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British India and Victorian Literary Culture

Máire ni Fhlathúin

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A wide-ranging and innovative analysis of the literature of British India

The book traces the development of British Indian literature from the early days of the nineteenth century through the Victorian period. Previously unstudied poems and essays drawn from the thriving periodical culture of British India are examined alongside novels and travel-writing by authors including Emma Roberts, Philip Meadows Taylor and Rudyard Kipling. Key events and concerns of Victorian India − the legacy of the Hastings impeachment, the Indian ‘Mutiny’, the sati controversy, the rise of Bengal nationalism − are re-assessed within a dual literary and political context, emphasising the engagement of British writers with canonical British literature (Scott, Byron) as well as the mythology and historiography of India and their own responses to their immediate surroundings.

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A Note on Terms
I: Experiences of India
1. The Literary Marketplace of British India: 1780–1844
2. Exile
3. Consuming and Being Consumed
II: Representations of India
4. European Nationalism and British India
5. Romantic Heroes and Colonial Bandits
6. Imagining India through Annals and Antiquities of Rajast’han
7. Transformations of India after the Indian Mutiny
Afterword: Reading India

About the Author

Máire ni Fhlathúin is a Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Nottingham.


British India and Victorian Literary Culture is a thoroughly researched and insightful account of the emergence of an Anglo-Indian literary culture in the nineteenth century. Everyone interested in the history of British India will find this book illuminating.

- Indiana University, Patrick Brantlinger

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