TRAVELLING HOME AND EMPIRE BRITISH WOMEN IN INDIA 1857 - 1939 by ALISON BLUNT B.A. Hons., The University of Cambridge, 1990 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1997 © Alison Mary Blunt, 1997 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Vancouver-Canada . jlumbia Date QOj <k • DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT This study focuses on the British wives of civil servants and army officers who lived in India from 1857 to 1939 to examine the translation of feminine discourses of bourgeois domesticity over imperial space. Three questions form the subject of this research. First, how were cultures of domesticity and imperialism intertwined in complex and often contradicatory ways over space? Second, did imperial rule, and the travel that it necessarily implied, challenge or reinforce the claim that 'there's no place like home'? Third, how and why were places both like and yet unlike 'home' produced by British women living in India? I start by examining the 'mutiny' of 1857-1858 as a period of domestic and imperial crisis, focusing on representations of and by British women at Cawnpore and Lucknow. Then, considering the place of British women in the post-'mutiny' reconstruction of imperial domesticity in India, I focus on two scales: first, home and empire-making on a household scale; and, second, seasonal travels by British women to hill stations in North India. In their travels both to and within India, British women embodied contested discourses of imperial domesticity. Throughout, I focus on the mobile, embodied subjectivities of memsahibs. While imperial histories have often neglected the roles played by British women in India, revisionist accounts have often reproduced stereotypical and / or celebratory accounts of memsahibs. In contrast, I examine the ambivalent basis of imperial and gendered stereotypes and conceptualise spatialised subjectivities in terms of embodiment, critical mobility, and material performativity. As members of an official elite, the British wives of civil servants and army officers came to embody many of the connections and tensions between domesticity and imperialism. Both during and after the 'mutiny,' the place of British women and British homes in India was contested. The place of British women and British homes in India reveal contradictions at the heart of imperial rule by reproducing and yet destabilizing imperial rule on a domestic scale. TABLE OF CONTENTS U l Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Plates v List of Figures viii Acknowledgements ix Chapter 1 Travelling Home and Empire 1 An Introduction Chapter 2 Gendered Geographies of Imperial Domesticity 15 Introduction 15 British Imperialism in India 17 Discourses of Imperial Domesticity 18 An Imperial Aristocracy 24 Travelling Home to India 28 Representing Memsahibs 29 Dwelling and Travelling 35 Spaces of Home and Empire 46 Conclusions 57 Interlude Travelling to India 59 The Letters of Francis Wells, 1853 -1857 Chapter 3 Domestic and Imperial Crisis 77 British Women at Cawnpore and Lucknow, 1857 -1858 Introduction 77 Representing Home and Empire 88 Representing Women 93 British Women at Cawnpore 107 British Women at Lucknow 122 Conclusions 133 Chapter 4 IV Inscribing Imperial Domesticity 135 British Women Living Under Siege, 1857 -1858 Introduction 135 Leaving Home 141 Living Under Siege 148 Domestic Life Under Siege 159 Travelling Away 191 Reconstructing Home and Empire 204 Travelling Home 210 Conclusions 214 Interlude Travelling Home 217 The Letters of Francis Wells, 1857 -1858 Chapter 5 Imperial Domesticity 223 British Women at Home in India after 1858 Introduction 223 Colonization and Settlement 246 British Women at Home in India 251 Civil Lines, Cantonments, and Compounds 266 Household Management 289 Raising British Children in India 305 Conclusions 312 Chapter 6 Domestic and Imperial Mobility 314 Separations and Seasonal Travels after 1858 Introduction 314 At Home in the Hills 320 Transgressing Home and Empire 329 The Development of Hill Stations 345 Domestic, Social, and Imperial Life 359 Conclusions 368 Chapter 7 British Women Travelling Home and Empire 370 Conclusions Bibliography Primary Sources 378 Secondary Sources 384 LIST OF PLATES V Plate 1 The Indian Palace Courtyard 5 Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886 Plate 2 The Durbar Tent 6 Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886 Plate 3 Steamship Chusan, Built 1852 60 Plate 4 Domestic Defilement during the 'Mutiny' 92 Plate 5 Exterior of the Bibighar, Cawnpore, 1858 117 Plate 6 Exterior of the Bibighar, Cawnpore, during the 'Mutiny' 117 Plate 7 Interior of the Bibighar, Cawnpore, 1857 118 Plate 8 Interior of the Bibighar, Cawnpore, during the 'Mutiny' 118 Plate 9 In Memoriam: Henry Havelock,' by Joseph Noel Paton 121 Plate 10 'The Flight from Lucknow,' by Abraham Solomon 125 Plate 11 Colonel John Inglis, Julia Inglis, and 129 two of their three Children Plate 12 Captain Hayes' Bungalow in Cantonments, 144 Lucknow, 1856-7 Plate 13 Captain Hayes' Compound in Cantonments, 144 Lucknow, 1856-7 Plate 14 View of the Residency Compound at Lucknow 150 from Moore's Model Plate 15 The Residency House at Lucknow before the Siege 152 Plate 16 The Residency House at Lucknow after the Siege 152 Plate 17 Captain Charlie Germon and Maria Germon 167 Plate 18 The Dilkusha Palace, Lucknow 196 Plate 19 The Entrenchments at Cawnpore after the Siege 201 Plate 20 Plate 21 Plate 22 Plate 23 Plate 24 Plate 25 Plate 26 Plate 27 Plate 28 Plate 29 Plate 30 Plate 31 Plate 32 Plate 33 Plate 34 Plate 35 Plate 36 Plate 37 Plate 38 Plate 39 Plate 40 Steamship Himalaya, Built 1853 211 The Title Page of Curry and Rice, on Forty Plates 227 The Station of Kabob 229 Mrs Turmeric, the Judge's Wife 231 Mrs Chutney, the Magistrate's Wife 232 Mrs Capsicum, the Colonel's Wife 234 'Spins' of Kabob 236 A Postcard of the Memorial Well, Cawnpore 240 from the 1920s A Postcard of the Memorial Well, Cawnpore 240 from the 1920s A Postcard of the Memorial Church, Cawnpore 241 from the 1920s A Postcard of the Lucknow Residency from the 1920s 243 A Postcard of the Fayrer's House, Lucknow 243 from the 1920s A Dinner Party at Kabob 273 A Compound in Kabob 286 The Mall, Simla, 1848 321 Combermere Bridge, Simla, 1846 321 A Temple near Simla, 1852 322 A Gothic-Revival House in Simla 340 A Gothic-Revival Bungalow in Simla 340 Barnes Court, Simla 341 Simla, with the Viceregal Lodge on 347 Observatory Hill Plate 41 A Postcard of the Viceregal Lodge, Simla 351 from the 1920s Plate 42 The Ridge, Simla 353 Plate 43 The Cast of the Mikado at the Gaiety Theatre, 360 Simla, 1886 Plate 44 Visitors in Fancy Dress, Simla, 1886 360 LIST OF FIGURES viii Figure 1 British India and Ceylon, 1857 19 Figure 2 Theatres of War in the Indian 'Mutiny,' 1857-8 80 Figure 3 Map of Oudh, 1857 82 Figure 4 Map of Cawnpore, 1857 108 Figure 5 Map of Lucknow, 1857 123 Figure 6 The Residency Compound, Lucknow, 1857 149 Figure 7 Evacuation Route of British Women and Children 192 From Lucknow, 19 November, 1857 Figure 8 Evacuation Route of British Women and Children 199 From Lucknow, November 1857 - January 1858 Figure 9 The Provincial Boundaries of British India in 1909 262 Figure 10 A Plan of a 'Classical' Bungalow 269 Figure 11 A 'Classical' Bungalow in Cantonments, Cawnpore, 1932 279 Figure 12 Plan of the Montgomery's Compound, 1932 279 Figure 13 Plan of the Montgomery's Bungalow, Cawnpore, 1932 280 Figure 14 Hill Stations in British India 316 ix Acknowledgements I have travelled with this thesis between several, coexisting homes. Over the last few years, I have moved to Canada and back to Britain, and from my graduate studies at the University of British Columbia to a lecturing post at the University of Southampton. In Canada and in Britain, I have been sustained and enthused by my friends, family, and colleagues. At UBC, my supervisor Derek Gregory has been inspiring and supportive throughout my research and writing. His close and incisive readings of earlier drafts of this text were highly valued. Cole Harris and Gerry Pratt have been long-standing members of my Committee, and have always been generous with their time and ideas. As the external member of my Committee, Felix Driver has played a vital role not only in helping me to revise my thesis, but also in helping me to feel at home in the world of British academic geography. For their help with my research, I am grateful to Lionel Carter at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, and the staff of the Oriental and India Office Library and the British Library in London. I am indebted to Mary Thatcher at the Centre of South Asian Studies for her questionnaire survey and transcribed interviews from the late 1970s to mid 1980s. I would like to thank Linda Hall for her skill in drawing all of the maps and other figures, and Andy Vowles for taking all of the photographs. Ros Campbell, Lyn Ertl, John Hurst, and Carl Stevens have provided invaluable help with photocopying. Tim Aspden, and all of the staff in the Cartographic Unit at Southampton, have helped to improve this thesis through their skill and friendly help. Throughout my time at Southampton, Jackie Bailey has provided excellent secretarial support for which I am very grateful. Although neither of us realised its implications at the time, Nick Luby's visit to Vancouver helped me to stay at UBC when in many ways it would have been easier to have returned home. Nick was a formative influence in my life who helped to make this thesis possible. Many friends at UBC made me feel settled and happy. Two of my dearest friends, Robyn Dowling and Natalie Jamieson, have now returned home to Australia, but we remain close. Nicky Hicks, Richard Phillips, and Juliet and Martin Rowson-Evans all played central roles in my life in Canada that thankfully continue closer to home in Britain. Joan Muskett and Marion Rogers are friends who have sustained my studies through their warm and wise counsel. At Southampton, many friends, colleagues, and students have helped me to feel at home in a new city and an academic career. David Pinder and Jane Wills have been great friends, inspiring colleagues, and steadfast allies. Jane also read and commented on my thesis at two critical moments. On both occasions, her help and encouragement were invaluable. I am also grateful to Alison Barrett, Jim Chapman, Jon Chipp, George Gowans, Susan Halford, Tamara Kerbel, Kristie Legg, Steven Pinch, Aslam Pirzada, Teresa Ploszajska, Elaine Sharland, and Malcolm Wagstaff for their friendship and support. The students in my course, 'Gender, Space, and Power,' have been an inspiration by their ideas, enthusiasm and commitment, as well as their interest in my research even when coursework deadlines and exams were looming. Throughout my research and writing, I have been acutely conscious that the workings of mind and body are inseparably bound. I thank my family and friends for their love and support, and I thank Pat Reynolds and Catherine Woolner for their professional care and treatment. Most importantly of all, I am grateful to my parents, Cecily and Peter, and to my brother, David, for their unwavering love, which sustains me both near and far from home. My thesis is dedicated with my love to them. 1 Chapter 1 Travelling Home and Empire An Introduction Home, Sweet Home 'Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home! A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, That, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere. Home, home! sweet home, There's no place like home. An exile from home, splendour dazzles in vain, O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again! The birds singing gaily, that came at my call; But give me the peace of mind dearer than all. Home, home! sweet home, There's no place like home.1 One of the most notable performances of this popular Victorian song was at the opening ceremony of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in May 1886.2 Home, Sweet Home was performed between Handel's Hallelujah Chorus and Rule Britannia!, reflecting and reproducing the sentiments of a British imperial imagination in its own highly sentimental way. Home, Sweet Home was first performed in 1823 by Maria Tree in the title role of the opera Clari, 1 The words of Home, Sweet Home were written by an American, John Howard Payne, while he lived in London, and the music was composed by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop. The song was immediately and consistently popular over the course of the nineteenth century in both Britain and America. Bishop received his knighthood in 1842 as a result, and was the first musician to be honoured in this way. D. Ewen ed., American Popular Songs From the Revolutionary War to the Present. Random House, New York, 1966, 149-150. 