British Colonial Women’s Perceptions of Indian Women During the British Raj
date: October 18, 2016
location: Villa Sassetti

The writings of British women who travelled alongside their fathers and husbands in India under British colonial rule offer fresh insights into British perceptions of India. Two of these writers, Fanny Parkes and Flora Annie Steel, interrogated the binary colonial view that played on stereotypes of the ‘civilized British ruling class’ and ‘savage Indian subjects; which underpinned claims of British supremacy and justified the ‘civilizing mission’ of the Empire Parkes and Steel’s works provide a three dimensional view that captures their admiration of India, a close acquaintance with Indian women, and a critical assessment of British rule, effectively contesting the binarism in postcolonial interpretation.