KATIE HICKMAN    Book Number: 88303    Product format: Paperback

This highly acclaimed book examines the memsahib myth of British India, questioning the stereotype of the cool pampered woman with legions of servants whose life is dominated by croquet and tennis. Hickman acknowledges that prejudice of every kind - racial social, imperial, religious - clouded many aspects of British involvement in India, but she makes the point that the British Raj was more detrimental to India than the East India Company which preceded it. The story of the three woman who went out in 1617 makes fascinating reading. Maryam Towerson, wife of the ship's Captain, had been a Christian woman at the Mughal court who had married the adventurer William Hawkins. When Hawkins died on the voyage back to England, Maryam lost no time in marrying Captain Towerson, returning in 1617 with a companion, Frances Webb, who was soon discovered to be pregnant by fellow-voyager Richard Steele. The third woman, Mrs Hudson, became an independent trader who amassed her own fortune. When the Company acquired the territory of Bombay through Queen Catherine of Braganza, the scene was set for a dynasty of female merchants and explorers. Charlotte Barry, the courtesan who went out claiming to be the wife of diarist William Hickey, found social and material success as his presumed wife. Henrietta Clive, daughter-in-law of Robert Clive, was a botanist and writer who described in detail a meeting with the conquered Sultan Tipu's surviving family. Biddy Timms married a Muslim in England and wrote about her experiences of the zenana or women's quarters when she returned with him to Lucknow. 390pp, paperback, colour reproductions.
Published price: £10.99
Bibliophile price: £5.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9780349008271
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, Feminism

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