From the author of the #1 bestselling Paris 1919, a revealing portrait of Englishwomen in colonial India.
During Britain's rule of India-the Raj-women were expected to create a replica of British society in the face of almost insuperable difficulties. Exiled to a strange land, surrounded by people whose language, customs, and religion were mysterious and for the most part alien, how did these women react and live? How did they adjust, if at all, to life in bungalows with teams of servants, to repeated moves and heartbreaking separations from their families, to the heat, illness, loneliness, and boredom, to holidays in hill-stations and the unforgettable Indian landscapes?
Focusing in particular on the 1850s to 1947, Margaret MacMillan explores those questions in fascinating detail, drawing on the women's own letters and memoirs, on novels and interviews with relatives, including her own grandmother. Generously illustrated, the book vividly brings to life the experiences of these women-exotic, jolly, humdrum, tragic-for contemporary readers.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
2nd Revised edition
01 January 2018
Preface to the New Edition * Introduction * 1. The Voyage Out * 2. First Impressions * 3. The Society of the Exiles * 4. The Land of Exile * 5. Facts of Life * 6. Women in Danger * 7. Courtship and Marriage * 8. Children: Outposts of Empire * 9. Housekeeping * 10. Social Life and Amusements * 11. On Holiday * 12. Unconventional Women
Reviews for Women of the Raj: The Mothers, Wives and Daughters of the British Empire in India
'A testament both to the popularity of the subject, and the skilful way in which the author has handled it' - Victorian Web 'Women of the Raj has a vitality and an unbiased view that will engage readers today' - Times Literary Supplement 'A vivid cultural and social history [that] reveals India in all its richness and vitality' - Antiques Diary 'Immensely readable' - Mature Times 'A unique, interesting and very niche non-fiction read. It's great to see a book focusing on women's experiences' - Of Beauty and Nothingness 'As fascinating as it is unsparing ... an engaging read that brings to life an under-explored side of colonial history' - The Lady 'Well researched and thoroughly enjoyable' - Evening Standard 'A clear-eyed, affectionate account' - Mail on Sunday 'MacMillan has that essential quality of the historian, a narrative gift' - Daily Telegraph