels). The book then exposed in great detail the horrendous true history of British and European imperialism in India (notably Bengal) - and elsewhere - that has been white-washed by centuries of lying by journalists, politicians and academics. The First Edition ends with a cogent and lengthy plea for a change of the dominant culture of Establishment lying in order to save the World from the consequences of violence, global warming and poverty.


The crucial scientific message that “history ignored yields history repeated” is still resolutely ignored as the Global Juggernaut staggers towards horrendous global disaster. The last 10 years have seen the deliberate deprivation of wretchedly poor Iraq under Sanctions and then under Occupation by the richest countries on Earth (4 million 1990-2008 excess deaths and 6 million refugees associated with the Iraqi Genocide); the continuation of the Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust (in which 16 million people, 9.5 million of them infants, perish each year from deprivation on Spaceship Earth with the First World in charge of the flight deck); and worsening man-made Global Warming due to Developed World industrial profligacy (that is already associated with mass species extinctions and wrecking Arctic ecosystems, coral reefs, Island States and coastal mega-delta regions  from the Bay of Bengal to the Gulf of Mexico) (for details see the Climate Emergency Fact Sheets of the Melbourne-based Yarra Valley Climate Action Group: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/Home  ).


Accordingly, I have published a revised and updated Second Edition of the book. “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (2nd Edition) is a carefully researched, updated 2008 Second Edition of the original 1998 First Edition that includes some minor corrections, a substantial Preface (that details "history ignored and history repeated" atrocities of the Bush Wars and worsening Climate Change in the period 1998-2008) and a final Epilogue (that summarizes the Climate Emergency facing an Anglo-American-dominated world that continues to "look the other way" in relation to anthropogenic climate change and the continuing carnage from continuing Anglo-American holocaust commission, holocaust denial, genocide commission and genocide denial). The book represents a testament to the continuing violation, by the Mainstream media, politicians and academics of the Western Murdochracies, of the scientific risk assessment that “history ignored yields history repeated”. The book also represents a personal testament to my commitment to Truth, Beauty and Saving the World, (see: “Science and Art versus Nuclear, Greenhouse and Poverty Threats”: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-NvVV9NY2cqLwKJxdb8JAymVZRA--?cq=1 ).


The message on the back cover of the First Edition of Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History is repeated (with an updating amendment) on the back cover of the Second Edition – as the French say “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (“the more things change, the more they stay the same”), and is reproduced below.


QUOTE: “Repetition of immense crimes against humanity such as the World War 2 Holocaust is made less likely when the responsible society acknowledges the crime, apologizes, makes amends and accepts the injunction “Never again”.

This book is concerned in part with the 2 century holocaust in British India that commenced with the Great Bengal Famine of 1769-1770 (10 million victims), concluded with the World War 2 Bengal Famine (6-7 million victims) and took tens of millions of lives in between.

However these events have been almost completely written out of history and removed from general perception, there has been no apology nor amends made and indeed it is generally accepted that, in the absence of effective global action, these horrors will be repeated on an unimaginably larger scale in the coming century.

This carefully documented “J’accuse” addresses what the author terms the “Austenizing” of history or the deletion of awful realities from historical writing.
While it was legitimate for Jane Austen, the artist, to render her exquisite novels free of the contemporary awfulness in which her connections participated, the Austenizing of British history is a holocaust-denying outrage that threatens humanity.”

2 centuries of British Establishment “opinion makers” have perverted the wonderful, if sociologically confined, writing of Jane Austen by using it as a paradigm for the nobility and superiority of imperialistic British civilization. There has been a whitewashing (or what I call “Austenizing”) of horrendous British imperial crimes that continues to this day. Thus most people would be utterly unaware of the following atrocities involving Great Britain: the Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770, 10 million victims), the man-made World War 2 Bengal Famine (.1943-1945, 6-7 million victims) and the real 9-11 atrocity, the 9-11 million avoidable deaths associated (so far) with the Bush Wars (1990-2008) (see MWC News,  “9-11 excuse for US global genocide”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/25184/42/ ) - all examples of horrendous realities that continue to be air-brushed from public perception by lying, politically correct racist (PC racist) Mainstream media, politicians and academics. History ignored yields history repeated – indeed it is the current Mainstream ignoring of the ongoing US global genocide permits its continuance.

Yet Jane Austen, who artistically confined her brilliant writing to the rarefied world of the English upper class, was insistently truthful. As revealed in “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”, Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility” actually tells (in part) the scandalous true story of the first and only major British figure to have been arraigned for war crimes - Warren Hastings, friend of the Austens, first Governor General of British India and (through his Bengal adultery with Reverend George Austen's sister Mrs Philadelphia Hancock), the actual, out-of-wedlock father of Jane Austen’s cousin Eliza Hancock,  the real-life model for Mary Crawford in Jane Austen’s novel “Mansfield Park”.

