In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
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Even though Edward Said’s Orientalism inspired several generations of scholars to study the English novel’s close involvement with colonialism, they have not considered how English novels themselves were radically altered by colonialism. In Educating Seeta, Shuchi Kapila argues that the paradoxes of indirect rule in British India were negotiated in “family romances” which encoded political struggle in the language of domestic and familial civility. A mixture of domestic ideology and liberal politics, these are Anglo-Indian romances, written by British colonials who lived in India during a period of indirect colonial rule. Instead of providing neat conclusions and smooth narratives, they become a record of the limits of liberal colonialism. They thus offer an important supplement to Victorian novels, extend the study of nineteenth-century domestic ideology, and offer a new perspective on colonial culture. Kapila demonstrates that popular writing about India and, by implication, other colonies is an important supplement to the high Victorian novel and indispensable to our understanding of nineteenth-century English literature and culture. Her nuanced study of British writing about indirect rule in India will reshape our understanding of Victorian domestic ideologies, class formation, and gender politics.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. Introduction: The Poetics and Politics of Anglo-Indian Romance
  2. pp. 1-21
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  1. Part 1. Of Bibis and Begums: Company Affairs in Colonial India
  2. pp. 23-32
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  1. 1. "Half an Asiatic:" William Linnaeus Gardner and Anglo-Muslim Domesticity
  2. pp. 33-61
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  1. 2. The Home and the Bazaar: The Anglo-Indian Novels of Bithia Mary Croker
  2. pp. 62-77
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  1. Part 2. Indirect Rule and the Politics of Romance
  2. pp. 79-85
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  1. 3. Family Quarrels: The Royal Widows and the East India Company
  2. pp. 86-107
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  1. 4. Educatiing Seeta: Philip Meadows Taylor's Romances of Empire
  2. pp. 108-127
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  1. Conclusion: Why Romance Matters
  2. pp. 128-134
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 135-147
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 148-157
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 158-161
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