Women of the Raj: The Mothers, Wives, and Daughters of the Bristish Empire in India

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Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007 - History - 334 pages
14 Reviews
In the nineteenth century, at the height of colonialism, the British ruled India under a government known as the Raj. British men and women left their homes and traveled to this mysterious, beautiful country–where they attempted to replicate their own society. In this fascinating portrait, Margaret MacMillan examines the hidden lives of the women who supported their husbands’ conquests–and in turn supported the Raj, often behind the scenes and out of the history books. Enduring heartbreaking separations from their families, these women had no choice but to adapt to their strange new home, where they were treated with incredible deference by the natives but found little that was familiar. The women of the Raj learned to cope with the harsh Indian climate and ward off endemic diseases; they were forced to make their own entertainment–through games, balls, and theatrics–and quickly learned to abide by the deeply ingrained Anglo-Indian love of hierarchy.

Weaving interviews, letters, and memoirs with a stunning selection of illustrations, MacMillan presents a vivid cultural and social history of the daughters, sisters, mothers, and wives of the men at the center of a daring imperialist experiment–and reveals India in all its richness and vitality.

“A marvellous book . . . [Women of the Raj] successfully [re-creates] a vanished world that continues to hold a fascination long after the sun has set on the British empire.”
–The Globe and Mail

“MacMillan has that essential quality of the historian, a narrative gift.”
–The Daily Telegraph

“MacMillan is a superb writer who can bring history to life.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Well researched and thoroughly enjoyable.”
–Evening Standard

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Review: Women of the Raj

User Review  - Margaret - Goodreads

A light read that includes a lot of history and insight into the British domination of India The Raj period. It also simply explains the factors of the fall of the Raj. But that is just backup to the ... Read full review

Review: Women of the Raj: The Mothers, Wives, and Daughters of the British Empire in India

User Review  - Kristine Stevens - Goodreads

Very well researched ... a gazillion supporting quotes from letters and journals. Interesting but not engaging, and I found myself skimming a bit toward the end for new facts about Raj life that had ... Read full review


First Impressions
The Society oj the Exiles
The Land oj Exile
Facts oj Lije
Women in Danger
Courtship and Marriage
Outposts oj Empire
Social Lije and Amusements
n On Holiday
Unconventional Women
Women in a Changing World
Conclusion 291


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About the author (2007)

Margaret MacMillan is the author of "Women of the Raj "and "Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World," which won the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, a Silver Medal for the Arthur Ross Book Award of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. It was selected by the editors of "The New York Times" as one of the best books of 2002. Currently the provost of Trinity College and a professor of history at the University of Toronto, MacMillan takes up the position of warden of St. Antony's College, Oxford, in July 2007. She is an officer of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a senior fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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