2 Parliamentary Papers 1887, xx: Report of the Royal Commission for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886. 2 which was about the abduction of a girl from her village home.3 A reviewer in The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review described Home, Sweet Home as 'simple, sweet and touching, beyond any air we almost ever heard. Never was any ballad so immediately and deservedly popular.'4 Indeed, Home, Sweet Home 'became one of the most popular airs of the Victorian era and one that prima donnas were particularly fond of interpolating into other operas.'5 As the words of Home, Sweet Home, its operatic genesis, and its wide and sustained popularity suggest, the clearest and fondest imaginings of home are often located at a distance of forced exile or voluntary roaming. Such a distance is temporal as well as spatial, whereby Clari's clear and fond imaginings of home were shaped by her memories over time as well as space. Home is imagined as a unique and distant place that can neither be discovered nor reproduced elsewhere and thus remains a site of continual desire and irretrievable loss. The ambiguity of the refrain that 'there's no place like home' suggests not only the impossible quest of discovering or reproducing home from a distance, but also that the prior existence and location of a unique, originary home is elusive. The performance of Home, Sweet Home at the opening ceremony of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition must have seemed both poignant and paradoxical. The visual spectacle of the Exhibition represented the 'pleasures and palaces' of an imperial imagination to its five million visitors. While a number of Indian visitors had travelled to Britain to work at and to visit the Exhibition,6 the British visitors were 'transported' to India as they toured the Central Indian i Despite its first operatic performance in 1823, Bishop had previously published his composition Home, Sweet Home in his collection of 'National Melodies of all Countries,' where he claimed that it was a traditional Sicilian song. The British and American rather than Sicilian origins of the song became clear when it was performed in Clari. 4 Ewan op. cit., 149. 5 E. White, The Rise of English Opera. De Capo Press, New York, 1972, 88. 6 A. Burton, 'Making a Spectacle of Empire: Indian Travellers in Fin-de-Siecle London,' History Workshop Journal. 42, 1996, 127-146. 3 Court, the Indian Ethnological Court, and the Indian Palace, where India in miniature is conjured up.'7 In the courtyard of the Indian Palace, 'dense masses of spectators' crowded together to view Indian artists and artisans weaving gold brocade, carving wood and stone, and making jewellery.8 According to a special edition of the Illustrated London News that focused on the Indian section of the Exhibition, such displays of art and industry 'eloquently bring home to us the grandeur of the British Empire'9 by transporting Indian artists and artisans and their work to London. At the same time, the Exhibition was designed to show British people 'the marvellous progress made by their fellow-countrymen beyond the seas'; to increase commerce; and to promote a closer union between British subjects throughout the Empire.10 As such, the Exhibition not only positioned its British visitors as viewers of imperial spectacle and consumers of its commodification, but also as imperial citizens whose place at home in the heart of Victorian London was simultaneously a place at the heart of the British Empire.11 But British visitors to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition were not merely positioned as passive viewers of imperial spectacle or as imaginary travellers throughout the British Empire, consuming imperial difference from a distance. The Royal Commission that planned the Exhibition also sought to represent the British Empire as a destination for the relocation of current and future British homes. As the Prince of Wales was keen to stress, 'We must remember that, as regards the Colonies, they are the legitimate and natural homes, in future, of the more ' Illustrated London News, 17 July 1886. 8 Ibid.. 9 Ibid.. 10 Parliamentary Papers 1887, xx: Report of the Royal Commission for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886. H See J. M. Jacobs, Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City. Routledge, London, 1996, for further discussion of Victorian London as the 'heart of Empire.' adventurous and energetic portion of the population of these Islands.'12 Domesticating the Empire to provide 'legitimate and natural homes' for British colonists depended not only on masculine discourses of imperial adventure and energy but also on more feminized discourses of domesticity.13 British homes in the Empire could only be established and maintained as 'legitimate and natural' when they housed British wives and mothers. As a number of engravings in the Illustrated London News suggest, many women and girls were among the visitors to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition. Indeed, several engravings depicted some of the white women and girls who visited the Exhibition in particularly prominent ways. Within the ornate courtyard of the Indian Palace in Plate 1, two white girls are the main subjects of two imperial encounters. In the centre of the engraving, a young girl appears apprehensive on meeting an elderly Indian man, and leans towards her mother or her governess for support. In contrast, another girl confidently gazes at an Indian boy as he walks by, unaware of her scrutiny. Inside the 'cool vista of the handsome Durbar tent'14 of Plate 2, although a white man seems to be engaging two Indians in conversation, women predominate among the visitors. In both engravings, the prominence of female visitors to the Colonial and Indian Exhibition suggests that women as well as men were positioned as viewers of imperial spectacle and as vicarious travellers to 'other' places. Moreover, in light of the Prince of Wales' aims for the Exhibition, such women were also positioned as potential future travellers who might leave Britain to set up homes in the empire. ^ Parliamentary Papers 1887, xx: Report of the Royal Commission for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London 1886. The Royal Commission was chaired by the Prince of Wales. 13 G. Dawson, Soldier Heroes: British Adventure. Empire and the Imagining of Masculinities. Routledge, London, 1994. 14 Illustrated London News, 17 July 1886, 82. Plate 1: The Indian Palace Courtyard, Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886. Source: Illustrated London News, 17 July 1886. Plate 2: The Durbar Tent, Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886. Source: Illustrated London News, 17 July 1886. 7 The spatial extent of the British Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries enabled middle class British women to travel more widely than ever before.15 Not only were British women as well as men privileged subjects in the context of imperial rule, but their imperial and gendered subjectivities were also influenced by their experiences of travel. Research on British women travellers has revealed their ability to transgress the confines of 'home' in social as well as spatial terms. The travels and writings of individual women suggest that they were empowered to travel and to transgress in the context of imperialism while away from the feminized domesticity of living at home.16 But the majority of British women who travelled in the empire did so to set up homes both with and for their families, either on a permanent basis in settler colonies such as Canada, Australia, and South Africa,17 or on a more temporary basis in places such as India.18 Imperial power and legitimation not only relied on 1 5 See, for example, J. Robinson, Wayward Women: A Guide to Women Travellers. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1990, for an extensive biographical and bibliographical survey of women travellers within but also beyond the British Empire of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 16 D. Birkett, Spinsters Abroad: Victorian Lady Explorers. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1989; A. Blunt, Travel. Gender, and Imperialism: Mary Kingsley and West Africa. Guilford, New York, 1994; and S. Mills, Discourses of Difference: An Analysis of Women's Travel Writing and Colonialism. Routledge, London, 1991. 17 See, for example, C. Harris, The Resettlement of British Columbia: Essays on Colonialism and Geographical Change. U.B.C. Press, Vancouver, 1997, and K. Schaffer, Women and the Bush: Forces of Desire in the Australian Cultural Tradition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990. Clear parallels exist with work on the domestic roles of white women 'pioneers' in the American West; see, for example, A. Kolodny, The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1975. Unlike these accounts, I am focusing on the temporary nature of such settlement and the coexistence of ideas of 'home' within Britain and India. 18 British women generally lived in India for the whole of their married life and returned 'home' when their husband retired. Some, however, returned to Britain when their children were at school. P. Barr, The Memsahibs: The Women of Victorian India. Seeker and Warburg, London, 1976.1 will discuss debates about the colonization of India and the ways in which ideas of 'home' coexisted in Britain and India in Chapters 5 and 6. 8 imaginative geographies of 'other' places,19 but also on imaginative geographies of 'home.' Edward Said has traced both the imaginative geographies of 'other' places in orientalist writings as well as the importance of imperialism in shaping cultural representations at 'home.'20 But Said largely overlooks the gendered production of such imaginative geographies as well as the coexistence and mobility of homes throughout the empire. In contrast, this study is concerned with the imperial domesticity of women who travelled away from Britain to establish temporary homes in India and contends that spaces of home and empire were closely intertwined and mobile rather than distinct and fixed. The Colonial and Indian Exhibition was reported widely throughout the British Empire, helping distant British subjects in their imperial homes to imagine the links between their own imperial domesticity and a metropolitan, domestic imperialism. Indeed, British imperial homes were shaped by ideas of domesticity on household, national, and imperial scales, because 'The domestic spaces of the home is at once an individual domicile and suggestive of the domestic space in a larger sense, the domestic space of [Britain].'21 At this time, the place of British women and British homes in India was a central, contested part of debates about British imperialism in India. In India, the Calcutta Review described the opening ceremony of the Exhibition in the second of two articles that addressed the influence, position, and responsibilities of British women in India.22 The Calcutta Review was a fortnightly Anglo-Indian periodical that consisted of lengthy articles and book reviews and which, over the course of the 19 E. Said, Orientalism. Vintage Books, New York, 1979. 20 Ibid., and E. Said, Culture and Imperialism. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1993. 21 S. Meyer, Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women's Fiction. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1996, 7. 22 J. E. Dawson, 'Woman in India: Her Influence and Position,' Calcutta Review, 1886a, 347-357 and J. E. Dawson, 'The Englishwoman in India: Her Influence and Responsibilties,' Calcutta Review, 1886b, 358-370. 9 nineteenth century, included a number of articles on the place of British women in India.23 At this time, the term 'Anglo-Indian' referred to British subjects living in India although, from the early twentieth century on, the term came to refer to the Eurasian population in India.24 I am referring to British subjects throughout my account, despite a number of references in the Calcutta Review and in other sources to English subjects more specifically. During the period of my study, the British Empire incorporated England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland as well as more extensive territories throughout the world. Then, as now, references to 'England' often served to represent 'Britain' more broadly. Throughout this study, I refer to British rather than English subjects to resist rather than repeat this imperial elision and to recognize the involvement of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh men and women in the British, rather than the English, Empire.25 The articles about British women printed in the Calcutta Review in 1886 claimed that imperial rulers in India were often nostalgic for a distant home, which was fondly remembered both in national and domestic terms: l i I will discuss the content of these and other articles in the Calcutta Review in greater detail in Chapter 2. Throughout my study I focus on six papers with different readerships. Two of these papers were published in India: the Calcutta Review and the daily newspaper, the Bengal Hurkaru. I also refer to the London Times and the Illustrated London News to compare two mainstream daily British newspapers, the latter of which included many engravings to illustrate articles. Finally, in Chapter 3 I discuss reports in two British newspapers that were addressed specifically to female readers: The Englishwoman's Review and The Lady's Newspaper and Pictorial Times. 