Rare is the man with the force of character, powers of leadership, and variety of cultural, scientific and spiritual interests of Elihu Yale (1649-1721). Having made his fortune during his tenure at the East India Company, Yale returned to London in 1699 with a magnificent collection of Indian gems, furniture and textiles, which was subsequently augmented by books, art works and scientific instruments. The auctions of his collection following his death in 1721 are seen as a landmark in the history both of collecting and of auctioneering art in early 18th-century England. This biography explores Elihu Yale's life in the society of Madras and London, and his interests, including musical and scientific instruments and books, and then turns to a study of Yale as a dealer and a collector. Spanning Mughal India, the London of the English Enlightenment and Puritan New England, this story will appeal to anyone interested in early 18th-century London; furniture; the fashion for things Oriental in the West; gemstones and jewelry; and collecting works of art.