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Shadows of the Raj : Anglo-Indian visions of empire, the Raj Revival, and the literary crafting of national… Gagne-Hawes, Genevieve 2012

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Shadows of the Raj: Anglo-Indian Visions of Empire, the Raj Revival, and the Literary Crafting of National Character by GENEVIEVE GAGNE-HAWES B.A. Whitman College, 2003 M.A. New York University, 2007  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (English)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) November 2012  © Genevieve Gagne-Hawes, 2012 i  ABSTRACT In my dissertation, I argue for a relationship of influence between the authors of what I define as the Raj novel genre, or works by British writers who lived in India between 1858 and 1947 and produced novels set in that country, and authors of the so-called “Raj Revival” in 1970s and 1980s Great Britain. The latter encompasses bestselling, award-winning novels (M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions, Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet; J.G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust) and films (David Lean’s A Passage to India) that nostalgically revisit the Raj experience. Both movements claim ideal British character is manifested by AngloIndians, British persons living and working in India, who develop a series of exemplary character traits through the rigors of daily service in the subcontinent. In the Raj novel genre, this model of Anglo-Indian character—and the concurrent denigration of Indian character—is used as a strategy by which to elevate the nascent Anglo-Indian community. In the Raj Revival, the Raj novel genre’s ideals are deployed in support of the conservative shift that occurred during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s tenure (1979-1990). Where the Raj novel genre’s image of AngloIndian ideality is prescriptive, the Raj Revival renders it nostalgic and comforting, a means of asserting lost national prominence through familiar markers of British imperial identity. The specificity and scope of the Raj texts’ influence necessitates, I argue, ongoing attention to the constitutive power of the Raj model of ideal British character in analyses of British literature and rhetoric in the wake of empire.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ........................................................................................................................................ ii Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... iii Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................... v Dedication .................................................................................................................................. vii I. Introduction: Why re-read the Raj? – Identity Construction, Anglo-India, and a Nation of Narration ................................................................................................................................. 1 English vs. British – A Vocabulary of Identity........................................................................... 13 Why Raj Novels Matter: Generating the Inquiry ........................................................................ 17 II. New Rule(rs), New Character—Ideal Anglo-Indians in the Novels of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker ....................................................................................................................... 31 The British Raj in Practice and Ideology, 1858-1947................................................................. 41 “Adventure and Prospects to the Right Sort”: The Self-Definition of Anglo-India ................... 48 “She has come into an empire . . .”: Mutiny Literature and the Production of Anglo-Indian Exceptionalism in Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker .............................................................. 54 “God knows I never thought of this!”: The Mutiny as Spectre in B.M. Croker’s Mr. Jervis......... ..................................................................................................................................................... 74 III. The Raj Novel Rampant: Rudyard Kipling, Sara Jeannette Duncan, and the Consolidation of the Raj Novel Genre .................................................................................... 84 “The Bard of Empire”: Rudyard Kipling and the Envisioning of Anglo-Indian Ideality........... 97 “We are what we can conquer”: Sara Jeannette Duncan’s Ironic Visions of Anglo-India....... 119 IV. The Raj Ascendant – Construction and Breakdown of Genre Ideals in Alice Perrin, Maud Diver, and E.M. Forster .............................................................................................. 141 A Mannered Empire: Alice Perrin’s Legacy of Anglo-Indian Life .......................................... 148 The Englishwoman in India: Maud Diver’s Fictional Campaign for Empire .......................... 168 “I really do know the truth about Indians. A most unsuitable position . . .”: E.M. Forster’s rejection of Raj novel genre tropes in A Passage to India ........................................................ 184 V. Raj Racism? – Depictions of India and “Indianness” in the Raj Novel Genre ............ 198 Servants, Princes, Zealots: Visions of India in the Raj Novel Genre ....................................... 202 Reading Indian-ness in Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster, Sara Jeannette Duncan ..................... 220 VI. Emotional Imperialism, Postcolonial Nostalgia – Reconfigurations of the Raj Novel Genre in the Age of Thatcher ................................................................................................ 242 “Britain has found a role”: Margaret Thatcher and the Rhetoric of the Falklands Crisis ......... 251 iii  “The jewel in the crown is made, these days, of paste”: Imperial Fiction for a Post-Imperial Age ................................................................................................................................................... 270 Romance and Revival: The Inherited Ideal of British National Character ............................... 286 VII. Conclusion: “The Power with the Need” – Raj Fictions and the Post-Colonial World ................................................................................................................................................... 310 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................ 317  iv  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To complete this dissertation, I needed the help of people in three countries on two continents. It was a journey, literally, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped along the way. First, thank you to my supervisor: Professor Laura Moss. You read every word of every draft I wrote—every excessive lengthy one—and made it all so much smarter and better. Your insight, kindness, accessibility, and reminders that life went on outside the Ph.D. program were invaluable to me. Thank you also to my committee, Professor Miranda Burgess and Professor Miguel Mota. Your comments challenged me, encouraged me, and taught me more than I can say. Editing was a continual learning process, and I’m grateful for each moment of it. Thank you to the University of British Columbia English Department, particularly graduate secretary Louise Soga, who put out fires while I was in Africa and was never less than gracious about standing in line for hours on my behalf; Professor Patsy Badir, for her support in the final stages of my project, Professor Deanna Kreisel, for serving on my comprehensive exam committee, and Professor Sherrill Grace, a phenomenal resource during my time in Vancouver. I was blessed, while I lived in Vancouver, to have the most astounding, inspiring group of friends and colleagues. Thank you to Dr. Katie Calloway Sueda (I can see our morning runs on each of these pages), Sarah Crover and Paisley Mann (my last-minute printing saviors), Asad Kiyani, Liz Buskell, Dr. Tyson Stolte, Megan Bell, Carrie-Jane Williams, Simon Charles, Matt Dixon, Stephania Schwartz, Fred Vermote, Gemma McClintock, Crystal Sikma, Anna Cohen, Brianna Brash-Nyberg, Lindsay and Nathaniel Funk, Joel and Lisa Nikkel, Arun Ramamurthy, Emily Blamire, Laura Estrada, Mono Brown, Erin Somerville, Tiffany Johnstone, Kim Duff, Dr. Wendy Strangman Bassett, Lisa Harris, Eve Preus, and everyone at St. John’s College. And a special thank you to Ms. Crover, Mike Borkent and Dr. Mark Diotte. TA Cohort forever, guys. I miss our Fridays at Mahoney’s. Thanks for all the laughter and love. Thank you to Abigail Scott, who during her life taught me so much about faith, intelligence, and the will to explore the world. I miss you, Abigail. Throughout my Ph.D., I was supported by my colleagues at Writers House Literary Agency, particularly Amy Berkower, Dan Lazar, Maja Nikolic, Jodi Reamer, Robin Rue, and Simon Lipskar. Thank you for always giving me that extra day to get manuscripts read, and for encouraging me in the final stages of my own revisions. Thanks also to my New York support network of writers, including Ridley Pearson, Linda Lee, Cecily Wong, and Saira Rao. I feel as though you guys wrote this with me. Thanks for the encouragement, and for being there. I was sustained hugely in the years of study by my family and friends in Alaska. Thanks to my amazing mothers, LouAnn Gagne, who brought me up to love literature so passionately, and Theresa Lauterbach, my wonderful father, David Hawes, my beautiful sister, Anna, and brother, Alex, my grandmothers, Jane Gagne and Doris Hawes, and my late grandfather, Gene Gagne. v  And thanks to my dear, dear friends Lael Harrison, Katherine Rue Bollinger, Dr. Bryan Bollinger, Michelle Schwartz, Alexandra Penfold, Hilary Dorsch Wong, and Dr. Christina Capacci-Daniels. No more e-mails about the dissertation, guys. Can you believe it? Between the third and fourth years of my Ph.D., I moved to Cape Town, South Africa. I would never have finished the doctorate if I hadn’t, and I’m grateful every day to this country of my heart, and to all the friends I’ve made here. To Tim, Shona, and Patrick Smith: there aren’t words to say how much I love and value you guys. Thank you to Regine le Roux and Mark Ingle, without whom Chapter II (and Chapter III; and Chapter IV . . .) wouldn’t have happened. Thank you to Professor Coilin Parsons, at the University of Cape Town, for allowing me access to UCT’s facilities during my semester of intensive writing; your help was invaluable. And thank you to Gailyn Scarpa, Karen Lilje, David Stein (my first friend!), Carmen Schaefer, Megan Ferguson, Julie Cameron, Lissa Fenner, Donnelly McClelland, Sally Shepherd, Rachel Fenner, Carolina Massa, Cecily Roos, and everyone at Shoreline Church, especially my Home Group leaders Geoff and Natalie Thomson, and Derek and Debi Nunley, who reminded me to keep my eyes on the real point of things. Which brings me to God, and His ongoing work and presence in my life. Everything I learned for the dissertation taught me that, in actuality, I know very little. Wherever I go in the world, I will constantly be amazed by the wonder of His works, and the grace He has given me in my family, friends, loves, life, and opportunities. There were so many moments where I truly didn’t think I could finish this dissertation. I was too tired, too sad, or too alone. In each of those moments, He picked me up and carried me forward, or gave me a person to say the words I needed to hear. Thank you. Genevieve Gagne-Hawes 25 July 2012  vi  Dedication  To Tim, Shona, and Patrick Smith. Thank you.  vii  I. Introduction: Why re-read the Raj? – Identity Construction, Anglo-India, and a Nation of Narration When I was 16, I read M.M. Kaye’s Raj Revival novels, The Far Pavilions (1979) and Shadow of the Moon (1957; 1979). I remember being struck by the strong sense of duty and honor displayed by the latter’s British hero, Capt. Alex Randall. At one point—the scenario is amusing in retrospect—Alex does not speak to the heroine, whom he loves passionately, for months because his duty to the Raj is so important. As a teen, this struck me as the height of romantic devotion. Alongside Alex’s ethic of duty, I absorbed Kaye’s images of India as deadly, beautiful, and sensual, succumbing unwittingly to the Orientalist fantasia whose perpetuation, I argue now, was a main achievement of the Raj Revival. Eager for more Raj tales, I searched for Kaye on the internet and found interviews in which she discussed her love of Rudyard Kipling. “The Jungle Books were the first stories Daddy ever read to me,” Kaye told the Wall Street Journal in 1978. “The only reason I’m living in Sussex now is because of Puck of Pook’s Hill. It’s right in the middle of Kipling country. Whenever I feel homesick for India, which is about once a year, I fly to Kim and read it again.”1 On this recommendation, I read Kim (1901) and noted the similarities between this book and The Far Pavilions. Each features a British hero who grows up believing he is Indian, and is then drawn into the edifice of British imperial rule. These similarities became, in my senior undergraduate year, the basis for a presentation on the Raj Revival. That presentation grounded itself on a discussion of especially awful clips from HBO’s television adaptation of The Far Pavilions (1984), but despite the lack of academic rigor with which I pursued my comparison at that time, it was in that seminar that I first read postcolonial theory (Homi Bhabha’s “Signs Taken for Wonders”; Salman Rushdie’s Imaginary Homelands) and began to consider the pitfalls of representations I had previously enjoyed without question. 1  “Interview,” Wall Street Journal, 13 Oct. 1978, Web. 31 March 2012.  1  What intrigued me then, and continues to intrigue me in this dissertation, is the eagerness with which Raj Revivalists such as Kaye and Scott model their work on Raj novels such as Kim and E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India (1924). Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence (1973), published near the outset of the markedly un-anxious Raj Revival, presents a now-familiar image of poets entangled in perpetually fraught relations with their literary forebears. Bloom’s poetic history, made by “strong poets . . . misreading one another, so as to clear imaginative space for themselves,” is a “variety of melancholy or an anxiety-principle.”2 In contrast, Stephen GuyBray’s Loving in Verse: Poetic Influence as Erotic (2006) argues that (homoerotic) desire offers a broader, more flexible terminology for reading literary exchange (86-87). In-depth analysis of the Raj Revival texts’ relationship to the Victorian works I term the Raj novel genre reveals a level of novelistic influence akin to Guy-Bray’s poetry analyses, though without the particularity of personal desire Guy-Bray highlights amongst famous poets such as Dante, Virgil, and Statius. What were the texts that produced this spirited emulation? The Raj novel genre is composed of novels by British authors who lived and wrote in India between the establishment of the Raj in 1858 (after the Sepoy Rebellion/Indian Mutiny),3 and Indian independence in 1947. These works champion Anglo-Indian character as an ideal form of British imperial identity, a generic message which I argue recurs, in nearly identical form, in the 1970s and 1980s Raj Revival, a literary movement which takes place during Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister (1979-1990). The intersection of the Raj novel genre and the Raj Revival texts, I argue, shows that melancholy and anxiety can be assuaged, rather than manifested, at the site of literary influence.  2  nd  Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry, 2 ed, (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997). 5, 7. The name of the 1857 uprising, in which Indian sepoys and civilians mutinied against the British, is now hotly debated, with some scholars and politicians calling for it to be referred to as the First War of Indian Independence. To maintain consistency with the fictional works I analyze, however, I follow the terminology used by the Raj novelists and the Raj Revivalists, and refer to the uprising as the Mutiny. This is the same approach taken in texts such as Jenny Sharpe’s Allegories of Empire (1993), which reads the Mutiny novel genre in detail. 3  2  Sigmund Freud’s “On Mourning and Melancholia” (1917) defines melancholia as an exacerbation of behaviors that characterize mourning, marked particularly by deep dejection and self-hatred so intense it culminates in “a delusional expectation of punishment.”4 The difference between mourning and melancholia, Freud writes, may stem from melancholia’s unconscious aspect—the inability to fully grasp or articulate the nature of a loss. In Chapter V, I explore the possibility of diagnosing melancholia on a national scale in post-imperial Great Britain; the Raj Revivalists’ eager re-circulation of Raj narratives serves as a means of repressing or denying the melancholic nation’s tendency toward self-castigation, and of ignoring or sublimating the “loss” of empire.5 Further echoes of the Raj novel genre in the political rhetoric of Margaret Thatcher, also analyzed in Chapter V, shifts the discussion of influence from the psychoanalytic specificity of Bloom and Guy-Bray’s studies. Rather than evincing neurotic entanglement, authors and politicians of 1970s/1980s Britain who rework Raj novel genre tropes and themes augment the veneration of imperial Britain taking place under Thatcher’s Conservative government. By focusing on the role of literary interchange in this process, I argue that a return to Raj narratives, which see British imperial identity as fixed and unchangeable, casts literary influence as a refuge from, rather than a manifestation of, Britain’s post-imperial definitional angst. To study the Raj novel genre, and to articulate the relationship of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Raj texts to late twentieth-century ones, I combine several theoretical approaches. Studies of genre, character, and the development of the novel form in concert with new modes of reader subjectivity in the late 1700s and early 1800s are laid out in detail in Chapters II and III. I also refer throughout my dissertation to postcolonial arguments that the British Empire was essential to Britain’s national identity formation in the Victorian Era, as both 4  Sigmund Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia,” On Freud’s ‘Mourning and Melancholia’, ed. Leticia Glocer Fiorini, Thierry Bokanowski, Sergio Lewkowicz (London: Karnac, 2009). 19-34. 20. 5 I draw here and in Chapter V upon Paul Gilroy’s Postcolonial Melancholia (2005), which posits a similar scenario.  3  a concrete entity and a space of imaginative projection. My conceptual reference here is JeanFrançois Lyotard’s “metanarrative,” described in The Postmodern Condition (1979). A metanarrative yokes the structuring fiction of a society with the dissemination of ideological power in discourse. Lyotard imagines a discourse that seeks knowledge which validates its preset claims; this information is referenced whenever the discourse needs material with which to authorize its purported truths. A metanarrative, moreover, dictates the legislation of groups by appealing to a common humanity and suggesting all are subsumed in the shared narrative. Laws and asserted truths thus claim a universal, non-prejudicial relevance that eschews the discursive power differentials actually shaping their construction (The Postmodern Condition 35-37). Deconstructive and postmodern criticism such as Lyotard’s own (Lyotard suggests that incredulity towards metanarratives is the core of postmodern thinking) troubles the stability of such meta-discursive constructs. However, I argue that to the British of the Victorian age, including the Anglo-Indian authors whose works I analyze in my first four chapters, the metanarrative of British imperial identity was deeply influential and determinative. Moreover, it was something to which the Raj novel genre contributed by producing a specific kind of knowledge about Anglo-Indian daily life. Lyotard notes the political efficacy of particular metanarratives, writing that “the insertion of the narrative of race and work into that of the spirit as a way of legitimating knowledge and its institutions is doubly unfortunate: theoretically inconsistent, it was compelling enough to find disastrous echoes in the realm of politics.”6 In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and, I argue, in late twentieth-century Thatcherite Britain, the components of the British metanarrative of imperial identity, which depends upon hierarchies  6  Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1984). 