24 The 1911 Census of India was the first Census to use the category 'Anglo-Indian' to replace the unpopular category 'Eurasian.' Census of India 1911. Volume 1, 139. See J. Sharpe, Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993, 19-20 for further discussion. 25 In doing so, my argument clearly differs from that of Jenny Sharpe, who writes that she 'use[s] English and England in their historical sense, that is, to designate a national culture that brings the 'Celtic fringe' of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall under its hegemony.' J. Sharpe, op. cit., 167. To describe such an imperial elision as purely 'historical' denies its persistence today. It is also striking that Sharpe omits Ireland, but includes Cornwall, from her list of the 'Celtic fringe.' See K. Jeffery, ed. 'An Irish Empire?': Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1996 and L. Nochlin, Britons: Forging the Nation. 1707-1837. Pimlico, London, 1992, for further discussion. 10 the saddest, yet inevitable result of Indian life, is the loosening of the sacred family bond...It is said, and said truly, that the Englishman is pre-eminent among the nations of the earth for his love of home\ Let it be remembered, then, that it is at the sacrifice of his home-life that the Englishman in India earns his, by no means, immoderate and ever-decreasing income.26 J. E. Dawson cited the performance of Home, Sweet Home at the opening ceremony of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition as evidence of the national and imperial significance of domestic nostalgia: When we find on a great occasion that a picked elite of ten thousand of our countrymen and women are moved to tears at the sympathetic rendering by one woman's voice of the popular little song 'Home, Sweet Home,' we must feel convinced that both the sentiment and the music appealed to one of the strongest and most deep rooted of our national passions.27 Here, a 'national passion' that cherishes an idea of home is evidently described as shared by British men and women. But Dawson claimed that British men in India could only enjoy imperial domesticity if they were married to British women. Only the presence of Anglo-Indian women as wives and home-makers could help to alleviate the domestic nostalgia of their husbands, Among [whom] are hardworking, home-loving men - [whose] ideal of bliss is to consort with one to cheer them in health and nurse them in sickness, and who will tend their houses and administer their homes with discretion. All are Englishmen, and they love in their wives what is essentially English.28 According to Dawson, British wives and mothers in India helped to create homes that were superior to the confined exclusion of Indian women who were 'immured from infancy to age, 2 6 J. E. Dawson 1886a, op. cit., 349. 2 7 J. E. Dawson 1886b, op. cit., 359. 2 8 Ibid., 369. 11 within the bare and silent walls of those castles of ignorance and listlessness, they call their homes.'29 British homes in India were seen by the Calcutta Review to foster appropriate gender roles, national virtues, and imperial rule. Anglo-Indian domestic life, its supposed superiority to Indian domestic life, and the place of British women in maintaining such domestic superiority, were all thought to bolster the success of imperial power.30 The song Home, Sweet Home, its performance at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, and reports of this performance in the Calcutta Review raise three questions that form the subject of this study. First, how were cultures of domesticity and imperialism intertwined in complex and often contradictory ways over space? Second, did imperial rule, and the travel that it necessarily implied, challenge or reinforce the claim that 'there's no place like home'? Third, how and why were places both like and yet unlike 'home' produced by British women living in India? I address these three questions by focusing on representations both of and by the British wives of civil servants and army officers who lived in India between the Indian 'mutiny'31 of 1857-8 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. As wives of men in the official elite,32 such women came to embody many of the complex and often contradictory links between domesticity and imperialism. In what follows, I consider the ambivalent position of the 2 9 J. E. Dawson 1886a, op. cit., 347. 30 Imperial rule was regarded by Dawson in unequivocally positive terms: 'Compared with the conquering nations of the past, whether for the mildness of its administration, the purity of its intentions, and the equal justice that it seeks to deal to all classes as well as races, and to every creed alike, the rule of the English in India stands out on the page of history as a phenomenon that really appears unique.' J. E. Dawson 1886b, op. cit., 358. 31 The conflict of 1857-8 came to be known in imperial terms as the Indian or Sepoy Mutiny and in nationalist terms as the First War of Independence. I refer to the events of 1857-8 as a 'mutiny' because I am examining imperial representations of the conflict. See Chapter 3 for further discussion of the historiography of the 'mutiny.' 32 See Chapter 2 for discussion of the military and civilian 'aristocracy' of British rulers in India. 12 white, middle class, married British women who helped to produce places both like and yet unlike 'home' in India. My study spans the period from 1857 to 1939.1 start by examining the 'mutiny' of 1857-8 as a period of domestic and imperial crisis, focusing on the strategic and symbolic significance of British women at Cawnpore and Lucknow. I explore representations of and by British women during the conflict to trace the ways in which British women came to embody imperial anxieties and their domestic articulation. Here, I focus not only on domestic representations of the imperial conflict in British newspapers and parliamentary debates, but also on how such representations often depicted domestic defilement in India and how, in turn, such defilement was embodied by British women. Turning to the letters and diaries written by several British women who survived the siege of Lucknow, I consider further links between domesticity and imperialism to explore the ways in which such links shaped the everyday lives of British women during the conflict. I then consider the place of British women in the post-'mutiny' reconstruction of imperial domesticity in India on two scales: first, home and empire-making on a household scale; and, second, seasonal travel by British women to hill stations in North India. Here, household guides, diaries, letters, and memoirs reveal the contested place of Anglo-Indian households and North Indian hill stations in producing a new geography of imperial domesticity after the 'mutiny.' Moreover, such sources also reveal the contested place of British women who travelled not only to but also within India as imperial home-makers. My study focuses on British women living in India until 1939 rather than 1947, the year of Indian Independence, for a number of reasons. The outbreak of the Second World War and, more specifically, the war against Japan had a greater impact on British women living in India than the First World War that had been fought largely 13 in Europe.33 During the war, an increasing number of British women in India began to work outside the home in voluntary and paid employment. At the same time, the development of air transportation considerably reduced the distance between homes in Britain and India and, for the first time, many British families living in India owned a house in Britain ready for their return at or before Independence.34 The performance of Home, Sweet Home at the opening ceremony of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886 must have seemed both poignant and paradoxical because whilst the sentiments of the song conveyed domestic nostalgia and loss, the Exhibition sought to encourage imperial domesticity far away from 'home.' In what follows, I consider the contested and often contradictory representations of imperial domesticity and the embodiment of such representations by women who travelled away from Britain to set up imperial homes in India. The importance of British women in establishing and maintaining imperial domesticity was recognized in a service of commemoration and thanksgiving for the British who had 'served India' that was held in London in 1949: [L]et us remember with reverence and thankfulness that great company of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who gladly and bravely shared the labours and fortunes of their menfolk in a distant land; making homes for them; bearing children and training them in godly living; enduring with unfailing courage the sorrows and anxieties of long separations; and withal showing so much true friendship and care for the women and children of the country.35 Such reverent thanksgiving for the British women who had lived in India clearly centres on their domestic, familial roles as imperial home-makers. However, the imperial domesticity of British 33 p. Barr, The Dust in the Balance: British Women in India 1905-1945. Hamish Hamilton, London, 1989, and M. MacMillan, Women of the Raj. Thames and Hudson, London, 1988. 34 Ibid.. 35 Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving, St Margaret's Church, Westminster, 7 July 1949. Stokes Papers, Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. 14 women in India that was so favourably evoked after Indian Independence had been seldom straightforward and had been frequently contested during British rule. In this study, I examine imperial domesticity from 1857 to 1939 to suggest more complex and often contradictory links between ideas of home and empire. By focusing on the British wives of army officers and civil servants, I consider representations both of and by British women who produced places that were both like and yet unlike 'home' in India. In so doing, I hope to reveal the ambivalent embodiment of imperial domesticity by British women who travelled both to and within India from 1857 to 1939. By investigating imperial domesticity at a time of conflict and reconstruction, this study seeks to reveal internal contradictions within discourses of imperial domesticity. Moreover, this study interrogates such contradictory discourses by focusing on the ambivalent place of British women at home in India. Representations of the white, bourgeois wives of army officers and civil servants reveal not only the material complexities of embodied subjectivities but also the ambivalence of imperial domesticity. Through my focus on British women travelling both to and within India to set up homes from 1857 to 1939, this study examines embodied representations of imperial domesticity over space and time. Chapter 2 15 Gendered Geographies of Imperial Domesticity Introduction In 1623, several Portuguese women who lived in Goa were thought to be the first European women to have travelled to India. 1 B y the early eighteenth century, a number of French and Dutch women lived in Bombay, and several British women were l iving in Calcutta at the time of the 'Black Hole' affair in 1756.2 But in 1810, there were still only an estimated 250 European women living in India. 3 B y 1872, however, almost five thousand British women lived in the North Western Provinces alone 4 and, by 1901, there were 42,004 female British subjects in India as a whole out of a total British population of 154,691.5 This Chapter examines the reasons for the dramatic increase in the number of British women living in India and considers how such an 1 'The English in India: Our Social Morality, ' Calcutta Review, 1844, 290-336. 2 The 'Black Hole' of Calcutta refers to the attack on the British Fort at Calcutta led by the Nawab Siraj-ud-daula. The Governor of Bengal deserted the Fort, the Fort surrendered, and those who remained were imprisoned in what was later referred to as the 'Black Hole' of Calcutta. B y January 1757, Calcutta was regained by the East India Company forces under the command of Cl ive , and a treaty was signed with the Nawab. M . Edwardes, A History of India, Grosset and Dunlap, New York, 1970. 