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

Front Cover
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007 - History - 334 pages
18 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
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
8
3 stars
7
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Women of the Raj

User Review  - Goodreads

Read this as a companion piece to the PBS series "Indian Summers". A social history of the lives of women over the several hundred years of the Raj. Not a history of British rule by any means but does ... Read full review

Review: Women of the Raj

User Review  - Goodreads

I found this book rather tedious. I feel as if I've been reading it for several months, rather than for just two weeks. I would have preferred a more chronological approach instead of so much jumping ... Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xxxi
2
First Impressions
17
The Society oj the Exiles
31
The Land oj Exile
51
Facts oj Lije
68
Women in Danger
104
Courtship and Marriage
124
Outposts oj Empire
147
Social Lije and Amusements
179
n On Holiday
208
Unconventional Women
237
Women in a Changing World
269
Conclusion 291
290
NOTES
309
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 319
318
Copyright

Housekeeping
161

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Margaret MacMillan is the Warden of St Antony s College and a professor of International History at the University of Oxford.

Bibliographic information