37.  4  of race, gender, and colonial power, continued to echo in the political realm, influencing the form of Thatcher’s political discourse. To ground my argument, I discuss in this introduction the theoretical background for my presentation of Great Britain as an imperial nation, or a nation with a metanarrative of identity that depends upon the experience of colonial rule. Foundationally I ask: What is the relation of Anglo-Indians, or British persons whose service in the Indian subcontinent as civil or military authorities gave them a distinct communal identity, to larger conceptions of Britishness? While Chapter I addresses this question, in exploring discursive nation construction it is important to observe the sense of exile felt by many Anglo-Indians as they attempted to forge a sense of national allegiance with Britain. Despite choosing the careers that took them around the globe as administrators, soldiers, educators, and missionaries, Anglo-Indian narrative reflects a profound awareness of actual (physical) separation and cultural, sometimes emotional, distance. This is made apparent by the common reference to the British Isles as “Home” in the Raj novel genre; the mythos of Anglo-India as a world apart is also perpetuated in collections of reminiscences by real-life Anglo-Indians, which echo this nostalgic tenor. “‘We thought England was the greatest place on earth,’” Ed “Jungle” Davies, who served for twelve years in Meerut, Lanicotal, and on India’s North-West Frontier, recalls. “‘We were always talking about home.’”7 I preserve the symbolic, wistful capitalization and punctuation assigned to “Home” in the Raj novel genre for its ability to evoke Anglo-India’s sensibility of being a world apart. The feeling of separation and the fear of surveillance or judgment from “Home” Britons produces, in the Raj novel genre, repeated, defensive claims that Anglo-Indians had “true(r)” knowledge of India by virtue of residence in the country. Following the genre’s dismissal of British persons (and British fictions) that lack practical experience of India, the Victorian and early twentieth-century authors who 7  Qtd. in Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London: Futura, 1983).  5  comprise my study all lived under the Raj. They are Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929), Bithia Mary (B.M.) Croker (1849-1920), Sara Jeannette Duncan (1861-1922), Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), Alice Perrin (1867-1934), Maud Diver (1867-1945), and E.M. Forster (1879-1970).8 While Forster and Kipling spent less time in India than the female authors, all experienced first-hand the exigencies of Anglo-Indian life and Raj rule, and conveyed those experiences in fiction. That fiction is bound up with the history of the Raj as imperial Britain’s “jewel in the crown”. Thomas Richards writes in The Imperial Archive (1993) that “[a]n empire is partly a fiction” (1). My goal, then, is to elaborate the ways in which literal fictions (the Raj novels) produced a larger national fiction of Britishness and Anglo-Indian ideality. In the Raj novel genre, Anglo-Indian authors rewrite empire, drawing inspiration from daily life in India. Control and dissemination of information, which Richards argues was “the administrative core” (4) of the British Empire, is essential to this effort: the Anglo-Indian authors produce knowledge about the subcontinent and champion its authenticity. But Anglo-India’s ties to Britain’s imperial mythos are also emotive. Etienne Balibar writes in “The Nation Form: History and Ideology” that “[e]very social community reproduced by the functioning of institutions is imaginary: that is to say, it is based on the projection of individual existence into the weft of a collective narrative” (93). Articulating how the Raj novelists project Anglo-Indians’ “individual existences” into the “collective narrative,” or metanarrative, of British imperial identity reveals the depth of the Raj authors’ investment in the race, gender, and class hierarchies the Raj fictions consolidate. These fictions allow profound and affecting self-valorization. David Symington, a prominent Raj 8  Benita Parry’s seminal Delusions and Discoveries (1972; 1998) also analyzes the female authors Fanny Emily (F.E.) Penny (1847-1939) and Ida Alexa Ross (I.A.R.) Wylie (1885-1959), whom she groups with Perrin, Croker, and Diver in her list of “Romancers”. Residence in India is part of my definition of the Raj novel genre, which as I discuss in Chapters II and III, expands Parry’s formulation. Thus I do not include Wylie, who never lived in or visited India. To avoid excessive duplication with the Raj novels of Diver and Perrin—set here as representative—I also exclude Penny. However, I agree with Parry that Penny’s depiction of Anglo-India and India in novels such as The Rajah (1911) and The Outcaste (1912) carries out what I term in Chapter II the “exigence” of the Raj novel genre texts.  6  administrator whose Anglo-Indian family traced its lineage back to the East India Company, describes Anglo-Indian attitudes toward the British colonial subject illuminatingly: We realized that we were members of a very successful race. We belonged to a country that, in the world league, had done exceedingly well for a small island. And we also realized that we were working in a country which was as pre-eminently unsuccessful as we were successful. And I suppose that that produced a frame of mind in which we tacitly . . . felt ourselves to be rather superior people.9 In the Raj novel genre a feeling of superiority derived from “racial” belonging to the British nation which Symington articulates finds fictional affirmation. Strong, duty-bound, humble, and deeply honorable, the male and female protagonists of the Raj (and Raj Revival) novels rule in a fair, informed manner that “tacitly” evinces their superiority. They thus perpetuate an idea of virtuous British behavior codified by nineteenth-century political thinkers such as Thomas Carlyle and Charles Dilke. Carlyle and Dilke led Victorian attempts to explicate the formation of the “successful race” Symington references, galvanizing images of Anglo-Saxon noblesse oblige in service of the imperial mission,10 or what Dilke calls “the grandeur of our race already girdling the earth, which it is destined, perhaps, eventually to overspread.”11 Critic Zohreh Sullivan notes that “[h]istorians debate the relative claims” of Carlyle and Dilke “to be known as the father of British imperialism,”12 and Dilke draws on Carlyle in his valorization of inherent “Saxon” qualities such as strength, vigor, and stoicism—character traits which mirror those the Raj writers attribute to Anglo-Indians serving the Raj. The use of Anglo-Saxon history to pit  9  Qtd. in Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London: Futura, 1983). 218. Symington served as Secretary to the Governor of Bombay from 1943 until Indian Independence in 1947. 10 I reference here Carlyle’s Heroes and Hero-Worship (1869), which imagines “a Saxon-dom covering great spaces of the Globe” (133), and his epic twenty-one-book biography History of Friedrich II of Prussia (1858). For Dilke, I refer to Greater Britain: A Record of Travel in English Speaking Countries During 1866 and 1867 (1869). 11 nd Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Greater Britain, 2 ed (London: Macmillan, 1869). vii. 12 Zohreh Sullivan, “Race, Gender, and Imperial Ideology in the Nineteenth Century,” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 13:1 (1989). 23.  7  Saxons against Celts and internally colonize the spaces of Great Britain thereby13 finds international application in Anglo-Indian narratives of colonial undertaking. Hierarchies of racialized power, which trade upon this mythos to valorize the white colonizer, are deployed to manage colonial crisis or insurgency in India as in contested territories within the British Isles. This practical fact of imperial Britain’s power maneuvers troubles Balibar’s more theoretical assertion that “under certain conditions, only imaginary communities are real” (93). To the Indians who lived under British colonial control for more than 250 years, and under direct Raj rule for almost a century, the British Empire was in no way imaginary. It was a dominating structure by which colonial subjectivities were legitimized and policed, and the ideological strategies by which the Raj novelists justify economic exploitation and racial discrimination in India follow widespread methods of discursive control in the Victorian Era. Robert Young argues that under European colonialism “seemingly impartial, objective academic disciplines . . . colluded with, and [were] indeed instrumental in, the production of actual forms of colonial subjugation and administration” (151). Indeed, the explosion of new scientific and industrial production techniques in nineteenth-century Great Britain drew on minute analysis of the natural world to organize categories of knowledge and control the subjects those categories produced.14  13  Paul Gilroy, Postcolonial Melancholia (New York: Columbia UP, 2005). 92. The process of internal colonization via contrast of valorized Anglo-Saxons and denigrated “Celts” is described by Michael Hechter in Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development (1975); it is also discussed in Hugh Kearney’s Ireland: Contested Ideas of Nationalism and History (2009; see especially 75-76; 125-26; 192-202). 14 To name but a few examples: the works of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), such as On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), put forth the theory of evolution. Darwin urged meticulous analysis of the natural world, including detailed observation of variance in genetic characteristics, as a mode of understanding how environments and species changed with time. Nearly simultaneously, Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) performed minute observations of variance in pea plants which helped subsequent generations of scientists develop the theory of genetics. Outside the field of science, the development of new manufacturing techniques in the late eighteenth century gave rise to the Industrial Revolution, which spanned the 1790s to the mid-1860s. The introduction of new power technologies (steam, coal) and mechanization and the institution of partially-automated factory production lines vastly altered Britain’s economy and the nation’s perception of goods and consumption. As Raymond Williams argues in The Country and the City (1973), even the spatial organization of  8  Postcolonial theorists observe this link between “authoritative” knowledge of the colonial subject and the exertion of colonial power, as in Edward Said’s Orientalism, which argues that constructions of the “East” by the West are used to justify imperialism: The object of such knowledge is inherently vulnerable to scrutiny; this object is a “fact” which, if it develops, changes, or otherwise transforms itself in the way that civilizations frequently do, nevertheless is fundamentally, even ontologically stable. To have such knowledge of such a thing is to dominate it, to have authority over it. And authority here means for “us” to deny autonomy to “it”—the Oriental country— since we know it and it exists, in a sense, as we know it. (32) Construction of Indian subjectivity in the Raj novel genre follows this model and continues— albeit in cloaked form—in the Raj Revival. What my dissertation adds to discussions of identity construction via British imperial discourse is the idea that the Raj writers also treat Anglo-Indian identity as something producible in their fictions, what Said calls a “fact” subject to scrutiny and imitation. By treating incidents of Anglo-Indian valor as sites at which British virtue is honed and toughened, and through an insistent focus on the difference between Britishness performed at “Home” versus that lived out in India, the Raj authors articulate a discrete mode of national character. Anglo-Indian participation in the imperial casting of British selfhood through systems of knowledge accrual, the Raj novel genre implies, is essential to “proper” rule. In this schema, the idea of being British justifies imperial domination and expansion in and of itself. Peter Mandler writes that national character is “one of the most intensely focused forms of national consciousness because it implies specificity . . . about the people in question (and all of them, not only some).”15 Such specificity must be constructed, particularly in an empire as vast as Britain’s. An address given by Joseph Chamberlain, Colonial Secretary of Great Britain, to a Royal Colonial Institute dinner in 1897 exemplifies the ways in which Britain  Britain and the relationship of British citizens to the agrarian landscape shifted at this time, with many people moving to the ever-larger urban centers. 15 Peter Mandler, The English National Character (New Haven: Yale UP, 2006). 8  9  used the rhetoric of imperial duty to consolidate a feeling of unity across the vast geographical spaces separating metropole and colony at the turn of the twentieth century: It is a gigantic task that we have undertaken when we have determined to wield the sceptre of empire . . . Great is the task, great is the responsibility, but great is the honour, and I am convinced that the conscience and the spirit of the country will rise to the height of its obligations, and that we shall have the strength to fulfill the mission which our history and our national character have imposed upon us.16 In his use of the phrase “our national character” to justify the British imperial enterprise, Chamberlain signals the insistence on an idealized British “selfhood” whose manifest virtues necessitate imperial rule. The articulation of this selfhood, I argue, is the project of the Raj novel genre. The Raj texts develop narratives of character which make Anglo-Indian service an exemplar of the “great” task—and resultant honor—to which Chamberlain argues Britain is called. Chamberlain’s speech thus evokes the ways in which the Raj novels situate Anglo-India’s grinding daily routine as the arbiter of what it meant to be British in an era that made “imperial” synonymous with “British” for Britain’s citizens. While I distinguish momentarily between the overarching concepts of “British” and “English,” the linkage of both with imperial rule explains in part how political impetus can be grafted onto a nebulous quality such as “national character”. What is it for a nation to possess a character? Balibar writes that “[t]he history of nations . . . is always already presented to us in the form of a narrative which attributes to these entities the continuity of a subject.”17 Analyzing components of The English National Character (2006), Mandler argues that “the idea of a national character seeks to yoke real national differences based on a wide variety of experiences to a few key psychological traits to which those national characteristics may have no connection” (2). Such disconnect between reality and politics or, to speak in literary terms, between fact and fiction, facilitates my argument that the Raj novel genre 16  Joseph Chamberlain, Mr. Chamberlain’s Speeches, ed. Charles Boyd (London: Constable & Co., 1914). 5. Etienne Balibar, “The Nation Form: History and Ideology,” in Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, ed. Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein (New York: Verso, 1992). 86. 17  10  and the Raj Revival construct a well-ruled British empire by describing the character traits of the persons who rule it well. To show the cohesion of Anglo-Indian community, the accuracy of Anglo-Indian knowledge about India, and the “love” with which Indian servants view their Anglo-Indian rulers, is to advocate for a vision of British imperial identity unique to the Raj. That identity relies heavily upon Mandler’s “key psychological traits”: devotion to duty and to Britain; abnegation of self in favor of nation and community; physical, mental, and emotional strength; verbal and emotional reticence; and affection for India, tempered by awareness of what is presented as the necessary separation of British and Indian. Taken together and tested by the difficulties of life on the subcontinent—the Raj novels eagerly depict skirmishes with hostile Indians, monsoon floods, blistering heat, deadly cholera outbreaks, and painful familial separations—Anglo-Indians in the Raj novel genre embody ideal qualities in dire circumstances, and thus emerge as key to Britain’s identity as a successful imperial nation. In The Imperial Archive, Richards observes the ways in which symbolic displacement allows control of territories outside a nation’s physical borders: “The symbolism of the British Empire was built on an extended foundation of national symbols . . . seeing it that way, through the distorting lens of the nation, lent the Empire the sense of symbolic unity it so often lacked in practice.”18 Imagined unity encourages the perpetuation of practical unity for individual colonial actors and the wider nation. Further, it leads Britain to depend on the symbolic markers produced in its empire to confirm, as with Lyotard’s concept of the self-supporting metanarrative, its idea of itself as essentially imperial. Hannah Arendt writes that “the most dangerous concept of nationalism, the idea of ‘national mission,’ was especially strong in England”19 at this time because, as historian and cultural critic Tom Nairn notes, “Great Britain was quite unusually and  18 19  Thomas Richards, The Imperial Archive (London: Verso, 1993). 3. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harvest, 1973). 182.  11  structurally dependent upon external relations tied up with its empire.”20 In my analysis, I follow this critical consensus that Britain’s national identity is inextricable from a historical sensibility of Britain as an imperial ruler. Again, Arendt notes in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) that Great Britain had to construct a coherent national character because . . . the British Isles were completely separated from the surrounding world by natural frontiers and England as a nation had to devise a theory of unity among people who lived in far-flung colonies beyond the seas, separated from the mothercountry by thousands of miles. (181) Inventing a compelling vision of national identity was essential if the British Empire’s political and commercial aims were to proceed. During what Nairn calls “a pseudo-revolutionary chain of events” in 1970s Britain —events which continued into the 1980s and which coincided with the literary productions of the Raj Revival—such coherency was similarly desirable. Britain’s lost empire meant lost international prominence, with the United States and the then-Union of Soviet Socialist Republics taking Britain’s place as global superpowers. In response, Thatcherite Britain “stressed” an “uncompromisingly British Union . . . as never before.”21 In Chapter V, I explore how the Raj Revivalists promote this union with images drawn from the Raj novel genre. This move has been noted in studies of how the “heritage industry,” which sprang up in Thatcherite Britain during the 1980s, venerated Britain’s cultural history (architectural; archeological; artistic) even as it placed historical objects under governmental control and policed access to them.22 As with Thatcher’s Falkland Islands rhetoric, analyzed in detail in Chapter V, the Raj Revival fictions join the heritage movement in scripting British identity and glorifying aspects of the nation’s character and history that support an image of ongoing imperial might. Analyzing 20  nd  Tom Nairn, The Break-Up of Britain, 2 ed. (Altona: Common Ground, 2003). 3. st nd Tom Nairn, “Introduction: 21 -Century Hindsight,” in The Break-Up of Britain, 2 ed. (Altona: Common Ground, 2003). xiv. 22 I reference Patrick Wright’s On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain (1985) and Robert Hewison’s The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline (1987) in this description. 21  12  the Raj novel genre, explicating the relationship of the Raj novels to the Raj Revival texts and films, and exploring the ties between the Raj Revival and Thatcherite politics shows how the politically motivated fashioning of national identity is repeatedly carried out through the deployment of Raj novel tropes and themes—even after the practical end of empire.  