The 'Incumberances': British Women in India, 1615-1856

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9780198092148: The 'Incumberances': British Women in India, 1615-1856

This volume provides critical insights on the role(s) of British women during the seventeenth to mid-nineteenth century period in India. Drawing on Company records, journals, and diaries, it fills a significant gap in the existing research and brings together the challenges and experiences of these women in view of their earliest entry in the country in the seventeenth century. Divided into three sections, this book explores various issues ranging from the Company's decision to allow women to travel to India, their changing expectations from these women as opposed to the changing activities of the Company itself, the women's desire to come to India in the face of difficult conditions, and their varied experiences in the country.

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The British memsahib has been stereotyped as a single, colourless group-bored, gossipy, and whiny, plagued with prickly heat, and sweating about in clothes completely incongruous wiht India's climate-blamed by some to be responsible for half the bitter feelings between races. This perception is as old as the East India Company, whose court of Directors saw only two roles that British women might play in India-either they would be incumberances, getting in the way of the men engaged in generating profits for the Company, or they could be spiritual and emotional supports for their men.

About the Author:


Joan Mickelson Gaughan, an independent scholar based in Manchester, USA. She was earlier a Professor of History at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan (1968-2002).

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. The British `memsahib` has been stereotyped as a single, colourless group?bored, gossipy, and whiny, plagued with prickly heat, and sweating about in clothes completely incongruous with India`s climate?blamed by some to be responsible for half the bitter feelings between races. This perception is as old as the East India Company, whose Court of Directors saw only two roles that British women might play in India?either they would be `incumberances`, getting in the way of the men engaged in generating profits for the Company, or they could be spiritual and emotional supports for their men. Contrary to this description we realize that the expressions of these women as they encountered India were immensely varied, highly individual, and unique, coloured by personal, social, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Some women were religious; others a bit amoral. Some explored as much of India as they possibly could; others hated everything about her and withered. For some, India was a home; for others, it was an exile. Few changed India very much but very few left unchanged by her. This volume is a fascinating study in social history based on records, journals, and diaries of the women themselves and their contemporaries in early British settlements in India. Printed Pages: 296. Bookseller Inventory # 85410

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. The British `memsahib` has been stereotyped as a single, colourless groupâ€"bored, gossipy, and whiny, plagued with prickly heat, and sweating about in clothes completely incongruous with India`s climateâ€"blamed by some to be responsible for half the bitter feelings between races. This perception is as old as the East India Company, whose Court of Directors saw only two roles that British women might play in Indiaâ€"either they would be `incumberances`, getting in the way of the men engaged in generating profits for the Company, or they could be spiritual and emotional supports for their men. Contrary to this description we realize that the expressions of these women as they encountered India were immensely varied, highly individual, and unique, coloured by personal, social, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Some women were religious; others a bit amoral. Some explored as much of India as they possibly could; others hated everything about her and withered. For some, India was a home; for others, it was an exile. Few changed India very much but very few left unchanged by her. This volume is a fascinating study in social history based on records, journals, and diaries of the women themselves and their contemporaries in early British settlements in India. Printed Pages: 296. Bookseller Inventory # 85410

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. The British 'memsahib' has been stereotyped as a single, colourless groupbored, gossipy, and whiny, plagued with prickly heat, and sweating about in clothes completely incongruous with India's climateblamed by some to be responsible for half the bitter feelings between races. This perception is as old as the East India Company, whose Court of Directors saw only two roles that British women might play in Indiaeither they would be 'incumberances', getting in the way of the men engaged in generating profits for the Company, or they could be spiritual and emotional supports for their men. Contrary to this description we realize that the expressions of these women as they encountered India were immensely varied, highly individual, and unique, coloured by personal, social, religious, and cultural backgrounds.Some women were religious; others a bit amoral. Some explored as much of India as they possibly could; others hated everything about her and withered. For some, India was a home; for others, it was an exile. Few changed India very much but very few left unchanged by her.This volume is a fascinating study in social history based on records, journals, and diaries of the women themselves and their contemporaries in early British settlements in India. Bookseller Inventory # 111813

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Book Description Oxford Univ Pr, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 280 pages. 8.75x6.00x1.25 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0198092148

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