3 Ibid.. 4 Census of the North West Provinces 1872. Volume 1: General Report, North Western Provinces' Government Press, Allahabad, 1873, 37. The total number of British subjects l iving in the North Western Provinces in 1872 was 12,433. In the provincial census of the Punjab conducted in 1868, 2,093 adult female Europeans were recorded out of a total of 17,958 Europeans. Report of the Census of the Punjab 1868. Indian Public Opinion Press, Lahore, 1870. 5 Census of India 1901: Administrative Volume with Appendices. Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta, 1903. The first synchronous census for India as a whole took place in 1881, and continued every decade thereafter. In 1881, of 89,015 people born in Britain, 12,569 were women. In 1891, of 100,551 people born in Britain, 12,436 were women. However, the number of people born of British parents but outside Britain (totalling 50,360 in 1881) was not differentiated by sex. 16 increase was not only influenced by but also helped to influence changing discourses of imperial domesticity over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Feminine discourses of middle class marriage and motherhood were transported and translated over imperial space by British women travelling to India. Imperial domesticity was the subject of ongoing debates that centred on the presence of British women in India, the possibility of reconstructing British homes in India, and the coexistence of ideas of home on household, national, and imperial scales in both Britain and India. These debates often came to be discursively embodied by the British women who travelled from Britain to India. Thus, whilst agreeing with Anne McClintock that 'the cultural history of imperialism cannot be understood without a theory of domestic space and gender power,'6 this Chapter suggests that the connections between imperialism, domestic space, and gender power are also closely entwined with imperial travel. In this light, I examine ambivalent representations of British women travelling between homes that were imagined to coexist on household, national, and imperial scales to argue that not only did imperialism depend on travel, but also that living in imperial places was itself a form of travel. This Chapter explores stereotypical representations of British women in India and discusses the ambivalent mobility of such stereotypes that is often overlooked in both imperialist and revisionist accounts. In an attempt to destabilize essentialist representations of both imperial power and gender, I introduce mobile, embodied subjectivities. Rather than celebrate fluidity and transgression, I explore notions of critical, grounded mobility. Such representations of spatialised subjectivities of British women travelling to and within India differ from other attempts to conceptualise gendered subjectivity, imperial and domestic spatiality, and imperial domesticity merely in terms of public and private space. I begin, however, by introducing British imperialism in India; by accounting for the increasing number of British women who travelled to India over the course of the nineteenth century; by explaining my focus on the British wives of a military ° A. McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race. Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest. Routledge, New York, 1995, 133. 17 and civilian elite in India; and by tracing the contradictory discourses of imperial domesticity in British India. British Imperialism in India British involvement in India increased from at least 1618, when the East India Company obtained trading rights from the Mughal Empire and began to export Indian products to Europe.7 Following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the East India Company exercised military and administrative as well as commercial control over the Bengal, Bombay, and Madras Presidencies. Each Presidency had its own army, composed of British officers and both British and Indian soldiers. Whilst the Bombay and Madras Presidencies were each ruled by a Governor, the Bengal Presidency was ruled by a Governor-General. The Governor-General was based in Calcutta and exercised supervisory control over the other two Presidencies and, from 1833, was retitled the Governor-General of India.8 The East India Company operated under a twenty year charter that was renewed by the British government in 1813, 1833, and 1853. The East India Company maintained its lucrative commercial monopoly until 1813. After this date, although India continued to be a source of raw materials for European markets it also became a major, protected market for British products. Overall, '[t]he Indian economy was being transformed into an agricultural support system for British manufacturing capitalism.'9 The area controlled by the East India Company continued to expand and eight more Indian states were conquered and ' The East India Company had been established in 1599 by a charter from Queen Elizabeth I to protect a trading monopoly between Britain and places east of the Cape of Good Hope. See B. Gardner, The East India Company. Rupert Hart-Davis, London, 1971 and S. Suleri, The Rhetoric of English India. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992, for further discussion. Gardner describes the East India Company as 'the most remarkable institution of private enterprise and capitalism that the world has ever known.' Gardner, op. cit., 298. 8 K. Ballhatchet, Race. Sex, and Class under the Raj: Imperial Attitudes and Policies and their Critics. 1793-1905. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1980. y F. Hamilton, 'Some of us are Imperialists, some of us are not' in J. Grant ed., Women. Migration and Empire. Trentham Books, London, 1996, 104. 18 brought under British rule from 1848 to 1856. Figure 1 shows the territory under British rule on the eve of the 'mutiny.' As Chapter 3 will show, the annexation of the province of Oudh was a major factor leading to the widespread unrest that culminated in the 'mutiny' of 1857-8. The main constitutional consequence of the suppression of the 'mutiny' was the Royal Proclamation of 1 November 1858 and subsequent Government of India Acts, which replaced the rule of the East India Company with that of the British Crown. 1 0 This study focuses on British women living in India during and after the 'mutiny' to examine representations of imperial domesticity at a time of imperial conflict and reconstruction but begins by turning to the earliest British women who travelled to set up homes in India. Discourses of Imperial Domesticity In the mid eighteenth century, it has been estimated that up to ninety per cent of British men in India were married to Indian or Eurasian women, but by the beginning of the nineteenth century, intermarriage had virtually ceased and an increasing number of British women travelled to India either once they were married or in search of a husband.11 By the 1790s, policies of integration were reversed and British rulers became increasingly distanced from their Indian and Eurasian subjects. Indians were no longer invited to social occasions at Government House, Eurasians were prohibited from holding either civil or military office in the East India Company, and, by 1808, no Eurasians remained in the British army.12 Such social, administrative, and military exclusions in racial terms were reflected by domestic anxieties that centred on intermarriage and i U Following the transfer of the government of India from the East India Company to the British Crown, a parliamentary Select Committee was appointed to consider the prospects of colonization and settlement in India. The findings of the Select Committee and their implications for British women travelling to India will be discussed in Chapter 5. 11 R. Hyam, Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1990. 12 Ibid., 116. 19 AFGHANISTAN Peshawar KASHMIR T U N J A B / ' ^ V i Lahore Territory under British control on the eve of the 'Mutiny', 1857 TIBET Delhi ( Agra 9 3 NEPAL RAJPUTANA B I H A R S I N D -ZT? O "GUJURAT/. Bombay ° 3 OUDH Arabian Sea o £ N c Y BENGAL REWA Barrackpore^ Calcutta, N A G P U R O a z o NIZAM Hyderabad O MYSORE 5 Dacca I Madras Bengal C E Y L O N Figure 1: British India and Ceylon, 1857 Source: P. Lawson, The East India Company: A History, Longman, London, 1993 20 miscegenation.13 Ronald Hyam identifies several reasons for the reversal of official attitudes to intermarriage in India in the late eighteenth century.14 First, the increasing number and influence of missionaries in India helped to tighten a code of Christian morality in increasingly racialised terms.15 Indeed, it has been claimed that 'the presence of missionaries of the ruling race encouraged the British to see themselves as more moral than Indians and to think that the preservation of social distance was morally justifiable.'16 Second, the policies of Governor-General Wellesley in the 1790s sought to strengthen British rule in India by establishing a widening, authoritative distance between apparently incorruptible British rulers and their Indian subjects.17 Finally, Hyam identifies the reaction to the uprising on the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo from 1791 as the most significant reason for the reversal of British social and domestic policies in India in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The uprising in Santo Domingo led to the overthrow of French colonial rule, the declaration of Haiti as an independent republic in 1804, and the deaths of most of the 30,000 white population on the island in 1805. As a result, Hyam suggests that the British in India came to fear an uprising against their rule by Indian soldiers led by Eurasian officers.18 British rulers in India were increasingly encouraged to 13 See R. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory. Culture and Race. Routledge, London, 1995 for further discussion of colonial discourses of inter-racial sex. 1 4 Hyam, op. cit., 116-117. 15 See B. Christophers, 'Time, Space and the People of God: Anglican Colonialism in Nineteenth Century British Columbia,' Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1995, for further discussion of the roles of missionaries in regulating racial, sexual, and gendered conduct through Christian marriage elsewhere in the British Empire. 16 Ballhatchet op. cit., 5. 17 See B. Cohn, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1996, for more details about the distancing strategies of British rule and the public and often spectacular displays of such imperial power that both relied on and also reinforced such authoritative distancing. 18 Hyam, op. cit., 117. 21 marry British women in an attempt to establish and to maintain their social and domestic distance from Indians and Eurasians. But, as Kenneth Ballhatchet suggests, the regulation of racial, sexual, and gendered conduct through British marriages in India was class specific and contradictory because the social and domestic distance between British rulers and Indian and Eurasian subjects was restricted to an official elite. A domestic hierarchy in the army in the nineteenth century was reflected by the popular maxim that 'subalterns cannot marry, captains may marry, majors should marry, colonels must marry.'19 As in the British army, the army of the East India Company imposed strict regulations on the number of soldiers entitled to marry. Until the reforms of British army life in the late nineteenth century, soldiers were only able to marry if they were aged over twenty six, and, even then, only six per cent of soldiers in a company gained official permission to marry 'on the strength.'20 The wives of soldiers who married 'on the strength' were able to live in barracks, eat army food, and enrol their children at regimental schools, and were often employed in a domestic capacity by the regiment.21 In India, although twelve per cent of soldiers were entitled to marry 'on the strength,' the permitted level was rarely attained. By 1862, for example, the proportion of married British soldiers was 4.75 per cent in Bengal, 6 per cent in Bombay, and 8 per cent in Madras.22 Over the course of the nineteenth century, whilst the official British elite in India was increasingly encouraged to marry British women, military restrictions limited the number of British soldiers able to marry at all. 1 9 Ibid., 121. 20 A. R. Skelley, The Victorian Army at Home: The Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of the British Regular. 1859-1899. Croom Helm, London, 1977 and E. M. Spiers, The Army and Society. 1815-1914. Longman, London, 1980. 