English vs. British: A Vocabulary of Identity Before delving further into the theoretical genesis of my project, it is necessary to pause and comment on my choice of the descriptor “British,” rather than “English,” in my discussion of British national identity in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The two signifiers have a contentious legacy, as the terms “England” and/or “English” historically were used to represent the entirety of what is today referred to as Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). In part through the colonial project, however, the idea of an overarching “Britishness” came to serve as a means of ameliorating potential discord and masking power differentials among Great Britain’s member countries. Krishan Kumar argues in The Making of English National Identity (2003) that at the heights of imperialism in the mid to late nineteenth century, “[a]ll British peoples, whether at home or ‘abroad’” saw themselves “as members of a single imperial nation. The flow of influence was two-way, even though the English nation was the inspiring and guiding spirit” (36). Kumar traces the formation of a “‘Britishness’” meant to “override, or at least accompany, Englishness” from the 1707 Act of Union with Scotland forward to the heights of Victorian Empire.23 Many major colonial policy texts, such as J.R. Seeley’s lecture series, The Expansion of England (1883), thus advocate for the use of terms such as “Greater Britain” to define the British imperial entity (11-12; 85-89). Peter Mandler links such attempts to debates in the late 1820s over the 1801 union with Ireland, which “only riveted 23  Krishan Kumar, The Making of English National Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003). 36. Chapter VI of Kumar’s work, “The making of British identity” (121-74), traces this historical progression in detail.  13  individual liberty and diversity more centrally onto the self-definition of the English in order to make their traits a more plausible core for a plural multi-national Britishness.”24 The use of “British” to subsume territories into Great Britain’s internal and overseas imperial holdings was countered by the continued prioritization of English economic, political, and cultural interests, to the detriment of the United Kingdom’s other constituent members. This antipathy, which continues today, was felt strongly in the 1970s/1980s under Thatcher, whose unpopularity in Scotland and Wales led her Conservative government to test potentially unpopular policies such as the poll tax there.25 Hugh Kearney writes in Ireland: Contested Ideas of Nationalism and History (2007) that: A government . . . which aims at preserving the United Kingdom needs to think long and hard about the nature of “British identity.” That there is confusion in high places emerged in Mrs. Thatcher’s speeches when she happily intermingled “British” and “English” history. There was also uncertainty in the setting up of a national history curriculum, which turned out to be not “national” in the sense of “British” but more narrowly national in the sense of Welsh, English, and “Northern Ireland.” Scotland was not even included. (152) Kearney highlights the ongoing importance of distinguishing between “English” and “British,” and the need to acknowledge that even in the contemporary moment, as the so-called “national” history curriculum he describes shows, the terms are not equivalent. Jenny Sharpe adds that “English” and “England” historically “designate a national culture that brings the ‘Celtic fringe’ of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall under its hegemony.”26 Again, it is this sense of England exerting power over the other members of the United Kingdom that the more politically sensitive current usage of “British” works to reduce. By eliminating specific reference to one part of the British Isles as reductive shorthand for the others, “British” is an ostensibly more open referent.  24  Peter Mandler, The English National Character (New Haven: Yale UP, 2006). 33. Earl Reitan’s The Thatcher Revolution (2003) discusses the poll tax (87-93) and deals with the havoc wreaked on Scotland by Thatcher’s policies on 151-53. 26 Jenny Sharpe, Allegories of Empire (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993). 167n. 25  14  Holding in mind the contested, politicized nature of the terms “English” and “British,” then, complicates my readings of the Raj texts. The Anglo-Indian writers I examine often use “English” to describe what is today termed “British”; or, like Thatcher’s speeches, the Raj novels “happily intermingle” the terms, referring to all characters from the British Isles as English regardless of other identity markers (Scottish or Irish names; back stories which incorporate origin in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales). To the Raj novelists, “English” can mean a white man or woman from any part of Great Britain, molded by inherited traditions such as the monarchy, the Protestant ethos, and a rigid hierarchical class structure. Colonial disputes with Irish nationalists and the repeated insinuation by the English that Scottish and Welsh persons were lesser players in British history—issues embedded in the movement between “English” and “British”—are thus raised, but not addressed, by the Raj novels. Slippage between the terms also occurs in real-life Anglo-Indian descriptions, as when Lady Frances Smythe shifts from “British” to “English” when discussing the life of a memsahib: “‘British women in India were like British women anywhere else,’” but in cities wives “‘lived a life far more English than the English.’”27 Even critical literature on the Raj incorporates this back-and-forth in terminology. Summarizing arguments about Kipling’s Kim by critic John McClure, Parama Roy writes in Indian Traffic: “It has been said . . . that the project of this novel is to naturalize the Englishman in India, or at least to naturalize British control of India” (85). In Ideologies of the Raj, Thomas Metcalfe writes of the Indian Civil Service that Indians “had to succeed in an examination framed to suit the British . . . educational system. ‘Many of the Native Civilians thus selected,’ Hunter concluded rather extravagantly, ‘are more English in thought and feeling than Englishmen themselves’” (207).  27  Qtd. in Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London: Futura, 1983). 213. Lady Smyth was born in India (Quetta) in 1908 and spent her childhood there; she returned to India in 1925 and wed two Indian army officers before leaving in 1942. She was stationed variously in Bangalore, Poona, Allahabad, Bakloh, Amritsar, Lahore, and Rawalpindi (Plain Tales 271).  15  Here, Metcalfe uses “British” while the quoted material supplies “English”; this pattern of critical (and Anglo-Indian) usage is replicated in my argument, which uses “British” rather than “English” in all applicable instances but direct quotes. My choice of “British” is not meant to invalidate the resistance that universalizing descriptors with an inherently prejudicial history (as “English”) properly provoke; but as with the terms “Mutiny” versus “Sepoy Rebellion,” this study attempts to capture and analyze trajectories of thought present in the Raj novel genre and Raj Revival works. The Raj writers use the term “English” as synonymous and interchangeable with “British”. This may be due to the ongoing Victorian attempts, described by Kumar, to interpose British as the preferred descriptor; as Kearney writes, a “prime minister appealing to ‘the British people’ is appealing to a sense of national identity which may have been stronger in the heyday of the British empire than it is today.”28 In line with this mode of thinking, I read the identity model the Raj writers construct as one of “British national character”. The terminology shifts eclipsed by this choice evoke Ernest Renan’s claim in “What Is a Nation?” (1882) that “[f]orgetting, I would even go so far as to say historical error, is a crucial factor in the creation of a nation” (13). To understand how the Raj Revivalists, writing in the self-defined British 1970s/1980s, found the material to recreate their nation in the model of the Raj authors requires “forgetting,” as the Revivalists did, the contested movement away from “English” as a blanket descriptor for persons from the British Isles. However, such references on my part are not meant to be less than reflexive about the complexity of the terminological shift, nor about its ideological ramifications.  28  Hugh Kearney, Ireland (New York: New York UP, 2007). 152.  16  Why Raj Novels Matter: Generating the Inquiry In his introduction to Nation and Narration (1990), Homi Bhabha argues that the inherent instabilities of the modern nation are qualities best explored through links to the unstable process of narrative construction. Bhabha queries the consequences when contestable narratives are situated as essential to national belonging: If the ambivalent figure of the nation is a problem of its transitional history, its conceptual indeterminacy, its wavering between vocabularies, then what effect does this have on narratives and discourses that signify a sense of “nationness”: the heimlich pleasures of the hearth, the unheimlich terror of the space or race of the Other; the comfort of social belonging, the hidden injuries of class; the customs of taste, the powers of political affiliation; the sense of social order . . . the langue of the law and the parole of the people. (Nation and Narration 2) Bhabha’s queries weave together a series of intersections between individual and nation, between discrete fictions and metanarratives, and between colonizer and colonial “other,” whose specific manifestations I articulate in my analysis of the Raj novel genre and the Raj Revival. In referencing “langue” and “parole,” Bhabha invokes post-structural critiques of unstable narrative utterance. These terms, taken from the language theory of Ferdinand de Saussure, juxtapose the specific individual utterance (parole) with the overwhelming linguistic system into which that utterance inserts itself (langue). As with the Raj fictions providing one specific component of the British metanarrative of imperial identity, Bhabha’s concept of discursive nation construction as fitting discrete speech act into linguistic law bespeaks the ideological power I attribute to the Raj novel genre’s fictions of Anglo-Indian character. Bhabha’s reference to an “unheimlich” terror of the “Other” in the colonial space is similarly useful for its invocation of Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny,” which diagnoses unheimlich as a sense of profound unsettling spurred by the vision of one’s double or doppelganger.29 The Raj novel genre fictions, and later, the Raj Revival texts, confront in the space of the colonial encounter persons who threaten to upset the discourse of 29  Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny (New York: Penguin, 2003).  17  British “race” superiority I have been describing. The Raj novelists’ attempts to discursively contain this unsettledness with dominating fictional visions of Anglo-Indian ideality trampling across the “space or race of the Other” again shows the ways in which fiction conveys an ideological message of containment or control when put in service of a nation-building agenda. It is my argument that the ability of the Raj and Raj Revival authors to contain the pitfalls of unheimlich sensation endows even seemingly simple love stories with theoretical heft. Set apart geographically from the British Isles, the “narratives and discourses” of the Raj “signify a sense of ‘nationness’” in which Anglo-India is not only constitutive but potentially directive, modeling a form of character that supersedes Britishness formed outside India. This theorization builds upon the work of Benedict Anderson, whose seminal Imagined Communities (1983) attributes the rise of national consciousness to the birth of print culture. Anderson writes that “[n]ationalism has to be understood, by aligning it not with self-consciously held political ideologies, but with large cultural systems that preceded it, out of which - as well as against which - it came into being.”30 The Raj authors illuminate a subset within the (here, British) cultural systems Anderson describes, in part because these artists do not necessarily or consistently articulate “self-consciously held political ideologies”. Part of the interest of the Raj novels lies in their frivolity, in what can be read as a solipsistic focus on banal aspects of AngloIndian experience. Sara Jeannette Duncan’s The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib (1893) devotes nearly twenty pages to the purchase of furniture in 1800s Calcutta; Maud Diver’s novels about the heroic Desmond family diverge frequently into rhapsodic asides about the glories of the Himalayas. But in the minute examination of daily Anglo-Indian reality and environment, and in the explicit situating of that reality against Britishness at “Home,” the Raj authors (and the Raj Revivalists, in imitation) encapsulate a discrete idea of what British national character might 30  rd  Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, 3 ed. (London: Verso, 2006). 12.  18  – or should – be. The Raj novel and the Raj Revival works thus demand consideration amongst ongoing efforts to understand the formation of contemporary British nationhood, and to grasp the ramifications of imperialism’s constitutive role in Britain’s national mythologies. Other intellectual antecedents to my study include works such as Deirdre David’s Rule Britannia (1995), which explores how “the textual labor of empire” meant major cultural moments in 1950s/1960s Britain were “partially created, along with innumerable other cultural moments in the history of Britannia’s ruling of the waves, by the textual construction of empire to be found in Victorian writing.”31 David’s study focuses on the period of East India Company rule and concludes before the establishment of the Raj, but she anticipates the connections I draw between colonial and postcolonial British literature and society, and between Victorian literature of empire and the constitution of British national consciousness.32 Similarly, Patrick Brantlinger argues in Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (1990) that literature of empire and empire are conjoined: “Adventure and domesticity, romance and realism, are the seemingly opposite poles of a single system of discourse, the literary equivalents of imperialism abroad and liberal reform at home.”33 Even in the 1950s and 1960s, David writes, “a vastly diminished empire continued to define metropolitan existence.”34 Enabled by Brantlinger’s “single system of discourse,” I describe a feedback loop between Raj novel narratives of ideal British character formed through interaction with Homi Bhabha’s “unheimlich” Other in India, and British reading audiences at “Home”. The following analysis of how Raj novels written  31  Deirdre David, Rule Britannia (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1995). 4; xiii. However, as the subtitle of David’s work (“Women, Empire, and Victorian Writing”) indicates, her focus is on literature by women and the impact of these fictions on the constitution of Victorian and postcolonial female selfhood. While I analyze the images of female identity promoted by Victorian and early twentieth-century authors, my work is equally invested in what is seen as constituting British masculinity and in examining how hierarchies of gender are used in relation to hierarchies of race to police the Anglo-Indian and Indian communities. 33 Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1988). 12. 34 Deirdre David, Rule Britannia (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1995). 3. 32  19  subsequent to those studied by David participate in this process augments a rich body of critical work describing how British character in its contemporary manifestation evolved—and how that construct continues to be politically mobilized and developed today. With regards to audience, David writes: “The wealth derived from empire served to create a curious and mainly middle-class reading public” that eagerly consumed Victorian novels which “created that nation-defining construction on which the sun was never to set: the British empire” (Rule Britannia 4). In Chapters II and III, I delve more deeply into the creation of a middle-class British reading public to make the claim that, in reading about Empire, British audiences imbibed ideological messages about how to live out ideal Britishness on the AngloIndian model, even without practical experience living and working under the Raj. This alreadypresent separation between “Home” audiences and the Raj authors creates a space from which the 1970s/1980s Raj Revivalists reached back into Britain’s past, nostalgically recreating an empire which was, by the time they wrote, finished. Scholarly work on how early “national tales” facilitated the Irish independence movement is also relevant to my discussion. Katie Trumpener’s Bardic Nationalism (1997) explores how literature produced specific notions of what it meant to be Irish (or Indian; or Anglo-Indian), and details how such nascent national categories were negotiated in relation to the overarching identity of the colonizer (Britain). “On one level empires function by fixing a hierarchy of place and by instituting laws that keep colonized subjects in their respective places,” Trumpener argues. “[O]n another level they function only by perpetual motion” (244). Such motion includes the export of national tales to the colonies, where they offer the colonized subject a mode of discursive resistance against the colonial power.35 In dealing with Anglo-India, I explore the complexity suggested when national tales are written by authors who situate themselves in service of the colonial power instead of in 35  Katie Trumpener, Bardic Nationalism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1997). 249-59.  20  opposition to it. That is, the Raj novel genre crafts national tales of Anglo-India to help consolidate an idea of Britishness that supports, rather than resists, imperial rule. Again, the issue of audience is crucial: the avid consumption by readers of works as varied as Irish national tales and Raj love stories enabled the rapid spread of specific myths of national identity during a period in which, due to the presence of Britain’s imperial territories, those identities were hotly contested. A specific discourse emerges from the contact zone existence of the Raj writers; this discourse, in its circulation amongst the reading publics of Britain and Anglo-India, justifies the continuation of the political experiences that give it birth. Many Raj novelists demonstrate a canny awareness of this exchange. Duncan’s Set in Authority (1906), for example, makes the fashioning and emulation of national character through fiction a topic of humor. Anglo-Indian memsahib Mrs. Biscuit consumes novels about Anglo-India but is disappointed by real life there, reaching the “conclusion that either Pilaghur was far from being a ‘typical’ Indian station, or the novelists were simply not to be trusted” (87). Or in Alice Perrin’s The Woman in the Bazaar (1914), wise memsahib Mrs. Greaves mourns the misapprehensions spread when foolish young women bring tales of Anglo-Indian life back to audiences at “Home”: “She is a typical example of the kind of girl who deteriorates rapidly in India; and then people at home, who won’t try to understand, think India is to blame. She would have been just the same in England, or anywhere else . . . [but] she will probably go home and talk about her servants and her carriage and her men friends, and help to spread the false impression that out here all English women live like princesses and are nothing but brainless butterflies. It is such a mistake!” (79) In moments such as these, Raj novel genre texts reflect a savvy understanding of the reciprocity between fictional productions, the Anglo-Indian character and national identity celebrated in their novels, the negative stereotypes their works reject, and the response such imagery generates in the British Isles. The Raj novels thus help to set and center the jewel in Britain’s crown.  