By Anne de Courcy
From the writer of the severely acclaimed biographies Diana Mosley and The Viceroy's Daughters comes a desirable, highly wonderful account of the Victorian ladies who traveled midway around the globe at the hunt for a husband.
By the past due 19th century, Britain's colonial reign looked as if it would comprehend no limit—and India used to be the gleaming jewel within the Imperial crown. lots of Her Majesty's top and brightest younger males departed for the Raj to make their careers, and their fortunes, as bureaucrats, infantrymen, and businessmen. yet of their wake they left in the back of numerous younger women who, all at once bereft of eligible bachelors, stumbled on themselves dealing with an doubtful future.
With not anything to lose and every little thing to achieve, a few of these girls determined to stick with swimsuit and abandon their local Britain for India's unique glamor and—with males outnumbering girls by means of approximately 4 to at least one within the Raj—the top likelihood they'd at discovering a man.
Drawing on a wealth of firsthand resources, together with unpublished memoirs, letters, pictures, and diaries, Anne de Courcy brings the really good global of "the Fishing Fleet," as those ladies have been identified, to lifestyles. In those gleaming pages, she describes the glittering whirlwind of dances, events, novice theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas, tiger shoots, and palatial banquets that awaited within the Raj, all aimed toward the possibility of romance. many of the ladies have been clear of domestic for the 1st time, they usually plunged headlong into the heady dazzle of expatriate social lifestyles; marriages have been frequent.
However, after the honeymoon many girls have been faced with a truth that was once faraway from the fairy story they'd been chasing. along with her signature diligence and sensitivity, de Courcy seems past the attract of the Raj to inform the genuine tales of those marriages outfitted on comfort and unwieldy expectancies. better halves have been whisked away to far-off outposts with few different Europeans for corporation. Transplanted to remoted plantations and distant cities, they persevered warmth, boredom, ache, disease, and motherhood faraway from widely used comforts—a a long way cry from the mystical global they have been promised upon arrival.
Rich with drama and colour, The Fishing Fleet is a luxurious, totally compelling real-life saga of event, romance, and heartbreak within the heyday of the British Empire.
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Extra info for The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj
Import of Carolina rice by the British from India to Europe can also mean the supremacy of the British as colonisers who could bring in ‘rational’ agriculture to its colony in order to ‘improve’ its material culture. The cultivation of Carolina rice was a symbol of that ‘rational’ agriculture. It was in fact, colonialism that connected this rice to colonial India as a way of inaugurating a ‘modern’ mode of agriculture. The success of colonialism lay in the power of the colonial capital that could interweave the material culture of Africa with America and then with India.
55Potato, a sturdy vegetable, was accepted by the Irish in the seventeenth century as a safeguard against famine. ’56 This 50 Letter From Surgeon G. , Superintendent, Royal Botanical Gardens, to R. , Asst. Secretary to Government of Bengal, 4th March 1875, Howrah, File no. 17-1-2, Proceeding No. 146, Proceedings of Branch II–Agriculture, Head No. 2–Produce and Cultivation, Financial Department, Calcutta, March, 1875, 38–39. 51 Ibid. 52 Letter from G. , Under-Secretary of State for India, to Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
2,09,54,427. But then again the price of rice dropped to Rs. 1,92, 11,136, despite an increase in export. This elaborate discussion on the colonial experimentations with rice and fluctuations in the international rice market is necessary in order to fully grasp the changes in the gastronomic culture of the middle-class in colonial Bengal. In middle-class imagination, the significance of rice as a commodity was enormous. Rice was not merely a staple in Bengal, it was also a potent cultural symbol of ‘Bengaliness’ and thus many debates and discourses of the literati in Bengal revolved around rice.
The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj by Anne de Courcy