2 1 V. Bamfield, On the Strength: The Story of the British Army Wife. Charles Knight, London, 1974, and M. Trustram, Women of the Regiment: Marriage and the Victorian Army. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984. 2 2 Ballhatchet, op. cit., 35. 22 In contrast to the sexual and domestic distancing achieved in part by marrying a British woman, sexual contact between British soldiers and Indian and Eurasian women was officially sanctioned and regulated by the provision of regimental brothels or lal bazaars and lock hospitals. By establishing lal bazaars, regimental authorities could inspect and register prostitutes living in cantonments. From the mid 1850s until 1888, this practice had become so widespread that regimental brothels could be found in seventy-five Indian army cantonments.23 In the course of their compulsory inspection, any prostitute who was found to have contracted a venereal disease could be detained in a lock hospital.24 This system of regulated prostitution was thought both to protect and to promote the masculine virility of British soldiers by channelling their sexuality away from the perceived dangers of masturbation and homosexuality and by protecting them from venereal disease. In light of the class distinction between British officers and soldiers, Ballhatchet has identified a stark contradiction 'between the care with which the military authorities provided facilities for sexual relations between British soldiers and native women, and the care with which other authorities tried to discourage sexual relations between British officials and native women.'25 According to Ballhatchet, this apparent contradiction arose from a fundamental concern to preserve the basis of imperial power: 'In the one case the soldiers' virile 2 3 Hyam, op. cit., 123. 2 4 Ballhatchet, op. cit.. Similar regulations existed in Britain under the Contagious Diseases Acts from 1864 to 1886. Josephine Butler was a leading campaigner against these Acts both in Britain and in India. Although the Contagious Diseases Act was repealed in India in 1888, a number of 'Cantonment Rules' continued to sanction brothels within the regimental lines and continued to impose the compulsory examination of prostitutes. As Antoinette Burton has shown, the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts provide clear examples of the imperial complicity of nineteenth century British feminism. A. Burton, 'The White Woman's Burden: British Feminists and 'The Indian Woman,' 1865-1915,' in N. Chaudhuri and M. Strobel eds. Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1992 and A. Burton, Burdens of History: British Feminists. Indian Women, and Imperial Culture. 1865-1915. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1994. 2 5 Ballhatchet, op. cit., 164. 23 energies had to be maintained. In the other case the social distance between the official elite and the people had to be preserved.'26 Throughout this study, I focus on discourses of imperial domesticity and their embodiment by British women at home in India to reveal further contradictions that fractured and destabilized imperial power and authority. Following the work of Nicholas Thomas, the exposure of such internal contradictions can begin to disrupt an essentialist, unitary view of imperial power 'as a coherent imposition, rather than a practically mediated relation.'27 As Thomas writes, Colonizing projects were...frequently split between assimilationist and segregationist ways of dealing with indigenous peoples; between impulses to define new lands as vacant spaces for European achievement, and a will to define, collect and map the cultures which already possessed them; and in the definition of colonizers' identities, which had to reconcile the civility and values of home with the raw novelty of sites of settlement.28 By focusing on British women married to army officers and civil servants, I explore the contradictory discourses of imperial domesticity that centred on both the place of British women and the place of British homes in imperial India. Following Thomas, my aim is 'not to rehabilitate imperial efforts, but to understand how far and why they were (and are) supported by various classes and interest groups'29 by examining gendered geographies of imperial domesticity among the official British elite. 2 6 Ibid., 164. 27 N. Thomas, Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology. Travel and Government. Polity, Cambridge, 1994, 3. 2 8 Ibid., 2-3. 2 9 Ibid., 17. 24 An Imperial Aristocracy British officials in India, both military and civilian, have been described as emulating an aristocratic ruling class. According to Benedict Anderson, high capitalist imperialism 'permitted sizeable numbers of bourgeois and petty bourgeois to play aristocrat off centre court: i.e. anywhere in the empire except at home.'30 The aristocratic aspirations of imperial officials were displayed in a 'tropical Gothic' lifestyle that was epitomised by 'the bourgeois gentilhomme speaking poetry against a backcloth of spacious mansions and gardens filled with mimosa and bougainvillea, and a large supporting cast of houseboys, grooms, gardeners, cooks, amahs, maids, washerwomen, and, above all, horses.'31 The appearance of 'capitalism in feudal-aristocratic drag'32 was embedded in the structures and organisation of imperial power within but also beyond imperial households. In the nineteenth century, the organisation both of army regiments and the civil service in India arguably relied on and reproduced a feudal hierarchy that elevated a privileged and powerful elite of imperial officials. The effectiveness of military organisation was thought to depend on the replication of a feudal hierarchy through the 'successful adaptation of gentry lifestyle and social relations to the messroom and barrack yard.'33 By providing for the emotional, sexual and spiritual as well as physical needs of soldiers, the regimental system came to encompass a range of domestic and familial as well as military roles.34 Because of its heirarchical organisation between as well as among officers and other ranks, the domestic and familial roles of a regiment came to replicate feudal-aristocratic relations. The incorporation of British wives of officers and soldiers into regimental life not only reflected the domestic and familial functions of a regiment, but also reinforced the hierarchical B. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso, London, 1991, revised version, 150. 3 1 Ibid., 150-151. 3 2 Ibid., 151. 3 3 Trustram, op. cit., 16. 3 4 Ibid.. 25 basis of such functions.35 British wives of officers and soldiers were similarly positioned on a regimental hierarchy, deriving their status from the rank of their husband.36 As a result, a clear distinction existed between women married to soldiers and 'ladies' married to officers. Whilst the wives of soldiers often worked as cooks, seamstresses, and washerwomen both for their husbands and the regiment, the wives of officers aspired to bourgeois and aristocratic ideals of feminine domesticity not only within their own families but also in their familial relations with the regiment itself.37 If British army officers constituted a military elite in India, civil servants constituted a civilian elite. The term 'civil service' was first used in India to describe all non-military employees of the East India Company.38 These employees were initially traders but as the Company became a government rather than a commercial monopoly, its civil servants became administrators. The covenanted service of the East India Company referred to those civilians who, on their appointment, entered a covenant to the effect that they would refuse any gifts or bribes that were offered in the course of their duties.39 The covenanted service came to be H. Callan and S. Ardener, eds., The Incorporated Wife. Croom Helm, London, 1984. The essays in this volume consider a range of historical and contemporary examples of a wife's 'incorporation' to her husband's status. 36 As Trustram writes, 'The problems which wives of men commissioned from the ranks faced in fitting into the social world of the officer class well illustrate the gulfs [between women in a regiment]. Even within the officer class the wife of a man who married without his commanding officer's approval might find herself shunned by other wives: the commanding officer's wife having been detailed by her husband to encourage the wives to ignore her, in order to punish the husband for his misconduct.' Ibid., 194. 37 Bourgeois ideals of feminine domesticity will be discussed below. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the regimental organisation and military implications of imperial domesticity in greater detail by examining representations of and by the British wives of officers during the 'mutiny' of 1857-8. 38 E. Blunt, The I.C.S.: The Indian Civil Service. Faber and Faber, London, 1937. Also see L. S. S. O'Malley, The Indian Civil Service 1601-1930. John Murray, London, 1931 for a history of the civilian elite in India. 39 Ballhatchet, op. cit., 2. 26 known as the Indian Civil Service and its members, who numbered little over a thousand and ruled more than 300 million Indians, have been described '[i]n their heyday' as 'the most powerful officials in the empire, if not the world.'40 The 'heaven-born'41 elite of the Indian Civil Service administered the diverse activities of the Anglo-Indian state: 'They collected the revenue, allocated rights in land, relieved famines, improved agriculture, built public works, suppressed revolts, drafted laws, investigated crimes, judged lawsuits, inspected municipalities, schools, hospitals, cooperatives - the list is endless.'42 From 1855, civil servants were recruited by open examinations that spanned classics, mathematics, social sciences, Indian history, and Indian languages 4 3 Three years later, pay scales were drawn up to offer successful candidates substantially higher salaries than they could expect at home, security of tenure, and a pension of £1000 after at least twenty-five and at most thirty-five years' service.44 The Indian Civil Service was a hierarchical system that included assistant, deputy, and full commissioners, provincial governors, and central government officials.45 As in the army, British wives were incorporated 4 U C. Dewey, Anglo-Indian Attitudes: The Mind of the Indian Civil Service. The Hambledon Press, London, 1993, 3. 41 Referring to civil servants as 'heaven-born' likened their status to that of the superior Brahmin caste. MacMillan op. cit.. 42 Dewey, op. cit., 3. 43 E. Blunt, op. cit.. Before 1855, future civil servants were trained at the East India Company College at Haileybury. In 1863, Satyendranath Tagore was the first Indian candidate to be successful in the Civil Service examinations. As Ballhatchet writes, '[t]he Civil Service Commissioners reacted in characteristic fashion by manipulating the marking scheme so as to impede subsequent Indian candidates.' Ballhatchet, op. cit., 6. From the late nineteenth century, a policy of 'Indianization' was gradually emerging. In 1915, sixty three Indians accounted for five per cent of civil servants and by 1935, more than four hundred Indians accounted for thirty two per cent of the Indian Civil Service. E. Blunt, op. cit.. See T. R. Metcalf, The New Cambridge History of India 111.4: Ideologies of the Raj. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994, for further discussion. 44 Dewey, op. cit., 5. As Dewey notes, the pay scales fixed in 1858 remained virtually the same until 1947 and the salaries of civil servants declined in real terms because of inflation. 4 5 Ibid.. 27 into this hierarchy by acquiring status from their husband's rank. Moreover, British wives played important roles in both establishing and maintaining this hierarchy in domestic and social terms. As Margaret Strobel writes, '[a] wife who did not act in a manner appropriate to her husband's rank upset the entire community by disrupting the social order upon which European society was based.'46 British officials in India, both military and civilian, have been described as an aristocracy and often regarded their position as imperial rulers in similar terms. As Ballhatchet writes: Not merely were they mainly recruited from a middle class which admired the lifestyle of the landed aristocracy in England. They themselves had an analogous function in the imperial structure, dominating the administrative and military systems, deriving their incomes from a predominantly agrarian economy and playing a paternalistic role among respectful peasants. So they saw themselves, and social distance seemed essential to their authority: because they were remote they would be feared as alien and trusted as incorruptible.47 The British official elite distanced itself not only from Indians and Eurasians, but also from British planters, missionaries, and those with business or commercial interests who often remained socially and spatially marginal to the more formal exercise of British rule 4 8 Among the official elite, the increasing tendency to marry British women over the course of the nineteenth century represented an attempt to establish and maintain strategies that distanced themselves as authoritative and incorruptible in both racial and class terms. But the contested place of British women and British homes in India suggests that such distancing strategies were both complex and contradictory. 