21  This ability to compel contemporary audiences has been well attested by prior scholars of the Raj novel genre, but as many authors in my study remain largely unknown, career highlights should be noted. As an eminent modernist, Forster is famous more widely than the other Raj writers I analyze, and with the exception of A Passage to India, his novels do not depict the Anglo-Indian experience. Kipling, then, was arguably the most famous Raj writer, in that the novels and short stories for which he achieved and maintained his fame center almost entirely on the British Raj and on Anglo-Indian experiences. Kipling was also the first English author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1907). His books were bestsellers, particularly his children’s fictions The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and Just-So Stories (1902), which remain popular in book and film form to this day. His poetry, particularly imperial odes such as “Recessional” (1897), is quoted repeatedly in descriptions of the British Empire. Flora Annie Steel’s immensely popular Mutiny novel, On the Face of the Waters (1896), was similarly influential, achieving circulation of half a million copies in less than two decades.36 Moreover, newspaper and magazine notices selected by publishers for inclusion in Steel’s flap copy introduce a recurrent theme in Raj novel promotion and marketing. The selected reviews repeatedly cite famous Raj novel genre writers as authorizing influences. In the case of Steel, such references are to Kipling; for later Raj writers, Steel herself is a touchstone. The validation of Raj novel works by reference to previous Anglo-Indian authors, and the further emphasis on accurate knowledge in reviews selected by publishers, situates the Raj authors as themselves characteristic of the knowledgeable Anglo-Indians celebrated in the fictions that comprise the  36  “Noted Writer is Held Up as ‘Senile,’” The New York Times, 14 March 1914. Steel was a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement; this article describes a late-life stopover at New York City en route to Jamaica, during which authorities attempted to block Steel’s entry at Ellis Island, claiming she was senile. Political involvement was characteristic of Steel. As Violet Powell’s biography, Flora Annie Steel: Novelist of Empire (1981) notes, portions of Steel’s 22 years in Anglo-India were spent working on educational reform, particularly education for women. Steel served as a school inspector and helped settle disputes in the Punjab, where her husband worked for the ICS.  22  genre. Like their characters, the Raj novelists are seen as “of’ India, organized into a specialized group distinguished by long residence in the subcontinent. A feedback loop is thus established, in which the Raj authors’ lives are seen as bearing out the imagery promulgated in their novels. For example, the Chicago Times wrote that Steel “knows the life of which she writes to its veriest details . . . she has a flow of language and sympathy,” while The Spectator excerpt notes that “[w]e have read Mrs. Steel’s book with ever-increasing surprise and admiration . . . We know that none who lived through the Mutiny will lay it down without a gasp of admiration, and believe that the same emotion will be felt by thousands to whom the scenes are depicted.”37 Kipling comparisons are numerous: reviewing Steel’s short story, “Lal” (1894), a critic wrote that “[t]his story is either by Kipling or Diabolus,”38 and The Daily Chronicle’s laudatory review of On the Face of the Waters called the novel a “picture, glowing with color, of the most momentous and dramatic event in all our Empire’s later history. Mrs. Steel has challenged comparison with Mr. Rudyard Kipling and she need not fear the result.” In general, critics agreed, Steel “knew far more about [India] than was considered necessary for a woman.”39 Steel’s authority is thus cast so absolutely that it can, as in reviews for On the Face of the Waters, compel even those who experienced the historical events to accept Steel’s version. The other female Raj authors did not enjoy Steel’s enormous volume of sales, but their novels were popular and generated enthusiastic reviews over decades of production; these reviews, again, are culled by publishers to emphasize themes of Anglo-Indian authority and  37  Reviews qtd in Voices in the Night: A Chromatic Fantasia 433. Qtd in Violet Powell, Flora Annie Steel: Novelist of India (London: Heinemann, 1981). 71. Publicity materials for Steel’s subsequent novel of India, The Hosts of the Lord (1900), claim “Mrs. Steel, after Mr. Rudyard Kipling, is the greatest novelist of India . . . No writer has shown more vividly the contrast between the civilized life of the AngloIndian and the strange native world of ancient fears and famine around him” (qtd. in The Hosts of the Lord 387). 39 Margaret MacMillan, Women of the Raj (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1988). 206. 38  23  community. Early Raj novelist Bithia Mary (B.M.) Croker was compared to Kipling and Steel40 (“Mrs. Croker has achieved a secure foothold in that temple of Anglo-Indian fiction whereof Rudyard Kipling is the high priest,” declared The Athenaeum). The Morning Post called her stories “among the best of their kind. The author knows equally well how to write of Anglo-India or purely native life.” The Scotsman said Croker wrote “from a peculiar knowledge of the life [her stories] describe.” Later Raj novelist Alice Perrin is described similarly.41 Her 1934 obituary in The Times states: “Mrs. Perrin was a realist, and all her work bears the stamp of sincerity and love of truth which characterized her as an individual . . . the reader feels keenly the heat, the dust . . . and all the sights and sounds and smells of the unchanging East.”42 The Guardian called Perrin’s Anglo-Indian novel The Waters of Destruction (1905) “unforced and natural . . . the characters, English and native, are described with humor and sympathy, and without exaggeration; while the whole is grouped into a homogenous, truthful picture.” The emphasis in publisher-selected notices on Croker and Perrin’s accuracy (and the reiteration of the stereotypes about India their novels perpetuate in items such as the Times’ obituary), along with the contemporary popularity of their works, speaks to a sense that the Raj novels gave a reliable accounting of Anglo-Indian life—a sense yet more pronounced in the promotion of Maud Diver.  40  The Times, discussing Croker’s short stories, also compared her to Steel: “Her ‘Village Tales’ are so good that they bracket her, in our judgment, with Mrs. F.A. Steel in comprehension of native Indian life and character.” Benita Parry’s Delusions and Discoveries usefully examines claims of authoritative knowledge in nineteenth and early twentieth-century analyses of Steel’s works; all reviews of Croker are quoted in her later story collection, Jungle Tales (London: Holden & Hardingham, 1913). np. 41 Perrin was also compared to Kipling, both in the financial and creative arenas. Her contemporary and friend, author Arnold Bennett, wrote that Perrin’s early Indian story collection, East of Suez, “sold well, & brought her into prominence. With Kipling, Barrie . . . Doyle, Jacobs, & sundry others she is an example of a reputation built on short stories” (Letters of Arnold Bennett 105-6). The success to which Bennett refers led to Perrin being granted a thenhefty advance of £150 for her novel of India, A Free Solitude (London: Chatto & Windus, 1907). Reviewers linked East of Suez with Kipling’s oeuvre; Punch wrote that “for graphic description, sharp, incisive sketches of character, and effective dramatic situation” the collection was “second only to the ‘Plain Tales’ of Rudyard Kipling; while two or three of them run even the best of Kipling’s uncommonly close” (qtd. in A Free Solitude n. pag). 42 “Mrs. Alice Perrin,” The Times, 15 Feb. 1934. 9.  24  Diver, a latter-day champion of Anglo-India and the Raj, campaigned passionately against the end of empire in fiction and nonfiction works alike; her writing has a particular afterlife among the 1970s/1980s Raj Revivalists. In reviews drawn from “Home” and AngloIndian sources alike, her publishers promoted her as espousing the truth of a “better” imperial self. The Athenaeum wrote that “Mrs. Diver excels in representing the better side of AngloIndian life, in bringing vividly before us its strenuousness, self-sacrifice and loyalty”; AngloIndian newspaper The Pall-Mall Gazette (at which Kipling worked during his “seven years hard”43 in India) wrote that Diver “presents, unostentatiously, the most inspiring aspect of Empire-building . . . [She] has few equals among contemporary writers.”44 As a literary author, Sara Jeannette Duncan received similar praise. In part because of her origins in British North America (named the Dominion of Canada five years after Duncan was born in Brantford, Ontario; her novel, The Imperialist [1904] is set in Canada), she has enjoyed a livelier critical afterlife than many Raj authors. Two biographies (Thomas Tausky’s Sara Jeannette Duncan: Novelist of Empire [1980] and A Different Point of View: Sara Jeannette Duncan [1991] by Misao Dean) and numerous articles by literary critics have been published analyzing her work. Of her Anglo-Indian works, contemporary reviewers praised Duncan as “always entertaining when she writes about India . . . her accounts of Anglo-Indian official society are extremely interesting and instructive.”45 The Athenaeum called Duncan’s Set in Authority (1906) a story “about India and the possibility of carrying our beloved doctrines of liberalism into practice in that strange land . . . In with the politics is wound a story of men and women, of love and loss  43  Drawn from a chapter heading in Kipling’s posthumously-published autobiography, Something of Myself (Edinburgh: R & R Clark, 1935). 44 Reviews qtd. in Candles in the Wind 393, 394. The reviews discuss, respectively, Captain Desmond, V.C. (1907) and The Great Amulet (1908), from Diver’s “Frontier Trilogy” about heroic Anglo-Indian dynasty, the Desmonds. 45 “Review of Set in Authority,” The Spectator 96, 28 June 1906. 989.  25  and hopes and fears.”46 Here again, a virtue of the Raj novels is their ability to compel audiences to a political viewpoint through the use of accessible genres (the domestic novel, humor, the short story). The praise Duncan wins for exporting “doctrines of liberalism” in tales of “love and loss and hopes and fears” exemplifies this mode of sympathetic and popular appeal. En masse, analysis of the Raj novel genre and the unique images of Anglo-Indian life and ideal British character, as well as the stereotypes of Indians and “Indianness” which these works produce and perpetuate, comprise Chapters I, II, III, and IV. Chapter I extends the theoretical groundwork for my project, giving a history of the British Raj and exploring the relationship of the Anglo-Indian community to the British nation more largely. I then provide a separate, indepth history of the 1857 Mutiny and the outpouring of “Mutiny novel” literature that followed this event. Having established these contextual frames, I argue in my analysis of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker (with Rudyard Kipling, the earliest Raj novelists surveyed) that Steel and Croker present a less complicated vision of British imperial authority than the Raj writers that follow them. In so doing, their portrayal of British character draws heavily on the tradition of the Mutiny novel, and achieves its straightforward casting of Anglo-Indian ideality by deploying tropes of Mutiny narrative, such as assertions about the widespread assault of British women by Indian men and the supposedly inherent brutality of India and Indians.47 Chapter II argues for the development of the Raj novel genre as a distinct body of work with a unique instigating generic exigence. In making this claim, I provide a definition of genre  46  “Review of Set in Authority,” The Atheneum 1:791, 30 June 1906. These assertions, scholars and historians agree, had little basis in reality. Much Mutiny-related violence involved retributive actions carried out by the British; in one particularly brutal example, captured mutineers were tied to the front of cannons, which were then fired (see Sharpe’s Allegories of Empire 76-78). One of Sharpe’s main arguments in Allegories of Empire is that images of violated white female bodies were constructed specifically to justify this violence on the part of the British (77). Astrid Erll argues similarly in “Re-writing as Re-Visioning: Modes of Representing the ‘Indian Mutiny’ in British Novels, 1857-2000” (2006); Erll adds that the constructedness of rape and murder imagery was noted in Britain as early as 1859, a year after the Mutiny ended (164). 47  26  that incorporates a brief history of the novel’s development in the early nineteenth century, and explores changes in reader perceptions of their relationships to fiction and fictional characters at this time. As I attribute the formulation of the Raj novel genre’s tropes, themes, and ideologies to Kipling, his short stories and novel Kim (1901) are read in detail here. I then explore how Sara Jeannette Duncan’s later Raj novels present a complex expansion of the Anglo-Indian character Kipling describes, and how Duncan thematizes the difficulty of conveying images of AngloIndian ideality to uncomprehending British audiences at “Home”. In Chapter III, I explore the consolidation of the Raj novel genre through the works of Alice Perrin and Maud Diver, and the critique of sedimented Raj novel genre themes, plots, and character descriptions as carried out by E.M. Forster in A Passage to India. Perrin and Diver’s novels, which I argue are representative of the bulk of Raj novel genre output, meld domestic scenes and political elements with genre conventions I argue are established in Kipling. Changes in Diver and Perrin’s depiction of Anglo-Indian character reveal a political situation in flux: as Indian independence became a reality, the methods by which Raj novelists idealized AngloIndians shifted, casting the community as ever more knowledgeable about and sympathetic to India’s “needs”. Having discussed these shifts, I read Forster’s A Passage to India as a critique of elements specific to the Raj novel, and argue that the inclusion of Raj novel elements in this text shows the power of the genre’s assumptions amongst British reading audiences. Chapter IV turns from an examination of how Britishness is depicted in the Raj novel genre to a consideration of how Indian character and the Indian environment are treated in these texts. I argue that specific, recurrent racist stereotypes allow the Raj novelists to further elevate their ideal of Anglo-Indian personal character, and to define themselves as a nascent national community apart from the Indians whom they ostensibly serve. This is the most studied aspect of  27  the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Raj novels, and this chapter offers in part a review of scholarship in this area, citing the work of scholars such as Benita Parry, Nancy Paxton, and Jenny Sharpe. My conclusions focus on the connection between racism in the Raj novel genre and the perpetuation of Anglo-India as an ideal for British readers at “Home”; my central question in this chapter is: “How does the denigration of Indianness allow a greater or more extensive celebration of Anglo-India’s ‘Britishness’?” Through close reading, I posit the techniques by which this subtle uplifting of Anglo-India’s community takes place. Having catalogued the traits that comprise ideal British character in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Raj novel genre, and having analyzed how racist depictions of Indians allow the upholding of that character as an ideal, Chapter V moves forward in time to the 1970s and 1980s. Here I examine the political milieu of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, with a focus on the 1982 Falkland Islands War, and a rhetorical analysis of statements by Thatcher during the conflict. Thatcher’s mode of argument, and her particular reliance on the poetry of Kipling to evoke a grand age of British imperial achievement, shows a continuation of the model of national character developed in my first four chapters. Chapter V then turns to an analysis of the Raj Revival, and closely reads notable texts from this period. I use historical documentation to demonstrate how Thatcher’s Falklands rhetoric and the books, films, and TV series of the Raj Revival participate in consensus building around a Conservative agenda of retrograde British imperial identity. Examination of Raj Revival texts shows the ways in which these works are specifically indebted to the Raj novels for their conception of the character traits that elevate Anglo-Indian identity; those traits, along with the Raj novel genre’s racist attitudes, are recalled in an effort to reassert Britain’s ongoing imperial greatness in the face of the Empire’s actual dissolution. The theoretical frame for this chapter is what Paul Gilroy calls  28  Postcolonial Melancholia (2005)—a national feeling of nostalgia for a lost period of British ascendance. My conclusion summarizes these ideas, and suggests avenues for future research. In sum, then, my dissertation argues that the Raj novel genre sees heroic Anglo-Indians perfecting traits of British character in circumstances impossible for British persons at “Home” to emulate. In the absence of empire, the Raj Revivalists take up this ideal, developing more complex justifications for British imperial rule and more elaborate apologias for its loss to the British national imaginary. Throughout, I return to the idea of Britain as a national community that conceptualizes its global identity through a metanarrative of imperial adventure and rule. Alex Inkeles and Daniel Levinson’s National Character: A Psycho-Social Perspective (1997), which gives a history of academic discourses on national character, posits the term as determined by “modal” or recurrent characteristics across a national body. National character’s components “are relatively enduring personality characteristics . . . character traits, modes of dealing with impulses and affects, conceptions of self,”48 Inkeles and Levinson conclude. In the Raj Revival, the personality traits catalogued in the Raj novel genre achieve the cultural and political currency for which nineteenth and early twentieth-century Anglo-Indian authors agitate. Now inextricable from Britain’s conception of itself as an imperial actor on the world stage, Anglo-Indian character traits venerated in the Raj novel genre offer Britain succor in the post-imperial era. When, in my senior year of undergraduate studies, I began to read M.M. Kaye’s novels through a postcolonial lens, my first response was the somewhat kneejerk: “I can’t believe I enjoyed these books; they’re so racist.” Now, many years later, by tracing the origin of Kaye’s imagery to the Raj novel genre and exploring the historical and cultural exigence that led the Raj novelists to doggedly promote an ideal of Anglo-Indian character, I attempt to delve into both  48  Alex Inkeles and Daniel J. Levinson, National Character (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1997). 13. Emphasis in original.  29  parts of my response: enjoyment as well as repulsion. The Raj novel and Raj Revival fictions succeed because the imagery they perpetuate is, on one level, deeply appealing. The idea that Britain wanted to do well by its imperial subjects, that it sought not personal or economic gain but uplift for the Indians it ruled, has nostalgic allure. However, even a cursory examination of the aftereffects of this mythology—in ongoing racism, anti-immigrant violence, and battles over what Britishness is, was, and will be in future—undermines such sentimental impulses. Better understanding how the Raj was formative to Britishness will productively inform future readings of literary or political rhetoric that mines the history of Britain and India’s imperial relationship, particularly those works that use tropes and themes specific to the Raj novel genre.  