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In Their Own Words: British Women Writers And India 1740-1857

In Their Own Words: British Women Writers And India 1740-1857
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Item Code: IDF425
Author: Rosemary Raza
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 0195677080
Pages: 320 (Illus:8)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.6" X 5.5"
weight of the book: 556 gms

From the Jacket:

British Women Writers and India 1740-1857

Do British memsahibs deserve their reputation as 'spoilers' of the Raj? Is some recent scholarship justified in seeing them as little more than peripheral? Seeking answers to these questions, Rosemary Roza examines the experience and literary work of British women in India up to 1857.

The growth in women's writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the contribution made by women writers in popularising material on India and mediating it for a metropolitan audience, provide evidence for a number of themes: the role of women in the growth of an exclusive British domesticity in India; women's occupations-notably missionary endeavour-that brought increasing involvement with India; British women's exploration and engagement with the hidden world of Indian women; the role of British women in race relations; women's changing representation of India for a popular audience in Britain; and their often critical relationship with colonial authority.

Raza examines for the first time the whole body of women's published writing o India up to 1857, including the work of over eighty authors, many of them previously unknown. Her discussion of various aspects of women's roles and lives in India is enlivened with interesting and entertaining illustrations.

The broad spectrum of authorship extends our understanding beyond the lives of the memsahibs and challenges some of the generalized assumptions about British women based on the later 'high noon' of empire.

This engaging volume will be of interest to general readers, literary historians, and scholars of women's studies and history, and colonial and imperial history.

About the Author:

Rosemary Raza served in the British Diplomatic Service, and since her marriage has lived in Pakistan for many years. She has also edited and provided the introduction and notes for Marianne Postans's Travel, Tales and Encounters in Sindh and Balochistan (OUP, 2003), and has made a number of contributions to the Oxford New Dictionary of National Biography, mainly on women writers connected with India.


List of Illustrations   viii
Author's Note   ix
Acknowledgements   x
Introduction   xi
1. The Published Word 1
2. The Growing Anglo-Indian Family 30
3. Moulding Society 67
4. The Outward Show 88
5. Beyond Domesticity: The Challenge of India 106
6. Crossing Boundaries 152
7. Depicting India 179
8. British Women and Colonial Authority 207
In Conclusion   225
Appendix   231
Bibliography   232
Biographical Index   255
Index   278


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