46 M. Strobel, European Women and the Second British Empire. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1991, 13. 4 7 Ballhatchet, op. cit., 164. 48 See Chapter 5 for discussion of the antagonism between many planters and the Indian Civil Service that became evident in debates about colonization and settlement after the 'mutiny.' 28 Travelling Home to India Imperial domesticity relied in many ways on the presence of British wives and mothers in India, but British women who travelled to India were often represented in ambivalent ways. An article in the Calcutta Review in 1844 looked back to the late eighteenth century to mark half a century of domestic progress among Anglo-Indians. The article claimed that in the late eighteenth century, domestic improvements, which were seen as the only way to cultivate a British morality, lagged far behind social improvements. As the article stated, 'People wear their new garments out-of-doors before wearing them at home.'49 Domestic improvements depended, it was claimed, on an influx of British women to facilitate 'honourable connexions.' And yet, the Calcutta Review was highly critical of those British women who had travelled to India in the late eighteenth century. As the following extract suggests, the Calcutta Review was anxious to distance the domestic progress of the 1840s from the late eighteenth century: there are few if any of our readers...who have not heard much and read much on the subject of Female Adventurers, and the Marriage Market, and young ladies going out to India, on what was vulgarly called 'a spec.' All this is quite swept away. There are young ladies in every part of India - but the question of what they are doing there may be answered without a reference to the Marriage Mart. In most cases, they are found in our Indian stations, for the same reason that other young ladies may be found in London, or Liverpool, or Exeter - simply because, when in these places, they are in their proper homes. Adventuresses there are none.50 Here, domesticity is tied to the appropriate behaviour of women and it was unacceptable, 'vulgar' behaviour to travel to India in search of a husband, even though such travel provided the very basis for later domestic and moral improvement. The appropriate behaviour of British women in India was seen in domestic terms and was bound up with ideas about home. 49 'The English in India - Our Social Morality,' Calcutta Review, 1844, 290-336, 321. 5 0 Ibid., 331. 29 By the 1840s, it was seen as acceptable for British women to travel to India because they were seen to be travelling home. It was claimed that, by the 1840s, 'Young ladies now are never 'transported to India' 'to take their chance.' Apart from all matrimonial intentions, they have a legitimate purpose in visiting India...When they turn their faces to the East, they do so, not leaving but seeking their proper homes.'51 Another article in the Calcutta Review also described British homes in India, stating that 'India is the home of every girl whose parents are in it; of every married woman.'52 However, the article went on to question the tendency of many British people in India who continued to perceive Britain rather than India as 'home': We all, both men and women, talk of home; but home, as we use it, means not India, but England in which perhaps we have not a single relation or a single local tie. The phrase is pardonable, but yet we could wish it altered, especially among those who have both husband and parents in this land. It would conduce much to their contentment and happiness, if they would not only call, but learn to consider this country as home, and England as but England; - a country to which they may possibly be driven to seek for the restoration of their health - in which they may possibly be buried.53 Representing Memsahibs The wives of British officials in India were often known as memsahibs. This term originated in the Bengal Presidency from 'madam-sahib' and came to be used in British colonies throughout Asia and Africa.54 Memsahibs have been represented in such stereotypically negative ways that Margaret Strobel has suggested that 'The most unflattering portrait of European women [in the British Empire] comes in the characterization of memsahibs in India.'55 Memsahibs have been 5 1 Ibid., 332. 5 2 'Married Life in India,' Calcutta Review, 1845, 394-417, 404. 5 3 Ibid., 404-405. 54 N. Chaudhuri, 'Memsahibs and Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century Colonial India,' Victorian Studies. 1988,517-535. 55 Strobel, op. cit., 7. 30 stereotypically portrayed as 'narrowly indolent, more prejudiced and vindictive towards the colonized than their men, abusive to servants, usually bored, viciously gossipy, prone to extra-marital affairs, destructive to peaceful social relations, and cruelly insensitive to women of the colonized races.'56 In many accounts, the growing distance between British rulers and Indian subjects over the course of the nineteenth century is attributed to the presence of an increasing number of white British women in India. As Ann Laura Stoler writes, 'Some accounts claim that the increasing number of women in colonial settlements resulted in increased racism not only because of the native desire they excited and the chivalrous protection they therefore required, but because women were more avid racists in their own right.'57 Not only did the presence of British women lead to the creation of exclusively British domestic and social life, but such women were also thought to need protection from the desire of Indian and Eurasian men. In 1859, a Eurasian gynaecologist, Dr Gillies, was accused of negligence and ungentlemanly conduct in his treatment of a British patient, Mrs Stonehouse, who died of peritonitis. A wide debate ensued about whether British women should be treated by Indian or Eurasian doctors.58 In another attempt to control the perceived desire of Indian as well as Eurasian men for British women, laws restricted the mobility of Indian princes in Europe over the course of the nineteenth century: Indian princes were suspected of designs upon white women, and this was seen as a reason for restricting their travels to Europe. Then white women were thought to be attracted to Indian princes, and this was seen as a reason why princes should not -)" B. Gatrell, 'Colonial Wives: Villains or Victims?' in Callan and Ardener op. cit., 165-185, 165. 57 A. L. Stoler, 'Rethinking Colonial Categories: European Communities and the Boundaries of Rule,' in N. Dirks, ed., Colonialism and Culture. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1992, 319-352, 331. 5 8 S. Mills, 'Gender and Colonial Space,' Gender. Place and Culture. 3, 1996, 125-147. Heated debates about the professional status of Indian and Eurasian doctors and their ability to treat British women were paralleled by debates about Indian and Eurasian judges who, following the Libert Bill of 1883, were able to pass judgement on British women and men. See Ballhatchet, op. cit., for further discussion. 31 linger long in Europe. In both cases, the underlying threat was to the structure of power.59 Both imperial domesticity and imperial power more broadly were thought to depend on British officials marrying British women. Both contemporaneous and current accounts have attributed stereotypical representations of memsahibs to a lack of knowledge about the lives of British women in India. Writing in 1909, in a book about the duties and responsibilities of Englishwomen' in India, Maud Diver was keen to redress British ignorance about life in India. As she wrote, 'it would be as well for those at home to realise, as vividly as may be, the special dangers and difficulties which complicate the lives of Englishwomen in India.'60 But the lack of knowledge about such dangers and difficulties led Diver to conclude: That Englishwomen are disposed to pass judgement on their Anglo-Indian sisters, as a class, is undeniable. From pedestals of sober respectability and energetic industry, they denounce as idle, frivolous, and luxury-loving, those other women of whose trials and temptations they know little or nothing; and it must be acknowledged that a surface glance at certain aspects of Anglo-Indian life would appear to justify much of the unsparing criticism to which they are subjected. But a deeper knowledge of what life in India really means would soften those criticisms to a surprising extent.61 Such stereotypical images of memsahibs arguably persist today because of the neglect of British women in histories of India and imperialism more generally. The study of British women in India has ranged from neglect in masculinist imperial histories to a revisionist celebration of, particularly, memsahibs. Pat Barr's book Memsahibs is subtitled In Praise of the Women of Victorian India,' rejects the 'historical cliche' of memsahibs as 'frivolous, snobbish and selfish,' and rather claims that 'For the most part, the women loyally and stoically accepted their share of 5 9 Ballhatchet, op. cit., 121. 60 M. Diver, The Englishwoman in India. William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, 1909, 6. 6 1 Ibid., 5. 32 the white people's burden and lightened the weight of it with their quiet humour, their grace, and often their youth.'62 Margaret MacMillan has also sought to displace stereotypical images of memsahibs by writing that British women in India certainly behaved badly; they also behaved well. They were brave in ways that are difficult to comprehend today. They might say dreadful things but their actions were often quite different from their words. They did not, it is true, conduct themselves in India with the patience of saints, the understanding of anthropologists. They were merely, most of them, ordinary middle-class women put into an extraordinary situation.63 Imperial histories that neglect the gendered nature of imperialism remain within an imperialist framework by isolating and perpetuating ideas of racial difference. But revisionist celebrations of memsahibs often ignore imperial power, essentialise gender, and overlook other facets of subjectivity such as class, whiteness, and sexuality. Moreover, recent interest in the imperial roles of British women has often taken the form of romantic, nostalgic imagery in literature, television, and film, particularly since the 1980s.64 In its recent celebration of the wife of a defeated Conservative Member of Parliament, a British newspaper proclaimed on its front page that 'With more women like her we'd never have lost the Empire.'65 Not only does this lament the loss of the British Empire, but this loss is ascribed to the destructive presence of British women. In response to such nostalgic images, the persistence of gender-blind imperial histories, and imperial histories and popular representations that incorporate only individual and/or 6 2 Barr 1976, op. cit., 1. 6 3 MacMillan, op. cit., 7-8. 64 Chaudhuri and Strobel, op. cit.. 65 Daily Mail, 9 April 1997. This right-wing tabloid newspaper was describing the loyalty of Christine Hamilton whose husband Neil was allegedly implicated in parliamentary corruption. The newspaper went on to describe Christine Hamilton as a model incorporated wife: 'She's the kind of old-fashioned wife whose life is totally intertwined with that of her husband. She's his secretary, rock, defender and rear gunner. Attack him and you attack her. If he's wounded, she bleeds.' 