In 1775 Warren Hastings returned to Bengal to administer the British Empire in India and to deal with the damage to the fortunes of the East India Company due to the Great Bengal Famine of 1769-1770 – a cataclysm in which 10 million over-taxed Bengalis (one third of the Bengali population) starved to death under a rapacious colonial régime. Warren Hastings’ solution was to conquer more territory and rob more Indians. However his crimes were so immense that, following his return to England, Warren Hastings was impeached by Parliament in 1787 after extraordinary debates dominated by the rhetoric of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (outstanding playwright whose works evidently inspired Jane Austen) and of Edmund Burke (popularly remembered for the  aphorism “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”). Money buys justice and Warren Hastings was eventually acquitted in 1795. The crimes of Warren Hastings have been largely deleted from British history and British historians praise him as the founder of “Pax Britannica” in British India.

Now in the 21st century we see a re-run of history. British Prime Minister Tony received a copy of the First Edition of my book in 1998 and indeed sent it to the Foreign Office for their perusal (amusingly, the Foreign Office  wrote to me saying “The Prime Minister has asked us to read your book. We have done so.”). In 2003, Tony Blair, together with Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and led by President George W. Bush of the US, commenced the illegal invasion of Iraq  and an Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide in Occupied Iraq that has so far been associated with 2 million post-invasion avoidable deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths and 6 million refugees.

In his 2005 Literature Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (see “Art, Truth & Politics”: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html ), outstanding Jewish British writer Harold Pinter demanded the arraignment of Bush and Blair for war crimes in Iraq, echoing impassioned and successful calls by Sheridan and Burke over 2 centuries ago for the trial of Jane Austen connection Warren Hastings for Crimes against Humanity, QUOTE: “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading as a last resort all other justifications having failed to justify themselves as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people. We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'. How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice.”

After 2 million avoidable deaths in Occupied Iraq, and 9-11 million avoidable deaths in the Bush Wars, 1990-2008,  one must repeat the question posed by Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter: “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought.” 9-11 million? More than enough , I would have thought.

Brilliant, witty Jane Austen told the truth – even about the biggest scandal in her own family, as revealed in “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” – but the crimes of British imperialism remain ignored by historians. For example,  the World War 2, man-made Bengali Holocaust in which the British deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death has been “Austenized” out of British history, as documented in great detail in “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”. Thus in the 21st century this horrendous World War 2 Bengali Holocaust is absent from the 3-volume “History of Britain” by pro-Zionist Simon Schama (see: Schama, S. (2002), A History of Britain (BBC, London)) and from 3 histories written by Australia’s most famous and honored historian Geoffrey Blainey (see: Blainey, G. (2000), A Short History of the World (Viking, Melbourne); Blainey, G. (2004), A Very Short History of the World (Viking, Melbourne); Blainey, G. (2005), A Short History of the 20th Century (Penguin, Melbourne)). However for a recent account of this British atrocity that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine see a recent BBC broadcast involving me, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, UK medical historian Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London )  and other scholars: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html .   


Consonant with British historiographical traditions excoriated in Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” , leading Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey  failed to mention the World War 2 Bengal Famine in his recent “Short History of the 20th Century” and failed to mention any Indian or  Bengal famines or even Bengal at all in his recent “Short” and “Very Short” histories of the world except for identical references to Bangladesh (“later Bangladesh became a third nation”) and to the largely fictional, Indian-demonizing, British imperial lie of the “Black Hole of Calcutta” incident: “In June 1757 [sic; actually 1756], one of the blackest months in Britain’s colonial history, more than 100 of its soldiers died while imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta”.


History ignored yield history repeated. Historiography ignored yields historiography repeated. We have been told the Indian-demonizing, imperialism-justifying,  British imperial myth about the “Black Hole of Calcutta” for 250 years, but the British atrocities in 2 centuries of British rule over India and involving 1.5 billion avoidable Indigenous Indian deaths have been “Austenized” from general perception (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya ). In the 21st century the World has been saturated with the Bush “official version” of the 9-11 atrocity (an atrocity that may well have been effected with passive US and Israeli complicity or indeed by the Americans and Israelis themselves, as asserted by former Italian President Francesco Cossiga: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/18569/26/ ). However Mainstream media, politicians and academics of the Western Murdochracies ignore the real 9-11 atrocity, the 9-11 million avoidable deaths (so far) in the Bush Wars.