30  II. New Rule(rs), New Character—Ideal Anglo-Indians in the Novels of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker In May 1857, Indian sepoys and civilians rose up against the East India Company in a series of violent insurgencies which consumed the subcontinent for almost a year and led to the establishment of the British Raj, under whose auspices Britain’s government ruled India directly. At midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Raj ended, giving way to an independent India and Pakistan. And in April 1982, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took Great Britain to war against Argentina in a battle for control of the Falkland Islands, colonized by Britain in 1833. In this dissertation, I describe how connections between these disparate historical events can be found in the discursive productions of what I call the Raj novel genre, novels written by Anglo-Indian authors between 1858 and 1947, and the Raj Revival, novels and films produced in 1970s/1980s Britain. These texts are part of what I, following Jean-François Lyotard’s definition of the term in The Postmodern Condition (1979), call the “metanarrative” of British imperial identity. This metanarrative claims that British national and cultural identity is determined by Britain’s history as an imperial ruler, and by the stories and subjectivities created via Britain’s experiences colonizing and living abroad in the colonies. A “metanarrative implying a philosophy of history is used to legitimate knowledge,” Lyotard writes; in this legitimation, the dominant institutions governing the social bond are reified.49 The British Empire is supported by narratives of imperial adventure whose plots, imagery, and ideology depend on the hegemonic institutions of power that direct and organize colonizing and colonized bodies in the imperial space. In Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire (1979), Martin Green writes “[t]he adventure tales that formed the light reading of Englishmen for two hundred years . . . [were] the energizing myth of English imperialism. They were, collectively, the story England told itself as it went to 49  Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1984). xxiv.  31  sleep at night; and, in the form of its dreams, they charged England’s will with the energy to go out into the world and explore, conquer, rule.”50 The following theorization of the Raj novel genre, with the definition I produce of Anglo-Indian personal character, community, and the relation of Anglo-Indian interests to the larger concept of British national character, explores how Green’s “light reading” and “adventure tales” make ideological assertions about race and gender that charge an imperial nation’s “will with the energy to go out into the world” and rule. Raj novel genre and Raj Revival fictions are, to use Lyotard’s terms, “incorporated into the metanarrative of a subject that guarantees their legitimacy”. Speaking generally, Lyotard adds that this subject is made representative of “humanity” largely; it is this expansion from individual narrative to a sense of greater homogenizing belonging that I emphasize in applying Lyotard’s theory to the Raj novel genre. I read the subject as the British nation made synonymous with “humanity,” in an attempt to lend ideological justification to the practical realities of excess and exploitation that comprise the colonial project. As subject, the British nation disseminates smallscale narratives (such as the Raj novels or Green’s adventure tales) by which its founding mythologies are first constituted and then sustained. These narratives validate Britain’s exertion of power in political conflicts ranging from the Mutiny to Indian independence to the Falklands. The theory of a nation narrating its national self into being with which I deal draws upon postcolonial and postmodern theories of discursive subjectivity. In Nation and Narration (1990), Homi Bhabha writes that “[t]o encounter the nation as it is written displays a temporality of culture and social consciousness more in tune with the partial, overdetermined process by which textual meaning is produced through the articulation of difference in language” (2; emphasis Bhabha’s). Language and nation each try to put inherently changeable entities in concrete form. As with the lack of fixity he assigns textual meaning production, Bhabha argues that real nations 50  Martin Green, Dreams of Adventure, Deeds of Empire (New York: Basic Books, 1979). 3.  32  are impossibilities. Uncertain “temporality,” like the variability of language, exposes the constructed character of “nation” as deconstructive criticism undercuts an utterance’s claim to truth. We tell a story; we tell a nation. The similarity in these processes leads to slippage, and instances of narration emerge as compelling ideological utterances that encourage adherence to the nation they help create, confirm, and maintain. “Project and destiny,” Etienne Balibar writes, “are the two symmetrical figures of the illusion of national identity.”51 While such claims must be read in concert with the political realities defining Britain’s colonization of India, the figuring of national identity as predestined illusion which Balibar references allows Britain to rewrite economic exploitation as national mission. My analysis, in this respect, accords with that of scholars who argue national goals (project), and the sense of fated-ness (destiny) that accrues to those goals, garner power from narrative. Overtly constructed national identities derive strength from the illusive, yet still compelling, fictional form; this in turn allows the nation, seen as actor, to carry out actions which it inscribes as particular or constituent to its projected destiny. To provide a justificatory rationale for its actions, moral or ethical sensibilities are often woven into national fables of preordained purpose. In The Theory of the Novel (1920), Georg Lukacs notes an overt ethical component in novelistic renderings: “ethic—the ethical intention— is visible in the creation of every detail and hence is, in its most concrete content, an effective structural element of the work.”52 I argue that this perception of ethical responsibility, constitutive of the novel broadly, motivates the nationalistic mission I ascribe in Chapter II to the Raj novel genre. Lukacs views the novel as a form that arises when the uncertain modern world springs up around the text; like Bhabha’s nations, novels fracture in the acknowledgement of their final inability to be commensurate with the reality they represent. But this instability does 51  Etienne Balibar, “The Nation Form: History and Ideology,” in Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, ed. Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein (New York: Verso, 1992). 86. 52 Georg Lukacs, The Theory of the Novel, trans. Anna Bostock (Boston: MIT P, 1974). 72.  33  not strip them of ideological power. Lennard Davis also links novels and ideological agendas, arguing that “novels are pre-organized systems of experience in which characters, actions, and objects have to mean something in relation to the culture in which the novel is written, and in relation to the readers who are in that culture.”53 In my analysis of how the Raj and Raj Revival novels play a role in the construction of Britain’s national character, I integrate Lukacs’ theory of ethical intention as structural component of the novel with Davis’ argument that novels are understood in spaces of cultural interrelation. By constructing Anglo-Indians as ethical actors, the Raj novel genre writers produce a new cultural framework within which Britain may grasp and embrace its imperial enterprise. This embrace continues, more fervently, in the Raj Revival. With the end of the Raj comes further fictional construal of the importance of empire to Britain’s global identity, and the celebration of Anglo-Indian goodness as intrinsic to that identity. Critical theories of how novels take a prescriptive role in British historical development and ideological change thus guide my close readings in Chapters I, II, and III. Here, I analyze Raj texts whose energizing role in the British imperial mission has not been considered in detail, or which have been read with regard to race or gender issues rather than to theories of AngloIndian identity construction. While certain Raj novels were overwhelmingly popular in their day, it is their afterlife, and specifically the afterlife of their image of British national character, upon which I focus my study. My linkage between the Raj and Raj Revival novels takes a diachronic understanding of literature’s impact on history, arguing that books and politics form relationships of influence over time. Further, in analyzing this linkage I develop the idea of a collective national unconscious to which the works of the Raj novelists and Raj Revivalists each contribute. Speaking of the individual psyche, Sigmund Freud writes: “What is forgotten is not extinguished but only ‘repressed’; its memory-traces are present in all their freshness, but they are isolated by 53  Lennard Davis, Resisting Novels (New York: Metheun, 1987). 24.  34  ‘counter-cathexes.’”54 The unconscious mind, in Freud, continually represses the emotional charge carried by sentimental bonds; thwarted from overt resurgence, these powerful emotions, or “memory-traces,” reappear in subtle linguistic slips or fantasies—resurgences which I argue occur, on a broad level, in the fictions read here. As in studies like Paul Gilroy’s Postcolonial Melancholia (2005), I argue that Freudian processes of repression and reemergence take place on a national level. Peter Mandler, tracing the evolution of The English National Character (2006), argues that the titular concept “seeks to yoke real national differences based on a wide variety of experiences to a few key psychological traits to which those national characteristics may have no connection” (2). Integral to its coherence, the nation is conceived of as being or thinking like a human. Throughout my analysis, I query how an inchoate entity such as the nation, taken as the unstable, constructed object Bhabha describes, can be said to react in psychologically meaningful ways to phenomena such as loss. To ground these larger arguments, in this chapter I establish a historical context for the terms and references used in this dissertation. An overview of the Raj, from its establishment in 1858 after the cessation of hostilities surrounding the Mutiny, to Indian independence in 1947, demarcates this period from the preceding centuries of British control. During the 1700s and 1800s, the East India Company oversaw British interests in India along primarily commercial lines. The Raj and the Company employed different modes of rule with different degrees of oversight from the British government; the ideological resonances of this difference alter the tone and content of the fictional works each era produced. The Raj also saw a more careful definition of the term “Anglo-Indian,” and I analyze here how this descriptor acquired greater political significance as the Anglo-Indian community grew. Finally, I give a separate, in-depth 54  Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism, trans. Katherine Jones (New York: Vintage, 1955). 121. In Freud, a cathexis is the investment of psychic or emotional energy in an object, person, or concept; a “counter-cathexis” is the prevention of such investment from developing, or the cessation of previously formed development.  35  history of the Indian Mutiny and an outline of the Mutiny novel form, which reached its peak of popularity in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This detail about the Mutiny and Mutiny literature frames my close reading of Flora Annie Steel’s On the Face of the Waters (1896), Voices in the Night – A Chromatic Fantasia (1900), and The Hosts of the Lord (1900), and B.M. Croker’s Mr. Jervis (1894). Steel was one of the most commercially successful Mutiny novelists; Croker, her contemporary, wrote many novels and short stories about Anglo-India while contributing, with Mr. Jervis, to the Mutiny novel oeuvre. I spotlight Steel and Croker because they are among the earliest Raj novelists to be both popular and well-reviewed, and because their novels exemplify the earliest incarnation of Raj novel character idealization through Mutiny novel tropes. With respect to the development of Anglo-India as a nation within a nation, the analysis of nation-building as a discrete phenomenon formalized by Benedict Anderson in Imagined Communities (1983) and Ernest Gellner in Nations and Nationalism (1983) directs my argument. This project explores the crafting of a national identity which attempts to dissociate itself from the practical fact of Britain’s exploitative relationship with her colonies (David Cannadine notes a similar disconnect between “the British Empire as a social structure and hierarchical vision” and “the “realities of imperial power politics”55 in Ornamentalism [2001]). I thus encounter the possibility of replicating the occlusion of race and gender difference for which postcolonial critics rightfully impugn the Raj writers. Gellner argues that Generally speaking, nationalist ideology suffers from pervasive false consciousness. Its myths invert reality: it claims to defend folk culture while in fact it is forging a high culture; it claims to protect an old folk society while in fact helping to build up an anonymous mass society . . . Nationalism tends to treat itself as a manifest and self-evident principle, accessible as such to all men . . . when in fact it owes its plausibility and compelling nature only to a very special set of circumstances.56 55 56  David Cannadine, Ornamentalism (London: Allen Lane, 2001). 144. nd Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, 2 ed (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006). 119-20.  36  Understanding how the Raj novelists portray Anglo-India as a “national” community discrete from Britain and how Raj fictions merge idealization of Anglo-India with the metanarrative of British imperial identity requires a careful parsing of how they construct a particular form of “pervasive self-consciousness”. To make this connection, I build upon the work of critic David Carroll, who situates M.M. Bakhtin’s concept of monologic discourse, a series of utterances which do not admit the validity of the listener, as a form of Lyotard’s metanarrative. Carroll’s formulation is useful because Bakhtin sees monologic utterances always bounded by a constrictive field of national consciousness. Imperial Britain’s perception of Indian inferiority and unspeakability, augmented by the Raj novel genre and the Raj Revival, forms a monologic discursive field. At times “the language collective is regarded as a kind of collective personality, ‘the spirit of the people,’”57 Bakhtin writes. Yet, geographic separation from Britain and the cultural inferiority assigned them by British persons from “Home” places Anglo-Indians outside participation in the “spirit” or personality defined by Britain’s imperial adventures. Anglo-India must articulate its collective identity, constantly negotiating its inclusion in the metanarrative of British imperial selfhood, with the Anglo-Indian subject valorized increasingly as counter to potential rejection by Britons at “Home”. “A metanarrative demands,” Carroll writes, “that all alternative narrative possibilities be repressed or subsumed into it; it is terroristic or totalitarian in the sense that it assigns every narrator, listener, and actor a place and makes each responsible for the place assigned to him.”58 In the Raj novel genre, nineteenth and twentieth-century Raj writers dispute that place of assignment, presenting an alternate narrative that can be subsumed into the metanarrative only after its constituent power in Britain’s larger story is acknowledged. 57  M.M. Bakhtin, “The Problem of Speech Genres,” in Speech Genres & Other Late Essays, trans. Vern W. McGee, nd ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, 2 ed. (Austin: U of Texas P, 2004). 68. 58 David Carroll, “Narrative, Heterogeneity, and the Question of the Political: Bakhtin and Lyotard,” in The Aims of Representation, ed. Murray Krieger. (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1987). 77. Emphasis Carroll’s.  37  To make this argument, I describe how the Raj novel genre and Raj Revival develop their own monologic discourse which excludes the colonized subject so as to venerate specific AngloIndian male and female personal character traits developed through duty performed on the subcontinent, my conception of character and its function being expanded in Chapter II. Such a description risks replicating the mechanisms of exclusion by which the Raj novels police the imagined borders of their nation. However, detailed close reading is required because the ideological work of the Raj novels is implicit rather than explicit: that is, Raj novel models of British identity are presented in the course of seemingly straightforward romantic adventure tales. Benita Parry writes in Delusions and Discoveries (1972; 1998) that “[w]hen British rule over India in the late nineteenth century took on the ideology of an Anglo-Saxon mission to the dark peoples of the globe, the British-Indian encounter became a battle expressed as a political struggle and experienced as a psychic crisis” (30). This description clarifies the tri-partite task of analyzing how the Raj novels set ideal Anglo-Indian character as constituent to British national identity: “the ideology of an Anglo-Saxon mission”; political struggle; and psychic crisis are all implicated. Yet the three aspects are not easily isolated and do not appear discretely in each Raj novel. For instance, Flora Annie Steel emphasizes the ideology of Anglo-Saxon mission and political struggle at the expense of psychic crisis. What the Raj novels concur on is the idea that Anglo-Indian identity was distinct and describable, defined by specific, recurrent personality traits which made it superior to other forms of Britishness. For example, Parama Roy writes in Indian Traffic (1998) that Rudyard Kipling’s Anglo-Indians “may be said to ‘choose’ India in a manner not available to the native” (86). The selflessness and empowerment the Raj writers see in this choice is one of the elevating characteristics their texts assign the Anglo-Indian.  38  The following analyses attempt to categorize this and other traits assigned to the AngloIndian actor, while bearing in mind the theoretical pitfalls of setting up Anglo-India as an unquestioned ‘national’ ideal. Cautioning against hasty equation of the titular subjects in Nation and Narration, Simon During, in “Literature – Nationalism’s other? The case for revision,” urges critics to distinguish between “culturalism” and “nationalism” because the imperial project inflected the terms differently at different historical moments. During sees nationalism as the set of discursive practices which define and celebrate a nation-state or an individual’s membership within that nation-state. Nationalism, he specifies, is a product of modernity.59 Culturalism, while also a set of signifying behaviors that unites a group, pre-dates the nationalist concept. This distinction allows the Raj novel writers to dismiss the Indian desire for independence; these writers portray India as mired in a “primitive” culturalism that does not admit the modernity of nations. In a simultaneous move—one whose contradictory heft is not noted in the genre—the culturalism/nationalism divide allows the Raj writers to cast the imperial duties carried out by Anglo-Indians as inextricable from the development of British culture. That is, the Raj novels backdate empire so that it figures in the pre-history of the British nation as an essential British cultural practice. “Imperialist thought,” During writes, “possesses itself of culturalism because cultures are even more worth fighting for than nations; hierarchies of cultures seeming to fix identities, whereas hierarchies of nations merely [seem] to belong to history and politics” (139). The identity fixing During describes is, in large part, the Raj novel project. I thus establish a bridge between the nineteenth-century Raj texts, the selfhoods that emerge from them, and the recurrence of those images of selfhood in the late twentieth-century Raj Revival. Overlapping, yet separate, the spheres of culture and nation, and the moments at  59  During does not specifically date his use of the term “modernity,” but locates the concept roughly in the “earlynineteenth-century,” a period in which he observes “a scene of individual cultures chasing after nationhood” (139).  