33 stereotypical women, there have been an increasing number of attempts to examine both gender and imperialism in more critical ways.66 Aiming neither to perpetuate nor simply to dismiss stereotypical representations of memsahibs, I seek to reveal the ambivalence of such representations. Through a focus on British women travelling to India, I aim to destabilize essentialist representations of both imperial power and gender by tracing the mobile, embodied subjectivity of memsahibs. Following Homi Bhabha, the study of colonial discourse should address the creation of colonial subjects, moving beyond the identification of images as positive or negative towards a more structural understanding of subjectification.67 Colonial discourse depends on fixity in the construction of otherness, which, as 'the sign of cultural/historical/racial difference,' is a paradoxical form of representation, reproducing 'rigidity and an unchanging order as well as disorder, degeneracy and daemonic repetition.'68 The stereotype is the main discursive codification of fixity and is similarly ambivalent because it 'is a form of knowledge and identification that vacillates between what is always 'in place,' already known, and something that must be anxiously repeated.'69 Stereotypes do not represent false images that become discriminatory scapegoats; rather, they are complex and ambivalent in their 'projection and introjection, metaphoric and metonymic strategies, displacement, overdetermination, guilt, aggressivity; the masking and splitting of 'official' and phantasmatic knowledges to construct the 0 0 See, for example, Chaudhuri and Strobel, op. cit.; T. Foley, L. Pilkington, S. Ryder, and E. Tilley, eds., Gender and Colonialism. Galway University Press, Galway, 1995; J. Haggis, 'Gendering Colonialism or Colonising Gender? Recent Women's Studies Approaches to White Women and the History of British Colonialism,' Women's Studies International Forum. 13, 1990, 105-115; B. Melman, Women's Orients: English Women and the Middle East. 1718-1918: Sexuality. Religion and Work. Macmillan, London, 1992; and V. Ware, Beyond the Pale: White Women. Racism and History. Verso, London, 1992. 6 7 H. Bhabha, 'The Other Question...,' Screen. 24, 6, 1983, 18-36. 6 8 Ibid., 18. 6 9 Ibid.. 34 positionalities and oppositionalities of racist discourse.'70 For Bhabha, such ambivalence is productive, giving rise to otherness that is 'an object of desire and derision, an articulation of difference contained within the fantasy of origin and identity.'71 To overlook ambivalence is to remain constrained within a unitary, essentialist colonial discourse, perpetuating the hegemonic metanarrative of otherness that legitimates such a discourse. Rather than make normalizing judgements about colonial representation, it is important to engage with the colonial regime of 'truth' that made stereotypes effective. By revealing stereotypical representations of memsahibs as ambivalent, the colonial regime of 'truth,' knowledge, and power becomes more fractured, unstable and contradictory than permanent, stable, and unitary. The political importance of such a strategy lies in the destabilization of the otherwise hegemonic production of colonial 'truth' and the exercise of colonial power. But this strategy does not deny the material violence, domination, and exploitation often resulting from imperial expansion and conquest. Rather, by exposing the ambivalent basis of imperial power and the production of imperial knowledge, the truth effects and the legitimation of imperial power become destabilized, revealing internal contradictions that fractured imperial power and opening important lines and locations of resistance to such power. For Denise Riley, the category 'women' is constructed and hence unstable, constantly produced and reworked over time.72 In similar terms, by destabilizing stereotypical representations of memsahibs, the ambivalent mobility of otherwise apparently fixed stereotypes generally and stereotypical memsahibs more specifically can begin to be revealed. In poststructuralist terms, subjectivity is inherently unstable through its discursive constitution because 'the fragmented, unstable subject...is not regarded as a rational autonomous unit 7 0 Ibid., 34. 7 1 Ibid., 19. 7 2 D. Riley, 'Am I That Name?' Feminism and the Category 'Women' in History.' Macmillan, London, 1988. 35 producing meanings and values, but rather as being constituted in the ebb and flow of conflicting meanings generated by various discourses.'73 Rather than merely add gendered subjects to historical and geographical inquiry, the constitution of subjectivity itself becomes a central concern. In this way, rather than delimit an unproblematic category of 'British women living in India,' this study examines the constitution of subjectivity in relation to gendered discourses of imperial domesticity. Following Michel Foucault, discourse represents 'a historically, socially, and institutionally specific structure of statements, terms, categories, and beliefs.'74 Because of the material specificity of discursive formations over space and time, I examine gendered discourses of imperial domesticity in three contexts: during the 'mutiny' of 1857-8; on a household scale after 1858; and in the seasonal travel of British women to hill stations after 1858. Dwelling and Travelling For many feminists, clear tensions exist between recognising both gender and subjectivity as constructed and the strategic need to assert gendered subjectivity.75 As Riley notes, 'both a concentration on and a refusal of the identity 'women' are essential to feminism.'76 Such tensions are often articulated in spatial terms whereby gendered subjectivity both repeats and yet denies its grounded confinement. The evocation of spatial imagery, which can include a rhetoric of 7 3 M . Valverde, 'Poststructuralist Gender Historians: Are We Those Names?' Labour / Le Travail. 25, 1990, 227-236, 228. 74 J. w . Scott,'Deconstructing Equality-Versus-Difference: or, The Uses of Poststructuralist Theory for Feminism,' Feminist Studies. 14, 1988, 33-50, 35. 75 As discussed by L. Alcoff, 'Cultural Feminism versus Poststructuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory,' Signs. 13, 3, 1988, 405-437; and S. Hekman, 'Reconstituting the Subject: Feminism, Modernism and Postmodernism,' Hypatia. 6, 2, 1991, 44-63. Riley, op. cit., 1. 36 mobility, positions of marginality and exile, and representations of borderlands as a place,77 often inscribes spatialised subjectivities in more contingent, unstable, and decentred terms.78 Spatial discourses of dwelling and travelling can be contextualised in materially specific and embodied terms by focusing on imperial domesticity and the place of British women at home in India. Rather than celebrate a transgressive and fluid mobility that can transcend grounded confinement and an originary authenticity, the spatial discourses of dwelling and travelling are not only more connected than distinct, but are also embodied and located in material terms. Such connections were embodied in ambivalent ways by British women travelling to set up homes in India. According to Geraldine Pratt and Susan Hanson, A careful positioning in place would seem to be a prerequisite for the task of disentangling our shared complicities and struggles as well as our differences. An overvaluation of fluidity as subject position may lead away from a careful consideration of the processes through which identities are created and fixed in place.79 In my focus on British women travelling to India from 1857 to 1939,1 explore subject positions in place and across space on bodily, homely, and imperial scales. Such spatialised subjectivities reflected and also reproduced the simultaneous fixity and fluidity of spatiality and subjectivity. Following Judith Butler, spatialised subjectivities can be examined in terms of material ' ' G. Pratt, 'Commentary: Spatial Metaphors and Speaking Positions,' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 10, 1992, 241-244. 7 8 See, for example, K. Ferguson, The Man Question: Visions of Subjectivity in Feminist Theory. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1993; I. Grewal and C. Kaplan, eds., Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1994; C. Kaplan, Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement. Duke University Press, Durham, 1996; and K. Kirby, Indifferent Boundaries: Spatial Concepts of Human Subjectivity. Guilford, New York, 1996. / y G. Pratt and S. Hanson, 'Geography and the Construction of Difference,' Gender. Place and Culture. 1, 1994, 5-30, 9. 37 performativity both in place and across space.80 Notions of performativity resist essentialized subjectivities and spatialities by embodying spatialised subjectivities in material terms. In this study, I examine the embodied and material performativity of imperial domesticity by white, middle class British wives and mothers who lived in imperial India. The tensions between asserting and resisting gendered subjectivity are reflected by feminist attempts to assert and yet resist embodiment. Moving beyond a split between the biological constitution of sex and the social constitution of gender, feminists such as Judith Butler and Elspeth Probyn have interrogated sex as gendered and gender as sexed and have traced the discursive inscription of bodies.81 In both cases, the material performativity of sex and gender are located on a bodily scale, whereby bodies/bodies' matter 'not as site or surface, but as a process of materialization that stabilizes over time to produce the effect of boundary, fixity, and surface we call matter.'82 The material performativity of subjectivity on a bodily scale both grounds and yet resists the grounded confinement and fixity of bodies, subjectivities, and spatialities: 'Not only [do] bodies tend to indicate a world beyond themselves, but this movement beyond their own boundaries, a movement of boundary itself, appear[s] to be quite central to what bodies 'are."83 Here, the mobility as well as the materiality of performativity becomes clear. And yet, because such mobility is itself embodied and located in material ways, it can be termed a critical mobility that resists and yet repeats the performativity of imperial domesticity. 80 J. Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, New York, 1990, and J. Butler, Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of 'Sex'. Routledge, New York, 1993. 81 Butler 1990 and 1993, op. cit., and E. Probyn, Sexing the Self: Gendered Positions in Cultural Studies. Routledge, London, 1993. 82 Butler 1993, op. cit, 9. 8 3 Ibid., ix. 38 Attempts to embody the production of knowledge have challenged a Cartesian split that privileges mind over body and serves not only to disembody the production of knowledge, but also to obscure the partiality and situatedness of knowledge. The authority of a disembodied gaze has been increasingly questioned by attempts to embody the producer as well as the production of knowledge.84 For Grosz, 'Corporeality can be seen as the material condition of subjectivity,'85 embodying lived subjectivities and experiences. I would add that corporeality can also be seen as a spatial condition of subjectivity, locating and embodying constructions of difference in critically mobile ways that reflect an ambivalent fixity and fluidity in place and across space.86 Both the materiality and the spatiality of embodied subjectivities are produced by discourses that regulate, discipline, control, and administer bodies because embodied subjectivities are contested sites that are discursively constituted through the exercise of power and the production of knowledge. Michel Foucault and Timothy Mitchell have revealed the institutionalised disciplining of bodies in space by focusing on, for example, schools, prisons, and clinics.87 Judith Butler and Elizabeth Grosz have focused on and resisted sexed and gendered regulatory norms that include a heterosexist matrix and the discursive inscription of ° 4 See, for example, C. Nash, 'Remapping the Body/Land: New Cartographies of Identity, Gender, and Landscape in Ireland,' in A. Blunt and G. Rose, eds., Writing Women and Space: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies. Guilford, New York, 1994, C. Nash, 'Reclaiming Vision: Looking at Landscape and the Body,' Gender. Place and Culture. 3, 1996, 149-169, and G. Rose, Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Polity, Cambridge, 1993. 85 E. Grosz, Space. Time and Perversion: Essays on the Politics of Bodies. Routledge, London, 1995, 103. 8 6 See R. Longhurst, 'The Body and Geography,' Gender. Place and Culture. 2, 1995, 97-105, who claims that 'the body' will be a key site for future geographical work. Also see D. Gregory, 'Between the Book and the Lamp: Imaginative Geographies of Egypt, 1849 - 1850,' Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. N. S., 20, 1995, 29-57, for a discussion of the physicality of travel through a focus on the journeys and writings of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert, travelling down the Nile. 8 7 See, for example, M. Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic. Tavistock, London, 1973, M. Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Penguin, London, 1977, and T. Mitchell, Colonizing Egypt. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988. 