Women of the Raj

MacMillan, Margaret. Women of the Raj: the Mothers, Wives, and Daughters of the British Empire in India. New York: Random House, 2007.

The title of this book says it all. In a nutshell MacMillan paints a portrait of British women during the 19th century in India under British rule. She covers all aspects of a woman’s life during the Raj from arriving by the boatload to (for some) dying in the Mutiny and everything in between. What you will discover is that McMillan’s work isn’t overly scholarly. It is more of a commentary on the social, economic and cultural dynamics of a slice of history from the perspective of a wife, daughter, sister, mother…

Interesting line, “They had psychological security of knowing where they belonged” (p 52).

Reason read: December is supposed to be a pretty good time of year to visit India.

Author fact: MacMillan has an Indian-born mother and MacMillan wrote a thesis on the British presence in India in and around the 19th century.

Book trivia: The photographs in Women of the Raj are amazing.

Sad but true story ~ I had just started reading Women of the Raj and was barely 20 pages in when I started to doze off. Drowsily I put the book on the end table above my head and settled in for a little afternoon nap. I wasn’t asleep for more than ten minutes before I was startled awake by my husband’s swearing. He had spilled a glass of water on my book. Why? A strip joint two towns away had blown up and the blast was loud enough to make my husband jump.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “India: a Reader’s Itinerary” (p 125).



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