39  which the two meet or diverge, are the point at which politically salient images of Britishness that yoke culture and nation appear. In The Oxford History of the British Empire (1999), Andrew Porter notes that in addition to its economic, diplomatic, and political impacts, “the possession and expansion of an Empire also markedly influenced Britain’s ‘cultural’ – that is, social, institutional, religious, and intellectual – development” (1). Being thus mindful of the linkage between culture and nation in the imperial context, my close readings tie character traits and Anglo-Indian cultural norms promoted by the Raj novelists (along rigid gender binaries, the theoretical implications of which are also discussed) to a vision of British national belonging. It must be admitted that, while their subtext is intellectually productive, the Raj novels are by and large not artful literature, and the authors’ portrayals of race and gender are often distasteful to contemporary sensibilities.60 Dismissing the claims of all but a few Raj works to literary excellence, Benita Parry dubs Anglo-Indian writing “a literature of bombastic selfadvertisement and cloying self-pity in which [Anglo-Indians] featured as supermen, as marvels of efficiency and endurance, probity and moral excellence.”61 Yet, the close of Parry’s condemnation points to the space within which my project works, and to the necessity of close reading the Raj novels’ portrait of ideal British character as developed in Anglo-India. The Raj novelists’ influence comes in their ability to conjure up a slate of desirable personal qualities (such as those listed by Parry) and to “sell” those qualities so compellingly that artists working a century after revisit the Raj novel catalogue of character traits in detail. This exchange recalls Peter Mandler’s claim that national character develops when differences—presented in the Raj  60  A concern examined in detail in Chapter IV of this work, which explores portrayals of Indians, and particularly portrayals of interracial romance, in the Raj novel genre. Chapter V briefly addresses the perpetuation of stereotypes particular to the Raj novel genre in the Raj Revival. 61 Benita Parry, Delusions and Discoveries (London: Allen Lane, 1972). 40. In Chapter II, I argue that Raj novels and short stories written by Rudyard Kipling and Sara Jeannette Duncan display a greater level of artistic craftsmanship; in Chapter III, I add E.M. Forster to this list.  40  novels between Anglo-Indians and Indians, though these writers are also compelled by differences between Anglo-Indians and Britons at “Home”—are yoked to key psychological traits. The majority of the Raj novels, while popular in their contemporary moment, have not found lasting fame in the literary canon. But they have had an ongoing impact on British culture nonetheless—many of the Raj Revival texts received the Booker Prize,62 today one of Great Britain’s highest literary honors. It is the work of this chapter to argue how works from a less fêted genre, written less than well, use the assignation of psychological traits to produce a national identity and make a demonstrable impact that ties the exercise of the literary imagination to processes of historical and political change.  The British Raj in Practice and Ideology, 1858-1947 The British Raj was established in 1858 and controlled an expanding area of territory on the subcontinent until the formal granting of Indian Independence on August 15, 1947. British colonialists63 exerted control over India through the auspices of the East India Company (or “John Company”) from the mid-eighteenth century onward, and had informal influence in the century prior. Company rule was decentralized, however, and until the mid-1800s, informal and mainly focused on monetary gain. Angus Wilson describes the distinguishing attitude of this period as “‘make your lakhs of rupees and come home.’”64 The Company was also maledominated: the steamship voyage around the Cape of Good Hope prior to the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal discouraged transport of British women to India, the passage being considered 62  I refer to J.G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, which won the Booker in 1973; Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust, which won in 1975; and Paul Scott’s Staying On, which won the Booker in 1977. 63 In distinguishing between “colonialism” and “imperialism,” I follow Robert Young’s delineation of the terms in Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (2001). Young argues that colonialism involves an empire, or a group of states and territories, used for settlement or commercial purposes. Imperialism, in contrast, is a state operation which works from the center outward and has an ideological aspect. Colonialism, in a sense, is practical where imperialism is more conceptual. In India, ‘Company’ rule would be called colonialist where the Raj is imperial. 64 Angus Wilson, The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979). 22. “Lakh” is the Hindi word for “thousand.”  41  too difficult. In contrast, the Raj was a family affair. Increasing numbers of British women and children lived in India in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; sons followed fathers into the Indian Army or the Indian Civil Service, the latter an elite administrative apparatus formed in 1858 after the Mutiny. These sons raised families in India, and over the next 50 to 60 years an Anglo-Indian community with discrete social spaces, such as the cantonment, club, and maidan, developed.65 The introduction of new educational techniques, new technologies, and a new legal system were points of emphasis under the Raj. While many “improvements” of this type (such as the Great Indian Peninsular Railway and the East Indian Railway; trunk roads between major cities in India; universities in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras) began in the last twenty years of Company rule, they were then viewed by Liberal politicians as developing India along an English model: “The government of India had set out to give its subjects, so far as might be, an English mind.”66 From 1858 on, a paternal, corrective attitude replaced this Liberal rhetoric. Benita Parry cites “the belief that it rested with the British to supervise the functioning of Indian society and to guide India’s future.”67 India was now seen as difficult and intractable, a country and people in need of ongoing supervision. This view is visible in Raj novels such as Rudyard Kipling’s Kim (1901), in which British surveillance of India forms the main plot, and Alice Perrin’s The Anglo-Indians (1912) and Idolatry (1909), whose heroes are educators correcting recalcitrant Indians. This ideological change was partly a response to the Mutiny, an uprising in 1857-1858 by Indian soldiers (sepoys) and Indian civilians. The causes for the Mutiny are complex; I provide a 65  Hobson-Jobson: The Dictionary of Anglo-India, writes of “cantonment” that “[t]his English word has become almost appropriated as Anglo-Indian, being so constantly used in India, and so little used elsewhere. It is applied to military stations in India, built usually on a plan which is originally that of a standing camp” (158). The meaning of “club” follows standard usage (a building for a select social group—here, the British—where various leisure activities are pursued). “Maidan” was essentially a large athletic field upon which the British gathered for sport. 66 Sir Adolphus William Ward, The Cambridge History of English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1930). 336. 67 nd Benita Parry, Delusions and Discoveries, 2 ed. (London: Verso, 1998). 29.  42  detailed summary of instigating events, and of the violence that consumed the subcontinent for almost a year, in framing my close analysis of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker. Viewed in the broader context of Indo-British relations, Thomas Metcalfe notes in Ideologies of the Raj (1997) that “the liberal presumption that all men were inherently rational and educable fell to the ground [after the Mutiny], and with it the expectation that India could be transformed on an English model” (47). This rejection of the uplift strategy was rooted in racist presumptions of Indians as brutal, ungrateful, and impossible to educate; Raj attitudes came to embody what Metcalfe calls a British sense of “difference from, and superiority to, their Indian subjects” (48). This view ensured that during the near-century of Raj rule there was little real social contact between British and Indian. “British racism,” Jenny Sharpe writes in Allegories of Empire (1993), “comes into its own during the high era of British imperialism” (4).68 If and when British and Indian characters interact in the Raj novels, such dealings are almost always pedagogical (Briton as teacher or missionary), hostile (Indian as enemy), or servile (Indians serving the British as ayahs [nannies] or soldiers). Simon Gikandi’s Maps of Englishness describes the “constant reminders of the ways in which British and colonial identities are staged as radically different and yet inherently similar” (2) and something of this constitutive ambiguity appears in the ideological productions of the Raj. Indians in Raj novels are enough like the British to be ruled with methods exported wholesale from Britain, but it is assumed this guidance will not take because of some fundamental Indian inferiority. Concurrent to the ideological shift between Company and Raj, the geographic space of British India was formally defined in 1876 when the Royal Titles Bill, conceived by Benjamin Disraeli, made Queen Victoria Empress of India. The bill was part of Disraeli’s “new Tory  68  The ideological shift Metcalfe and Sharpe describe is well-documented in analyses of British India and its rhetoric. Pamela Lothspeich (2007) and Bart Moore-Gilbert (1996) also provide useful histories.  43  strategy,” Metcalfe writes: “[E]mpire was to be set alongside the ‘maintenance of the institutions of the country,’ which for Disraeli included, above all, the monarchy, the established church, and the House of Lords.”69 True to Disraeli’s aims, India and empire came to preoccupy the British popular imagination in this period. Gikandi, aligning himself with Edward Said’s thesis on this point in Said’s Culture and Imperialism (1993), writes that “colonized peoples and imperial spaces were crucial ingredients in the generation and consolidation of a European identity and its master narratives . . . the imperial map of the world was to thread its way into the cultural products of the West.”70 The second half of the nineteenth century is the high imperial period Sharpe mentions, and Gikandi’s observation about the consolidation of “master narratives” of European identity at this time mirrors my argument about the consolidation of a British metanarrative of imperial identity, and the focus in the Raj novels on ensuring Anglo-Indian voices were numbered among the “cultural products of the West” Gikandi cites. However, despite British confidence in the economic, cultural, and psychological benefits of empire, resistance to imperial rule was stirring in India. In 1878, Viceroy Lord Lytton signed the Vernacular Press Act, restricting the activities of papers in indigenous Indian languages; in 1883 Viceroy Lord Ripon partly reversed the Ilbert Bill, which would have given Indian judges authority equal to British judges.71 This controversial move and the growing influence of India’s powerful middle class helped lead to the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Congress became the main organizing entity for India’s independence movement, with Mahatma Gandhi helping direct its operations from 1917 onward. Contentious issues in the late 1800s included the deployment of Indian soldiers in imperial campaigns and the ongoing use of India 69  Thomas Metcalfe, The New Cambridge History of India, Vol. III (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003). 59 Simon Gikandi, Maps of Englishness (New York: Columbia UP, 1996). 5. Gikandi refers to Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism (New York: Vintage, 1994). 71 Edwin Hirschmann, “White Mutiny”: The Ilbert Bill Crisis in India and Genesis of the Indian National Congress (New Delhi: Heritage, 1980). 70  44  as a market for British-produced goods at the expense of local industry. Further, during the Raj, territories under direct British rule were interspersed with independent “princely states”. After the Mutiny, rulers who remained loyal to the British were granted special titles and privileges. However, from 1858 to 1947, many states were absorbed into British India through semi-legal manipulations of law and inheritance clauses, a process begun under the East India Company which met with much resistance.72 In counterpoint to these rumblings, the Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon (1899-1905) and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (1897), during which Rudyard Kipling wrote his famous imperial ode “Recessional,” were high points for the Raj. Curzon’s speeches embody the British enthusiasm for imperialism and rule over India in this period: “It is only when you get to see and realize what India really is – that she is the strength and greatness of England – it is only then that you feel that every nerve a man may strain, every energy he may put forward cannot be devoted to a nobler purpose than keeping tight the cords that hold India to ourselves.”73 In Rule of Darkness, Patrick Brantlinger calls this a time of “easy confidence about British world domination” (x). During Curzon’s tenure, Anglo-India’s administrative and financial apparatuses were streamlined, the North-West Frontier Province was created, and Bengal was controversially partitioned in 1905 to form the new Muslim province of East Bengal and Assam. Resistance from the area’s Hindu population, many of whom lost land revenue in the split, took the form of Swadeshi, an organized boycott of British goods. (Swadeshi is a component of Gandhi’s Swaraj [self-rule] strategy, articulated in his 1909 essay, “Hind Swaraj”). In response to agitation by Hindus, the All-India Muslim League formed in 1906. Bengal’s partition was rescinded in 1911,  72  During Lord Dalhousie’s tenure as Governor-General (1848-1856), the Company instituted policies such as the Doctrine of Lapse, which allowed the British to take over any land belonging to a feudal ruler if said ruler did not leave a legitimate male heir to inherit upon his death. 73 Qtd. in Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London: Futura, 1983). 243.  45  coincident with the Delhi Durbar at which King George was crowned Emperor of India, and it was announced that the capital would move from Calcutta to a redesigned site in “New” Delhi. The beginning of World War I (1914-1918) marked a clear break in Britain’s conception of its imperial identity as incumbent on continued possession of India. To secure the support of the Indian people, particularly Congress, for the war effort, the British government began serious discussions of independence during WWI. Legislation in this direction, dubbed the MontagueChelmsford Reforms after then-Secretary of State Edwin Montague and Viceroy Lord Chelmsford, was drafted from 1916 to 1921.74 Raj novels written after World War I thus reflect a growing sense of empire’s inevitable end. Where early books, such as Steel and Croker’s, reject amoral Company rule and celebrate the Raj’s positive aims and effects, Raj novels written after 1918 tend to manifest great anxiety about the future of empire. Such anxiety was warranted. In 1919 the British forced passage of the controversial Rowlatt Act, allowing the government to imprison for up to two years, without trial, any person suspected of terrorism. Widespread protests from the Indian populace ensued, and martial law was declared around the country, including the city of Amritsar, where on April 13, 1919, General Dyer ordered his soldiers to fire into Jallianwala Bagh, a public park with only one exit where unarmed Indians were peacefully demonstrating. More than 1,000 Indians were wounded; 379 were killed.75 The “Amritsar Massacre,” as it came to be known, formed a rallying point for independence activists. When Dyer became a hero for many British persons at “Home,” tension increased further.76  74  Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India, told Parliament in August 1917 in a speech written by Curzon that British policy in India was moving toward “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire” (Moore 719). In 1916, two Home Rule parties were founded in the Congress, one by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and one by the Englishwoman Annie Besant. 75 The Government of India’s statistics; estimates of casualties varied widely. 76 Nigel Collett’s The Butcher of Amritsar (2005) details Dyer’s popularity at “Home” (320-40).  46  In December 1919, the Government of India Act established a diarchy that divided administrative authority between elected Indian legislators and elected British authorities. The measure was considered excessive by proponents of British rule and insufficient by advocates of independence. Massive civil disturbances, including strikes, marches, and protests, unsettled the last three decades of the Raj, with Gandhi launching a movement of resistance through noncooperation in 1920. Many Congress members, including Gandhi and Congress President Jawaharlal Nehru, were imprisoned by the British during this period. In 1935, the Government of India Act ended diarchic rule and laid the groundwork for Independence by instituting independent legislatures in all provinces, forming a central government that incorporated the princely states with areas of British control, and laying out protection for the Muslim minority. India’s Constitution was based in part on this act. World War II began in 1939; with its end in 1945, independence for India was virtually assured. The “Partition” of the subcontinent on August 15, 1947 into separate Muslim (Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) and Hindu (India) states led to a horrific wave of ethnic violence that consumed both countries for weeks and left an estimated 600,000 people dead. Responses from Britain were condemnatory and self-castigating in equal measure. Leonard Mosley’s The Last Days of the British Raj (1961), a history of 1946-1947 whose visible proBritain bias makes it an early piece of Raj Revivalism, claims that “when one considers how much goodwill there was behind Britain’s wish to give India her freedom, what a stinking bog of unpreparedness, blunders, and appalling lack of planning separated the wish from the achievement” (246). Maud Diver’s Raj novel, Far to Seek (1921), places similar sentiments in the mouth of an Indian character, who claims of the Independence Movement: “‘It was British policy in the first place . . . that stirred up this superficial ferment; and now it grows alarming’”  47  (255). This dissertation explores how Mosley’s “history” came, in its specific emphases, to mirror Raj novel genre celebrations of Anglo-Indian influence, and how the cultural history of Great Britain in the 1980s was haunted and shaped by the Raj’s cultural and political history. “Adventure and Prospects to the Right Sort”: The Self-Definition of Anglo-India From 1858 to 1947, then, life for British civilians, administrators, soldiers, and officers in India changed greatly. With those changes came an increasing preoccupation with the particulars of Anglo-Indian community. What was Anglo-India, and how, as a group, should Anglo-Indians define themselves, particularly in relation to “British” national and imperial identity? Attempts to address this question recur in the Raj novels. From the work of Rudyard Kipling forward—and even in the earlier, Mutiny-centered works by Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker which I read here—“Anglo-Indian” is treated as an identity with a specific history, literature, and legacy: 77 Anglo-Indians were British persons who lived, worked, and in some cases, were born and/or died in India. Jenny Sharpe writes in Allegories of Empire that “Anglo-Indians did not comprise a white settler colony so much as a community in exile” (165; n4). Concurring with this view, in The Cambridge History of English Literature (1930), Sir Adolphus William Ward unintentionally reveals the stakes of Anglo-India’s investment in defining their community, codifying the quality of their character, and establishing a distinct literary school for their artistic productions. Working from a markedly “Home” perspective, Ward writes: Anglo-Indian literature, as regards the greater part of it, is the literature of a comparatively small body of Englishmen who, during the working part of their lives, became resident in a country so different in every respect from their own that they seldom take root in its soil. On the contrary, they strive to remain English in thought and aspiration . . . throughout the period of their life in India, they are subject to the 77  This nineteenth and early twentieth-century definition is distinct from the current meaning of the term. Today “Anglo-Indian” refers to persons of mixed British and Indian ancestry, persons referred to in the Raj novels as “Eurasians”. As with the term, “Mutiny,” I use the definition contemporary to the Raj novels in my analysis.  