The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj

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9780062290076: The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj

From the author of the critically acclaimed biographies Diana Mosley and The Viceroy's Daughters comes a fascinating, hugely entertaining account of the Victorian women who traveled halfway around the world on the hunt for a husband.

By the late nineteenth century, Britain's colonial reign seemed to know no limit—and India was the sparkling jewel in the Imperial crown. Many of Her Majesty's best and brightest young men departed for the Raj to make their careers, and their fortunes, as bureaucrats, soldiers, and businessmen. But in their wake they left behind countless young ladies who, suddenly bereft of eligible bachelors, found themselves facing an uncertain future.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, some of these women decided to follow suit and abandon their native Britain for India's exotic glamor and—with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one in the Raj—the best chance they had at finding a man.

Drawing on a wealth of firsthand sources, including unpublished memoirs, letters, photographs, and diaries, Anne de Courcy brings the incredible world of "the Fishing Fleet," as these women were known, to life. In these sparkling pages, she describes the glittering whirlwind of dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas, tiger shoots, and palatial banquets that awaited in the Raj, all geared toward the prospect of romance. Most of the girls were away from home for the first time, and they plunged headlong into the heady dazzle of expatriate social life; marriages were frequent.

However, after the honeymoon many women were confronted with a reality that was far from the fairy tale they'd been chasing. With her signature diligence and sensitivity, de Courcy looks beyond the allure of the Raj to tell the real stories of these marriages built on convenience and unwieldy expectations. Wives were whisked away to distant outposts with few other Europeans for company. Transplanted to isolated plantations and remote towns, they endured heat, boredom, discomfort, illness, and motherhood removed from familiar comforts—a far cry from the magical world they were promised upon arrival.

Rich with drama and color, The Fishing Fleet is a sumptuous, utterly compelling real-life saga of adventure, romance, and heartbreak in the heyday of the British Empire.

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About the Author:

Anne de Courcy has written eleven books, including Diana Mosley: Mitford Beauty, British Fascist, Hitler's Angel; Debs at War; and The Viceroy's Daughters. She lives in London and Gloucestershire.

From Booklist:

Romance, adventure—and malaria. For the women who traveled to British-ruled India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, often seeking husbands, the trip could bring more than they bargained for. Commonly referred to as “the Fishing Fleet,” these women travelers and their era are brought to life with vivid firsthand accounts of their journeys. Every aspect of their experiences is examined, from the conditions on the boats out and the particulars of courtship to the challenges of housekeeping and isolation that faced a Raj bride. De Courcy can paint a detailed picture and provide context seamlessly, but she wisely takes a backseat to the first-person recollections of the members of the Fishing Fleet, which are both charming and sharply drawn. Using extensive quotations, de Courcy weaves together the highlights of their stories from letters, diaries, and more. The result captures the dichotomy of a culture both adventurous and restrictive, with its glittering social whirl and exhausting battles with heat, humidity, and insect infestations. The only way to get closer would be to join the Fishing Fleet. --Bridget Thoreson

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Book Description HarperTorch, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 165 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From the author of the critically acclaimed biographies Diana Mosley and The Viceroy s Daughters comes a fascinating, hugely entertaining account of the Victorian women who traveled halfway around the world on the hunt for a husband. By the late nineteenth century, Britain s colonial reign seemed to know no limit--and India was the sparkling jewel in the Imperial crown. Many of Her Majesty s best and brightest young men departed for the Raj to make their careers, and their fortunes, as bureaucrats, soldiers, and businessmen. But in their wake they left behind countless young ladies who, suddenly bereft of eligible bachelors, found themselves facing an uncertain future. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, some of these women decided to follow suit and abandon their native Britain for India s exotic glamor and--with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one in the Raj--the best chance they had at finding a man. Drawing on a wealth of firsthand sources, including unpublished memoirs, letters, photographs, and diaries, Anne de Courcy brings the incredible world of -the Fishing Fleet, - as these women were known, to life. In these sparkling pages, she describes the glittering whirlwind of dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas, tiger shoots, and palatial banquets that awaited in the Raj, all geared toward the prospect of romance. Most of the girls were away from home for the first time, and they plunged headlong into the heady dazzle of expatriate social life; marriages were frequent. However, after the honeymoon many women were confronted with a reality that was far from the fairy tale they d been chasing. With her signature diligence and sensitivity, de Courcy looks beyond the allure of the Raj to tell the real stories of these marriages built on convenience and unwieldy expectations. Wives were whisked away to distant outposts with few other Europeans for company. Transplanted to isolated plantations and remote towns, they endured heat, boredom, discomfort, illness, and motherhood removed from familiar comforts--a far cry from the magical world they were promised upon arrival. Rich with drama and color, The Fishing Fleet is a sumptuous, utterly compelling real-life saga of adventure, romance, and heartbreak in the heyday of the British Empire. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780062290076

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Book Description HarperTorch, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 165 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of the critically acclaimed biographies Diana Mosley and The Viceroy s Daughters comes a fascinating, hugely entertaining account of the Victorian women who traveled halfway around the world on the hunt for a husband. By the late nineteenth century, Britain s colonial reign seemed to know no limit--and India was the sparkling jewel in the Imperial crown. Many of Her Majesty s best and brightest young men departed for the Raj to make their careers, and their fortunes, as bureaucrats, soldiers, and businessmen. But in their wake they left behind countless young ladies who, suddenly bereft of eligible bachelors, found themselves facing an uncertain future. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, some of these women decided to follow suit and abandon their native Britain for India s exotic glamor and--with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one in the Raj--the best chance they had at finding a man. Drawing on a wealth of firsthand sources, including unpublished memoirs, letters, photographs, and diaries, Anne de Courcy brings the incredible world of -the Fishing Fleet, - as these women were known, to life. In these sparkling pages, she describes the glittering whirlwind of dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas, tiger shoots, and palatial banquets that awaited in the Raj, all geared toward the prospect of romance. Most of the girls were away from home for the first time, and they plunged headlong into the heady dazzle of expatriate social life; marriages were frequent. However, after the honeymoon many women were confronted with a reality that was far from the fairy tale they d been chasing. With her signature diligence and sensitivity, de Courcy looks beyond the allure of the Raj to tell the real stories of these marriages built on convenience and unwieldy expectations. Wives were whisked away to distant outposts with few other Europeans for company. Transplanted to isolated plantations and remote towns, they endured heat, boredom, discomfort, illness, and motherhood removed from familiar comforts--a far cry from the magical world they were promised upon arrival. Rich with drama and color, The Fishing Fleet is a sumptuous, utterly compelling real-life saga of adventure, romance, and heartbreak in the heyday of the British Empire. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780062290076

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