Women's Travel Writings in India 1777-1845: Volume I: Jemima Kindersley, Letters from the Island of Teneriffe, Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope and the East Indies (1777); and Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India (1812), 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women's Travel Writings in India 1777-1845

Volume I: Jemima Kindersley, Letters from the Island of Teneriffe, Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope and the East Indies (1777); and Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India (1812), 1st Edition

Edited by Carl Thompson

Routledge

655 pages

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Description

The ‘memsahibs’ of the British Raj in India are well-known figures today, frequently depicted in fiction, TV and film. In recent years, they have also become the focus of extensive scholarship. Less familiar to both academics and the general public, however, are the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century precursors to the memsahibs of the Victorian and Edwardian era. Yet British women also visited and resided in India in this earlier period, witnessing first-hand the tumultuous, expansionist decades in which the East India Company established British control over the subcontinent. Some of these travellers produced highly regarded accounts of their experiences, thereby inaugurating a rich tradition of women’s travel writing about India. In the process, they not only reported events and developments in the subcontinent, they also contributed to them, helping to shape opinion and policy on issues such as colonial rule, religion, and social reform.

This new set in the Chawton House Library Women’s Travel Writing series assembles seven of these accounts, six by British authors (Jemima Kindersley, Maria Graham, Eliza Fay, Ann Deane, Julia Maitland and Mary Sherwood) and one by an American (Harriet Newell). Their narratives – here reproduced for the first time in reset scholarly editions – were published between 1777 and 1854, and recount journeys undertaken in India, or periods of residence there, between the 1760s and the 1830s. Collectively they showcase the range of women’s interests and activities in India, and also the variety of narrative forms, voices and personae available to them as travel writers. Some stand squarely in the tradition of Enlightenment ethnography; others show the growing influence of Evangelical beliefs. But all disrupt any lingering stereotypes about women’s passivity, reticence and lack of public agency in this period, when colonial women were not yet as sequestered and debarred from cross-cultural contact as they would later be during the Raj. Their narratives are consequently a useful resource to students and researchers across multiple fields and disciplines, including women’s writing, travel writing, colonial and postcolonial studies, the history of women’s educational and missionary work, and Romantic-era and nineteenth-century literature.

This volume includes 2 texts, Jemima Kindersley, Letters from the Island of Teneriffe, Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope, and the East Indies (1777) and Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India (1812).

Table of Contents

General Introduction

Bibliography

Introduction

A Note on the Texts

Jemima Kindersley, Letters from the Island of Teneriffe, Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope, and the East Indies (1777)

Maria Graham, Journal of a Residence in India (1812)

Editorial Notes

Textual Variants

About the Editor

Dr Carl Thompson is Reader in English Literature at Surrey University, UK

About the Series

Chawton House Library: Women’s Travel Writings

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS015000
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HIS017000
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
HIS037060
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HIS058000
HISTORY / Women
LCO004020
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Asian / Indic
LCO009000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LCO011000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Letters
LCO015000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Diaries & Journals
LCO019000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Women Authors
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT024040
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century