48  influence of two civilizations, but they never lose their bias towards that of England, which, in most cases, ultimately reabsorbs them. Anglo-Indian literature, therefore, is, for the most part, merely English literature strongly marked by Indian local color . . . the Anglo-Indian writer must, as a rule, make his appeal mainly to the public in England and only secondarily to the English community in India. (331) Alongside Ward’s general tone of dismissal, the essential characteristics of his description are the claim that Anglo-Indian literature is little more than English literature “marked by Indian local color,” and that, Anglo-Indian audiences being insufficient, Anglo-India’s literary output was primarily intended for consumption in Britain. These points form a subtext in the Raj novels, with the Raj authors perceiving that their books, light as the plots may be, are textual emissaries for Anglo-India’s larger community. That community was never large—Nancy Paxton notes in Writing Under the Raj (1999) that in 1901 approximately 170,000 Anglo-Indians dwelt amongst an Indian population of 294,000,000, with a Eurasian population of 89,000 (198). Despite its small size, however, Anglo-India felt itself possessed of a distinct identity. Introducing Parry’s Delusions and Discoveries (1998), Michael Sprinker writes: . . . much British writing on India was intended to speak, not to Indians themselves, but to two distinct publics: the one resident in the imperial metropole and for the most part ignorant of Indian realities; the other that community of Anglo-Indians that lived and worked in the sub-continent and posed as the rightful, natural rulers of its indigenous inhabitants. Maintenance of the Raj required not only relative quiescence among the ruled, it equally demanded that the rulers believe in the justice and necessity of their mission, affirming its high-minded purpose and its status as a noble human calling. For hegemony is not just something those who dominate imposed on the dominated, it must at the same time be promulgated among the Herrenvolk, who have continually to be reminded that their rule is sanctioned by right. (x) Sprinker’s argument, and Parry’s analyses, mark the first major examination of reciprocity between the Raj novels, audiences in Anglo-India, and readers at “Home” in Britain. By conceiving of the Raj novels as part of the process by which British power was naturalized in colonial India and the British metropole as noble and necessary, Sprinker evokes the ways in which specific fictions assisted the larger hegemonic understanding of British identity formed via 49  the experience of imperial rule. My analysis intervenes at this juncture, arguing that the project of the Raj novels goes beyond the general promulgation of hegemonic British imperial power to which Sprinker refers. The Raj texts work to make the figure (or, as I describe in Chapter II, the character) of the Anglo-Indian a justification of the imperial enterprise in and of itself. In the ensuing interchange, the Raj texts enact fictional imperial scenarios, to which the response of idealized Anglo-Indian men and women “sanction[s] by right” the imperial mission. Here again, I argue, the Raj novel genre intervenes in Britain’s monologic metanarrative of imperial identity by drawing comparisons between Britain and Anglo-India—and, as Parry notes, between Anglo-Indians and their Indian subjects. These comparisons are implicit (valorization of specific aspects of Anglo-Indian character developed by Raj service) and explicit, as in this line from Alice Perrin’s The Anglo-Indians: “None of those difficulties existed in India that made life so complicated in England for those who had not the advantage of recognized family claims, or an assured monetary position. In India no English official people were wealthy, and the same recreations, the same meeting-places were open to one and all” (170). Perrin’s Raj novel sets the British subject as interchangeable with humanity via the phrase “one and all”; Perrin does not comment on the irony of India’s subjugation being necessary to achieve that equality, but casts her gaze outward, arguing that Anglo-India is an egalitarian counterpart for the English subject to rigid Great Britain—the constrictions of which recall David Carroll’s understanding of metanarrative as “totalitarian” in its restriction of identity. Comparison is also made between Britain and India through the figure of the “globe-trotter,” a person out from “Home” to inspect and criticize Anglo-India. The globe-trotter’s presence demonstrates that, in fiction as in reality, Anglo-India perceived itself to be under constant surveillance by British audiences. Michael Sprinker speaks of “promulgating hegemony”; the term is drawn from Marxist philosopher  50  Antonio Gramsci, who argued that the dominant class does not impose power unilaterally, but gains adherence to its ideological program through cultural leadership. The subordinated classes “choose” to participate in the power structures of the class which oppresses them. To return to Lyotard, then, those without the cultural capital to construct and disseminate a metanarrative may choose to participate in the extant metanarrative, believing they gain cultural power by so doing. They thus become part of the hegemonic construct by which the dominant class maintains power. In the practical context of the Raj novels, this abstract formulation is realized as follows: the Raj writers take up the hegemonic construct of British imperial identity, accede to its descriptions of British character by using its terms and ideas, but attempt to gain power within its metanarrative by inscribing an idealized Anglo-Indian identity within the set space demarcated by the idea that British national character is fundamentally imbricated with the imperial mission. “[D]ominance is created through a complex cultural interplay that involves consent and willingness to move within the culture,”78 Lennard Davis writes in Resisting Novels. From the Raj texts springs imperial dominance (as Sprinker states and Parry incisively analyzes). But, I argue, from these novels comes also a strict policing of the contours of Britishness. In the Raj texts, the Anglo-Indians dominate themselves, consenting to the rigid construct of imperial identity as the first step in attempting to make a space for themselves within that construct. Indeed, I argue that as the Raj novel evolved, Anglo-Indians increasingly came to take pride in the community’s difference from British persons at “Home”. Introducing Plain Tales from the Raj (1975), a collection of BBC radio interviews with “survivors of the British Raj” (9) recently reissued under the title Plain Tales from the British Empire (2008), Philip Mason writes, “[t]he life of the British in India, even in 1939, was still Victorian. Clothes had changed, some customs a little, but the framework of life had been settled in the last years of the old Queen. And since it 78  Lennard Davis, Resisting Novels (New York: Metheun, 1987). 39.  51  was a country ruled by an official hierarchy, it was socially conservative” (15-16). In shedding the image of “John Company” irresponsibility, Anglo-Indians portray themselves as morally superior to the British at “Home”. Thus, as Chapters I, II, and III argue, the sense of “Home” readers as a primary audience noted by Ward in The Cambridge History of English Literature, and Sprinker and Parry in Delusions and Discoveries, became a tool by which the Raj writers promote Anglo-Indian ideality and justify the practical necessity of their rule. Physical displacement from the British Isles provides a channel by which fictions celebrating AngloIndian preeminence travel back to “Home” readers; distance also lends motive to the product of crafting Anglo-India as a national community. Literally separate from the British, Anglo-Indian authors construct themselves as a micro-nation within the British whole. While Anglo-Indians described themselves as exiles, the community was also proud of the ways in which its members survived and surmounted the obstacles of life in India. Clive Dewey writes in Anglo-Indian Attitudes: The Mind of the Indian Civil Service (1993): [The Indian Civil Service] constituted a ruling class, a class apart. They were hardworking in a debilitating climate, incorruptible in a society riddled by bribery, celibate until middle age in a subcontinent which married at puberty. Above all, they were intellectuals. Yet they pretended to be men of action, to escape the stigma attached to cleverness by the late Victorian middle class. No one, in Anglo-India, wanted to be labeled an impractical theorist, an effeminate aesthete or an immoral atheist. “Character” was what counted, not brains. Civilians living up to a manly ideal prided themselves on enduring isolation and illness and overwork. They quelled riots with a glare, silenced subordinates with a word. (5-6) This self-promoting streak, and Dewey’s emphasis on character and the ways in which India’s “debilitating climate” and morally-questionable society honed that character, backgrounds the argument made in the following chapters about Anglo-Indian self-actualization and idealization in the Raj novels. To Dewey’s qualities (hard-working, celibate, intellectual, incorruptible), the  52  Raj writers add the actuality of “men of action”. Most Raj novel heroes are dashing soldier types, allowing in fiction the embodiment of a “manly ideal” reality may have denied. As Chapter II discusses in detail, the career of Rudyard Kipling set the stage for the emergence of Anglo-Indian fiction as a distinct genre in which promoting Anglo-Indian identity was a specific generic aim. When the first 500-copy edition of his Departmental Ditties (1886) sold out immediately, Kipling made what biographer David Gilmour calls the “semi-accurate observation that Anglo-Indians liked reading about themselves.”79 Indeed, an Anglo-Indian audience, fed by Kipling’s engaging images, was now present and consuming fiction. Upon visiting Simla, Mary Wood, wife of Indian Army Capt. George Wood, “found it so like Kipling as not to be quite true . . . It was what you expected Simla to be.”80 Anglo-India came to believe itself the community described in Kipling’s works. Preceding authors had registered concern about Anglo-India’s ability to self-describe. ICS legend and poet Sir Alfred Lyall (1835-1911), writing in the mid 1800s, believed that “Anglo-India could produce neither a writer nor an audience”; his own best poems spoke “to the homesickness of the exiles abroad.”81 In Kipling, however, Anglo-Indian fiction developed a series of touchstones to which readers and reviewers alike could refer, imagining a realized universe whose inhabitants were not exiled but identifiably settled. While writers struggled for self-definition outside Kipling’s shadow—as my Introduction notes, Kipling comparisons are ubiquitous in nineteenth-century Raj novel reviews—works published between 1880 and the late 1930s were, as Alison Sainsbury writes,  79  David Gilmour, The Long Recessional (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002). 36. Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London: Futura, 1983). 154. Wood married Capt. George Wood in 1928 and was stationed with him in Dacca, Delhi, and Simla before leaving India in 1935 (275). 81 David Gilmour, The Long Recessional (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002). 33. 80  53  “popular novels, in both senses of the word.”82 Such popularity was true of the Mutiny novels, and particularly true of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker, to whom my investigation now turns. “She has come into an empire . . .”: Mutiny Literature and the Production of Anglo-Indian Exceptionalism in Flora Annie Steel In September 1857, as the Mutiny raged through India, the Economist asked its readers to consider “whether in future India is to be governed as a Colony or as a Conquest; whether we are to rule our Asiatic subjects with strict and generous justice, wisely and beneficently, as their natural and indefeasible superiors, by virtue of our higher civilization, our purer religion, our sterner energies.”83 As a group, novels, poems, and dramas about the Indian Mutiny produced in the next fifty years struggled to answer these questions. In her influential Allegories of Empire, Jenny Sharpe argues that Mutiny texts also ameliorate criticism of British imperial practices and stem Indian resistance by the invocation of Indian alterity and barbarity. Images of Indian sexual violence against white women were potent tools of ideological coercion; Sharpe writes that their deployment in Mutiny novels gave them particular power: “During the course of the nineteenth century, Anglo-Indian fiction gave coherence to the Mutiny narratives by lending a literary imagination to what was ‘unspeakable’ in the first-hand reports.”84 In the hands of Flora Annie Steel and B.M. Croker, the Mutiny emerges as a site at which idealized forms of male and female Anglo-Indian identity developed through life under the Raj are catalogued and celebrated. For Steel and Croker, the Mutiny is the dramatic incident in which the specific aspects of the new Anglo-Indian “nation” described in the Raj novels is tested and proved true.  82  Alison Sainsbury, “Married to the empire: the Anglo-Indian domestic novel,” Writing India, 1757-1990, ed. Bart Moore-Gilbert (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1996). 163. 83 The Economist, Vol. 15, 26 Sept. 1857. 1062. Emphasis in original. 84 Jenny Sharpe, Allegories of Empire (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993). 2.  54  While the Mutiny formally began in Meerut on May 10, 1857, dissatisfaction among the sepoys in the British army, and amongst India’s civilians, had been growing for years. In the army, factors contributing to the uprising included the 1856 annexation of Oudh85 by the Company, which deprived high caste sepoys of land revenues and titles; the deployment of sepoys to territories as far away as Burma, where they were forced to defend Company interests without added financial compensation; a fear of increased missionary activity and growing pressure to convert to Christianity; and particularly, the introduction of cartridges for the 1853 Enfield rifle which were purportedly greased with tallow made of cow and/or pig fat. Biting off the ends of the cartridges, a necessary step in loading the rifle, was thought to defile both Hindus, whose religion forbids consumption of beef, and Muslims, who may not consume pork.86 More generally, the Company had grown increasingly aggressive in its land annexation policy. The seizure of large stretches of territory sparked discontent among India’s indigenous rulers, a discontent exacerbated by the Company’s increasing lack of regard for the remnants of India’s Moghul aristocracy, which in 1857 still resided in the Red Fort in Delhi. (The taking of Delhi was ostensibly driven by the mutineers’ desire to reinstate the Moghul Empire). A series of legal changes championed by missionaries, such as the abolition of suttee,87 or widow burning, also stoked discontent. Ironically, such dissatisfaction was shared by many in Britain, who felt the Company had descended into amoral indulgence. Images of obscenely wealthy indigo  85  Today called “Awadh,” this province is located in contemporary Uttar Pradesh, along India’s northeast boundary with Nepal. 86 Kim Wagner, The Great Fear of 1857 (Oxfordshire: Peter Lang, 2010). 87 “Suttee” is more properly spelled sati, as Gayatri Spivak notes in her famous essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988). However, as with the terms “Mutiny” and “Anglo-Indian,” I follow Raj novel style in selecting this spelling for usage in my dissertation; my goal is to preserve a consistency of approach in referencing the Raj novel texts. Discussions of the discourse of suttee and its abolition under the Raj include Margery Sabin’s “The Suttee Romance” (1991) and the collection Sati: Historical and Phenomenological Essays (1988); Sabin’s article is particularly useful for its location of suttee within a larger Anglo-Indian discourse of British moral uplift.  55  planters mingling with “natives” and keeping Indian mistresses (a recurrent image in Raj and Raj Revival texts) emblematized the moral decay believed to hold sway in India circa 1857. This sense of an imminent need to overhaul the Company may explain in part why the Mutiny did not deeply trouble British certainty about its imperial future in the subcontinent. Thomas Metcalfe writes that “[u]nlike the divisive debates over the future of South Africa that accompanied the Boer War a half-century later, at the time of the Indian Mutiny no one in Britain, or even among the British in India, ever considered leaving India . . . the 1857 revolt evoked a cleansing sense of heroism and self-assertion.”88 This difference is racially charged— Britain’s opponents in the Boer War were white Afrikaaners of Dutch descent. Yet, in the decades to follow the Mutiny, Parama Roy writes, the “Mutiny offered to colonial officials . . . the classic paradigm of Indian ingratitude and brutality; it served as an ur-text of insurgency and miscegenation that threatened to repeat itself endlessly in colonial history.”89 The archetypal nature of the Mutiny led to many detailed histories in a variety of styles: nonfiction accounts, biographies, plays, poems, and novels. As a group, these works deploy representations of the Mutiny and what were portrayed as its constituent events (particularly the rape and murder of British women and the murder of British children) in an increasingly programmatic defense and celebration of British imperial identity. Sharpe argues that rhetorical use of the Mutiny to shore up imperial control then reoccurred whenever Raj administrators needed to reassert their moral authority in India: “in 1883 and 1919, a British implication in torture and massacre produced a crisis in colonial authority. And, in both instances, the Anglo-Indian community organized itself around the racial memory of the Mutiny” (Allegories of Empire 2). To Sharpe’s argument, my analysis adds the claim that Mutiny novels such as Steel’s On the Face of the Waters and  88 89  Thomas Metcalfe, Ideologies of the Raj (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003). 44. Parama Roy, Indian Traffic (Berkeley: U of California P, 1998). 80.  56  Croker’s Mr. Jervis use specific tropes of the Mutiny experience to augment the idealized model of Anglo-Indian identity developed in the Raj novel genre more broadly. In accordance with Sharpe’s claim that the embarrassments of the Ilbert Bill and Amritsar led to increased uncertainty about Anglo-India’s moral and practical authority, I also argue that Steel’s and Croker’s Mutiny novels offer sites at which the memory of the Mutiny becomes an opportunity to catalogue and reassert Anglo-Indian virtues. Sharpe writes that Although the assumption of European superiority and native inferiority was present from the start of modern colonialism, it was so taken for granted that it did not require representation. In the post-Mutiny era, the British began to represent their sovereignty in a set of discursive practices that they reenacted for themselves as much as for their Indian subjects.90 As regards British rule in India, the Mutiny novels offer a subset among the discursive practices cited. Patrick Brantlinger notes that at least fifty Mutiny novels were published before 1900, and at least thirty more between 1900 and 1939.91 Despite the fact that much of the violence, particularly in 1858, was retributive brutality by the British, these novels almost uniformly portray the British as innocent victims caught up in illogical, unpredictable bloodshed. The genre thus allowed Britain’s patriotic feelings to come to the fore with particular efficacy. Nancy Paxton suggests in Writing Under the Raj that “‘romances’ and ‘boys’ adventures’ about the mutiny were the preferred form, since in these genres the moral uprightness of the hero is an uncontested given” (268). In Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Hilda Gregg wrote in 1897 that “[o]f all the great events of this century, as they are reflected in fiction, the Indian Mutiny has taken the firmest hold on the popular imagination” (218). Noted authors dabbled in the genre: Sir Alfred Tennyson wrote “The Defense of Lucknow92” (1879), a poem praising British fortitude;  90  Roy 4. Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1988). 199 92 The Siege of Lucknow, which lasted from June to November 1857, particularly captured the British popular and literary imagination, both because of its duration and the continued “heroic” resistance of the besieged British. 91  57  and Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins penned a short novel called “The Perils of Certain English Prisoners” (1857), cited by Gautam Chakravarty as the first prose fiction work on the Mutiny.93 A swarm of novels such as The Story of Cawnpore (1859) and Love Besieged: A Romance of the Defense of Lucknow (1911) followed. With long descriptions of battle, gruesome death, and rape, most Mutiny novels incorporate love affairs between their British protagonists, yoking emotional affect to descriptions of historical events so detailed that footnotes are often used. Describing the impact of the Mutiny novel on the literary scene, Chakravarty writes that The overlap between genres and the criterion of verifiability was the means by which an incredible expansion was configured as at once a history that appeared to possess the character of romance, and a romance that was the speculum of a verifiable material history. [The] traditional romance gave way to the novel of adventure reliant on journalism, travel writing, and historiography . . . (75) The Mutiny novel gestured, as Chakravarty notes, to an increasingly vigorous Anglo-Indian literary scene producing works that yoked “historiography” and sentimental love story to better venerate Anglo-Indian character and experience. In Blackwood’s, Gregg says that she has tried her hand at “no less than three completed works of fiction” about the Mutiny; her motive being that “the events . . . seemed to provide every element of romance that could be desired in a story. Valour and heroism, cruelty and treachery, sharp agony and long endurance, satiated vengeance and bloodthirsty hatred were all present” (219). Often, as Chakravarty and Sharpe note, Mutiny novels claimed to go beyond official reports to an ostensive truth—a tactic used by Flora Annie Steel. Though it appeared thirty years after the event itself, Steel’s 600-page novel, On the Face of the Waters (1896), was one of the best-selling, most popular Mutiny novels.94 Postcolonial critics such as Sharpe and Benita Parry have lent Steel’s depiction of British and Indian relations, 93  Gautam Chakravarty, The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005). 107, 108. The destruction of publishing house records during World War II (in the Blitz bombing of England) prevents citation of precise sales records for Steel. However, the extreme popularity of her novel is indicated by surviving correspondence. In a letter dated Feb. 3, 1897, agent Sydney Pauling, employed by Steel’s publisher Heinemann, informs Steel that he is increasing her share of the profits based on runaway sales of the novel. 94  58  and her relatively sympathetic portrayal of Indian characters, guarded praise.95 Contemporary critics were also enamored of her novel, albeit for different reasons: the Daily Chronicle feted Steel for producing “[a] picture, glowing with color, of the most momentous and dramatic event in all our Empire’s later history.”96 In addition to its massive popularity, Steel’s thematic depiction of the Mutiny as a necessary cleansing of corrupt Company rule showcases how the Raj novelists used the cultural memory of 1857-1858 to codify a new model of Anglo-Indian character. Steel, a devout Christian like many female Raj writers, develops in her novel a typological scenario that explains how the Mutiny enables the rise of an “improved” imperial order. By so doing, she casts what was historically (and logically) a challenge to British authority as a virtual divine re-assignation of said authority in a new and better context. On the Face of the Waters’ hero is Jim Douglas. His pseudonym, “Greyman,” marks him as a liminal figure between black and white—the implicitly inscribed race line between Britain and India—which Douglas has previously crossed by taking an Indian mistress. Douglas can pass as an Afghan, a skill he shares with many subsequent Raj novel genre and Raj Revival male characters.97 Also anticipating the perceptive hero seen in Raj Revival texts such as M.M. Kaye’s Shadow of the Moon (1957; 1979) and J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur (1973), Douglas grasps the tension brewing in India long before knowledge dawns on the Company’s tired oldguard rulers. Kate Erlton, the heroine, is married to Major Erlton, who is having an affair with the married Alice Gissing. On the Face of the Waters also casts real “hero” John Nicholson 95  In general, On the Face of the Waters has received more serious scholarly attention than many of the Raj novels. For example, David Wayne Thomas’ article, “Liberal Legitimation and Communicative Action in British India: Reading Flora Annie Steel’s On the Face of the Waters” (2009), argues that Steel is representative of avowedly imperialist texts that nonetheless trouble the question of how effectively British political policy was communicated in India. Or, in “Unspeakable Outrages and Unbearable Defilements: Rape Narratives in the Literature of Colonial India” (2007), Pamela Lothspeich compares the use of rape plots in Steel to the deployment of rape narratives in literature by Indian authors working contemporaneously in the late nineteenth century. 96 Qted. in Flora Annie Steel, Voices in the Night: A Chromatic Fantasia (Macmillan: London, 1900). 418. 97 Kipling’s Police Inspector Strickland, introduced in Plain Tales from the Hills, is one example. Ashton PelhamMartyn, the hero of M.M. Kaye’s Raj Revival novel, The Far Pavilions (1979), also passes as an Afghan.  59  (1822-1857) as a character. A dashing soldier who captured the British popular imagination in the mid 1800s, Nicholson died helping retake Delhi from the mutineers. This range of dramatic personae allows Steel to show how the Mutiny offered a multiplicity of challenges for AngloIndians, tests which the community uses to reconstitute Britishness in a more ideal form. The novel begins98 with Kate begging Douglas to forgive Major Erlton’s racing debts out of a sense of Christian charity. British administrators hire Douglas to investigate rumors of a possible mutiny; and his mistress Zora dies, thrusting Douglas back into the Anglo-Indian social world. Chupattis, carrying word of revolt, move across India; so too do stories of the greased cartridges. Minor uprisings multiply, and the Mutiny begins after a taunt from a bazaar harlot. The British cantonment in Delhi is not warned, despite the best efforts of Douglas, whose horse breaks a leg as he rides to deliver a warning. Alice sacrifices herself to save an angelic British child named Sonny from mutineers, and Alice’s Indian ayah,99 Mai, flees with the boy. Douglas and Kate are trapped in Delhi. During what Steel portrays as a dreamlike stretch of time prior to the relief of the city by the British in September, Kate hides on a rooftop, disguised as Douglas’ Afghan wife. She reunites with Sonny, but the boy falls ill and must be spirited out of the city. Nicholson arrives, and in Book V, “There Arose A Man,” On the Face of the Waters becomes virtual hagiography, with Nicholson inspiring and ennobling the British troops. Kate flees the roof with the help of Indian princess Farkhoonda, who sacrifices her lover for Kate’s life; Kate is  98  The following plot summary does not describe the Indian characters in Steel’s text. Much of the novel is spent detailing figures such as the Rajput suttee-widow Tara Devi, her soldier brother Soma Chund, and life in what Steel calls the “sham court” in New Delhi (xxvii), a shadow of the former Moghul Empire whose power the mutineers claimed they would restore. This omission here is driven by the need to focus on Steel’s portrayal of ideal AngloIndian and British character; an analysis of her portrayal of Indians and Indianness occurs in Chapter IV. 99 Hobson-Jobson defines an “ayah” as a “native lady’s-maid or nurse-maid” (42). In the Raj novel genre, these figures model “good” Indian qualities of loyalty and devoted service to the British. “Chupattis” are small round pieces of unleavened bread. Like the greased cartridges, popular Mutiny mythology claims that mutineers circulated chupattis around India to spread word of the coming revolution.  60  disguised anew as a suttee widow before rejoining the British. Major Erlton dies in battle, and Nicholson is fatally wounded retaking Delhi. In the years that follow, Douglas and Kate marry. Steel’s essential themes in On the Face of the Waters are the transition between Company and Raj rule, and the codification of new ideals of British masculinity and femininity created through the Mutiny experience. In each instance, Steel’s novel works to establish strict binary definitions: her parsing of difference between the Company and Raj eras is as careful as her fixing of static, distinct male and female gender roles. Judith Butler writes in Gender Trouble (1990) that “[t]he institution of a compulsory and naturalized heterosexuality requires and regulates gender as a binary relation in which the masculine term is differentiated from a feminine term, and this differentiation is accomplished through the practices of heterosexual desire” (30). Following this model, On the Face of the Waters’ interest in policing rigid gender categories and the insertion of romantic narratives into the historical tableaux Steel creates is explicable. The love story, as Raj novel critics Sharpe, Paxton, and Alison Sainsbury argue, can offer a mode through which forms of control and social discipline are made palatable to readers. In demarcating gender as a set binary relation, Steel operates within popular Victorian modes of representation, which cast gender divisions—along with other divisions such as class and race— as absolute. Zohreh Sullivan discusses such codification through imperialism in her essay “Race, Gender, and Imperial Ideology in the Nineteenth Century”: [T]he politics of Imperialism and education [were] dominantly masculine. The discourse of Imperialism, gendered by hierarchy and trope, mapped domestic ideology to social paternalism, repeated familiar antinomies and confirmed Victorian myths of manhood and of Empire as paternalistic enterprise that in turn informed the myths of manliness so constructed as to oppose the ordered, disciplined, rational and masculine to the chaotic, childlike, irrational and feminine. (24) Following Butler’s observation about the ways in which narratives of heterosexual desire help construct categories of masculinity and femininity as fixed entities, it is evident that Steel’s text, 61  like the other Raj novels, works in a literary and political milieu (what Sullivan calls “the discourse of Imperialism”) that codifies binary gender roles to help solidify discourses of control. Further, developing Sullivan’s claims, the Raj novels distinguish British manifestations of these categories ( “ordered, disciplined, rational, and masculine”) from qualities assigned to the colonial subject: chaotic, childlike, irrational, and feminine. British femininity is thus a new, third category in colonial texts such as the Raj novels, a category which relies on Victorian belief in inherent differences between men and women, but also institutes essential racial difference between British femininity and the femininity assigned to the colonial “other”. Edward Said famously observes this process in Orientalism (1978), writing that “a new median category emerges, a category that allows one to see new things, things seen for the first time, as versions of a previously known thing . . . such a category is not so much a way of receiving new information as it is a method of controlling what seems to be a threat to some established view of things.”100 The colonial encounter, as fictionalized in the Raj novels, takes particular urgency from the Mutiny as the threat Said describes actualizes into physical violence by Indians against the British. As a rhetorical defense, the differences between British and Indian noted by the Raj writers, and differences between Anglo-Indians and British at “Home,” are politically mobilized through the instructive “new median category” of Anglo-Indian masculinity and femininity. In particular, the Raj novels’ definition of these terms allows the rejection of what the Raj writers portray as less desirable aspects of femininity—physical weakness; indecisiveness; hysterical emotional response; sexual promiscuity—from model British character. The Raj writers use these aspects to define the newly-encountered Indian subject (“things seen for the first time”). Sainsbury writes that Anglo-Indian domestic novels  100  Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978). 58-59.  62  . . . engaged in an ideological struggle over the national enterprise of imperialism, contesting the notion of empire-building as a masculine enterprise that requires a passive and private femininity. In Anglo-Indian fiction, and in colonial discourse in general, we find two contesting visions of imperial citizenship: will the nation be defined by “doing a man’s work in the world” out on the frontier . . . or by women who are engaged in demonstrating and extending “civilization”? (181) My analysis argues that the Raj novels make space for both visions in their composition of ideal Anglo-Indian character. The ideological struggle over imperialism discussed by Sainsbury is resolved through categorical redefinition in works by authors such as Steel and Croker. Mutiny rhetoric which mobilizes particular images of violated British femininity is indispensible to this process, providing a pedagogical channel through which female British characters can be shown incorporating their work “extending ‘civilization’” into the larger project of maintaining AngloIndian rule—and thereby, British imperial identity. On the Face of the Waters begins with a ruling British establishment that has fallen away from British ideals of duty, decisiveness, and control. The Mutiny allows the reassertion of these values, and Steel thus situates the event as a lucky “chance” for Anglo-India to reconstruct itself along a more streamlined, admirable model of national character. ‘“God gives men a chance sometimes,’” Kate cries. “‘He gives the whole world a chance sometimes of atoning for many sins. A Spirit moves on the Waters of life bringing something to cleanse and heal’” (25). The ideals of behavior revealed in the Mutiny’s violent cleansing are established in part by Steel’s situation of historical events, such as the detonation of the Delhi Magazine by its British guards, within overtly ideological frames. Steel portrays the officers serving the Magazine as ideals of Anglo-Indian character; they embody stoicism, gentility, duty, and willingness to sacrifice self for nation. The pedagogical heft of this depiction is clear: the Magazine is “a place where men may learn what men can do” (273). The officers’ leader is “very courteous” and the men speak “cheerfully” (283) in the face of death. After the explosion, “a great cloud of rose-red dust” rises 63  “majestically . . . a corona glittering in the slant sunbeams . . . To those who know the story it seems to hang there still—a bloody pall for the many; for the Nine, a crown indeed” (285). Biblical emphasis, seen also in Kate’s evocation of the titular spirit moving on the waters,101 is a common stylistic feature in Steel. The reference to “a crown” evokes Jesus’ death on the cross and sets “the Nine” as martyrs, following what Steel sets as the ultimate selfless role model. One of the essential aspects of the Raj novelists’ Anglo-Indian character, thrown into stark relief by the upheaval of the Mutiny, is the abnegation of personal interest in favor of the greater interests of the Anglo-Indian community. The martyrdom enacted by the Nine is carried out in favor of a greater ideal; Anglo-India’s community is seen to selflessly serve the British metanarrative of imperial responsibility even to its insurgent colonial subjects. Here, Steel’s plotting recalls Thomas Metcalfe’s observation in Ideologies of the Raj that “a cleansing sense of heroism and self-assertion” (44) accompanied British responses to the events of 1857-1858; Said cites similar sentiments of “righteous vindication.”102 The Mutiny gave Anglo-India, in Kate’s words, “a chance” to establish new modes of dominance in India and make a compelling case for citizens at “Home” as to why such dominance was necessary. 103 What Steel adds to the general repositioning of British attitudes in the aftermath of the uprising is the certainty that, in exerting control, the Anglo-Indians who survive the Mutiny demonstrate a model of British character surpassing that at “Home.” Many direct comparisons between AngloIndia and Britain appear in On the Face of the Waters: Douglas thinks that he might “find his 101  Kate references the description in Genesis 1:2 of God’s formation of the Earth: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (KJV). This Biblical symbolism implies, as I argue here, that Steel views the Mutiny as a chance for the British to begin their imperial experience in India anew; the Raj offers a sort of British “new world” in the subcontinent. 102 Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Vintage, 1994). 147. 103 Sharpe argues that a parallel impulse characterizes the multitudinous depictions of Indian barbarity in the Mutiny novels, and the portrayal more generally of colonial subjects as violent and malicious in novels centered on various slave risings, etc. (Allegories of Empire 4-8).  64  chance in it also; a better chance, maybe, than he would have had in England” (54); Steel writes that “it seemed as if the whole plan had been evolved for them by a kindly fate” (325); at the end of the novel, Kate reflects on her future: “Was she to go home to safe, snug [smug]104 England, live in a suburb, and forget? . . . The Spirit which had moved on the Face of the Waters, bringing their chance of Healing and Atonement to so many, had left hers in the shadow. She had learned her lesson. Ah! yes; she had learned it” (529). The Mutiny is an explicitly pedagogical scenario by which the fittest of Steel’s characters—Alice and Erlton’s deaths lend “fit” a moral aspect— learn to reinvent their character. The model which they follow in doing so is provided by Nicholson, whose behavior sets a benchmark for the performance of Anglo-Indian masculinity, and by Kate, an explicit target of pedagogical uplift in the novel. Describing the impact of English literary instruction in India, Gauri Viswanathan writes in Masks of Conquest that the “English literary text [functions] as a surrogate Englishman in his highest and most perfect state . . . The split between the material and cultural practices of colonialism is nowhere sharper than in the progressive refinement of the rapacious, exploitative, and ruthless actor of history into the reflective subject of literature” (20). In each of her books, when Steel emphasizes the necessity of instructing female characters in the process of ideal imperial identity, she follows the model articulated here: the text as stand-in for a perfected vision of British character; the reader as subject of the pedagogical lessons enacted on the characters. In this scenario, Steel’s characters and her reading audiences variously embody the “reflective subject of literature”. In approaching that subject, Steel describes Mutiny hero John Nicholson as “a man . . . who was in the grip of Fate, but who gave back the grip so firmly that his Fate could not escape him” (449). Douglas, the novel’s hero, directly learns from him: “[With] that clasp on his, Jim  104  A telling change. “Snug” is used in the original 1896 edition of On the Face of the Waters; the recent reissue (2004), using Steel’s drafts, replaces it with “smug.”  65  Douglas felt as if he were in the grip of Fate itself, and following John Nicholson's example, gave it back frankly” (456). The repeated phrasing (“in the grip of Fate”; “gave it back”), and the statement that Douglas foll