39 women's bodies in maternal terms.88 As Butler asks, 'to what extent does a body get defined by its capacity for pregnancy? Why is it pregnancy by which that body gets defined?'89 Focusing on middle class British wives and mothers travelling to and within India, the embodiment of discourses of imperial domesticity revolved not only around marriage, maternity, and the contested spaces of imperial homes, but also around bodies that were racialised as well as sexed, classed, and gendered. I am focusing on white, middle class British women who travelled to set up homes in India from 1857 to 1939 and I hope to trace the spatialities of racialized, classed and gendered subjectivities. Following Pratt and Hanson, geography is central to 'the ways in which gendered, racialised, and classed bodies are constructed in place and in different ways in different places.'90 Rather than delimit space as a container fixing subjectivity, or merely as a stage on which subjectivities are performed, spatialities and subjectivities help to constitute each other and can both be interpreted in terms of material performativity. In this study, I examine the material performativity of spatialised subjectivities with reference to travel over imperial space and the contested place both of British women and of British homes in India. My focus on white British women travelling to and within India represents an attempt to resist the frequently assumed 'transparency' of whiteness and white bodies moving through space and time. As bell hooks writes, whiteness only seems to be transparent in a white imagination because 'the rhetoric of white supremacy supplies a fantasy of whiteness,'91 which exercises a terrorizing force over non-white people. Not only does whiteness seem transparent in °° Butler, op. cit., and Grosz, op. cit.. Also see E. Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Towards a Corporeal Feminism. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1995, and E. Grosz and E. Probyn, eds., Sexy Bodies: The Strange Carnalities of Feminism. Routledge, London, 1995. 8 9 J. Butler, 'Gender as Performance: an Interview with Judith Butler,' Radical Philosophy. 67, 1994, 32-39, 33. 90 Pratt and Hanson, op. cit., 2. 91b. hooks, 'Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination,' in L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, and P. Triechler, eds., Cultural Studies. Routledge, London, 1992, 340. 40 a white imagination, but racism means that those non-white people constructed as racially 'other' are represented in dehumanised terms. As Razia Aziz suggests, 'Black women's particularity is transparent because of racism; any failure of white women to recognize their own particularity continues that racism.'92 Recent attempts to represent whiteness within a feminist imagination reflect the importance of challenging an essentialist category of 'women,' unmarked in terms other than gender and its difference from a similarly essentialist category of 'men.' Focusing on differences among as well as between women and men has destabilized the universal claims of a white, middle class, heterosexual feminism 9 3 At the same time, feminists have also cautioned that a focus on 'difference' may conceal or become a substitute for the analysis of power relations.94 Attempts to represent whiteness that aim to destabilize its false unity and assumed transparency as well as revealing the ways in which its normalisation exercises power in racist societies, can begin to reveal and resist the power relations underpinning constructions of difference. In her work on white women, racism and history, Vron Ware studies histories of slavery and imperialism 'not to bring white women to account for past misdeeds, nor to search for heroines whose reputations can help to absolve the rest from guilt, but to find out how white women negotiated questions of race and racism - as well as class and gender.'95 Focusing on y ^ R. Aziz, 'Feminism and the Challenge of Racism: Deviance or Difference?' in H. Crowley and S. Himmelweit, eds., Knowing Women: Feminism and Knowledge. Polity, Cambridge, 1992, 291-305, 297. 93 See, for example, M. Barrett, 'Some Different Meanings of the Concept of 'Difference': Feminist Theory and the Concept of Ideology,' in E. Meese and A. Parker, eds., The Difference Within: Feminism and Critical Theory. John Benjamin, Amsterdam, 1989, P. Collins, 'The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought,' Signs. 14, 1989, 745-773, D. Fuss, Essentially Speaking: Feminism. Nature and Difference. Routledge, London, 1989, A. Hurtado, 'Relating to Privilege: Seduction and Rejection in the Subordination of White Women and Women of Colour,' Signs. 14, 1989, 833-855, and S. Phelan, 'Specificity: Beyond Equality and Difference,' Differences. 3, 1991, 128-143. 94 M. Gatens, 'Power, Bodies and Difference,' in M. Barrett and A. Phillips, eds., Destabilizing Theory. Polity, Cambridge, 1992, 120-137, L. Gordon, 'On Difference,' Genders. 10, 1991, 91-112, and Pratt and Hanson, op. cit.. 95 Ware op. cit., 43. 41 white femininity as historically constructed and the development of feminism as a political movement in a racist society, Ware politically and materially contextualises representations of whiteness. Ruth Frankenberg conceptualises whiteness in explicitly spatial terms, writing that 'First, whiteness is a location of structural advantage, of race privilege. Second, it is a 'standpoint,' a place from which white people look at ourselves, at others, and at society. Third, 'whiteness' refers to a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed.'96 In political terms, Frankenberg writes that Attention to the construction of white 'experience' is important, both to transforming the meaning of whiteness and to transforming the relations of race in general. This is crucial in a social context in which the racial order is normalized and rationalized rather than upheld by coercion alone. Analyzing the connections between white daily lives and discursive orders may help make visible the processes by which the stability of whiteness - as location of privilege, as culturally normative space, and as standpoint - is secured and reproduced. In this context, reconceptualizing histories and refiguring landscapes are political acts in themselves.97 The contested place of British women and British homes in India reveal contradictions at the heart of imperial rule. Memsahibs occupied an ambivalent place at home in India because they could share in imperial power through their whiteness while, at the same time, they were constructed primarily in marital and maternal terms as wives and mothers who discursively embodied feminine domesticity and its translation over imperial space. The imperial roles of white women are particularly pertinent to feminist historiographies of geography and geographical knowledge. Mona Domosh cites women travellers to outline a feminist historiography of geography, but she neglects the whiteness that enabled such women 96 R. Frankenberg, White Women. Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993, 1. 9 7 Ibid., 242. 42 to travel in the context of imperialism.98 As a result, Domosh overlooks not only imperial power but also the whiteness of geography as an academic discipline. Although Gillian Rose claims to be examining the whiteness and heterosexism as well as the masculinism of geographical knowledge, the whiteness of disciplinary geography appears at its most transparent only in her discussion of time-geography. While time-geography posited the corporeality of movement over time and space, the bodies themselves remained undifferentiated and began to be defined precisely by their lack of differentiation: 'they are literally colourless...the trace that they leave does not tell whether the body is white or black.'99 In contrast, bell hooks writes that 'from certain standpoints, to travel is to encounter the terrorizing force of white supremacy,'100 because travel is experienced differently by different people and because travel may be forced as well as voluntary. As James Clifford writes, 'travel' can represent 'constructed and disputed historicities, sites of displacement, interference, and interaction' and he proposes its use in cultural studies precisely because of its historical taintedness, its associations with gendered, racial bodies, class privilege, specific means of conveyance, beaten paths, agents, frontiers, documents, and the like. I prefer it to more apparently neutral and 'theoretical' terms, such as 'displacement,' which can make the drawing of equivalence across different historical experiences too easy.101 Rather than focus on the metaphorical importance of travel,102 I consider its material specificity as white, middle class, married British women travelled to set up homes in India from 1857 to 1939. y ° M. Domosh, 'Toward a Feminist Historiography of Geography,' Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. N.S., 16, 1991, 95-104. 99 Rose op. cit., 31. 1 0 0 Hooks, op. cit., 344. 101 J. Clifford, 'Travelling Cultures,' in Grossberg, op. cit., 110. See Blunt, op. cit., and D. Gregory, Geographical Imaginations. Blackwell, Oxford, 1994, 9-14, for further discussion. 102 p o r m o r e metaphorical considerations of travel, see Kaplan, op. cit., G. Robertson, et. al., eds., Travellers Tales: Narratives of Home and Displacement. Routledge, London, 1994, and J. Wolff, 'On the Road Again: Metaphors of Travel in Cultural Criticism,' Cultural Studies. 7, 43 Ideas of home are centrally important in considering travel, conceptualising spatialised subjectivities, and contextualising imperial domesticity. Spaces of home and away are more blurred than distinct through travel because the very idea of home can only be imagined from a distance and necessarily changes on return. As Georges Van den Abbeele suggests, 'the concept of a home is needed (and in fact it can only be thought) only after the home has already been left behind. In a strict sense, then, one has always already left home, since home can only exist as such at the price of it being lost.'103 Travel thus involves the domestication of the unfamiliar at the same time as the defamiliarization of the domestic not only because home can only be imagined from a distance, but also because its originary authenticity is more fluid than fixed. Travel can seem potentially liberating because of its transgressive potential. But such transgression is necessarily bounded because 'the very understanding of...error as 'wandering' implies a topography or space of wandering.'104 The embodied nature of travel and such bounded transgressions away from home have been explored with reference to imperial travel. While white, middle class British women were able to travel and to transgress away from home on their imperial travels, their feminine domesticity was often reasserted on their return.105 Mary Kingsley, who travelled from Britain to West Africa in the 1890s, described her brief sojourns in colonial settlements as equally if not more confining than life at home, and was anxious to 1993, 224-239. See Blunt, op. cit., and L. McDowell, 'Off the Road: Alternative Views of Rebellion, Resistance, and 'The Beats,' Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. N. S. 21, 1996, 412-419, for feminist critiques of the masculinism of such metaphors and other representations of travel. 103 Q Van den Abbeele, Travel as Metaphor: From Montaigne to Rousseau. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1992, xviii-xix. 1 0 4 Ibid., 47. See Blunt, op. cit., for discussion of Mary Kingsley's travels in West Africa in the 1890s. 44 travel away from such places as soon as she could.106 The ambivalent place of British women establishing homes in India similarly reflects connections between dwelling and travelling and the limits of transgression. Moving away from ideas of home as fixed, static, and confining, a number of feminist and postcolonial critics have begun to represent home in more mobile, productive terms. So, for example, Elspeth Probyn writes of her desire for a place of 'belonging,'107 while bell hooks rewrites home as a 'site of resistance.'108 Minnie Bruce Pratt represents different ideas of home over space and time, tracing her white, middle class, lesbian subjectivity and consciousness in relation to different places in her life.109 As she writes and locates her own and others' histories, Minnie Bruce Pratt is an 'extraordinary' narrator who refuses 'to allow guilt to trap her within the boundaries of a coherent 'white' identity. It is this very refusal that makes it possible for her to make the effort to educate herself about the histories of her own and other peoples - an education that indicates to her her own implication in those histories.'110 In many attempts to write previously unwritten histories and geographies, postcolonial critics have similarly reconceptualised home in more mobile than static terms. As Edward Said writes, 'liberation as an intellectual mission' 1 U o See Birkett, op. cit., who suggests that Mary Kingsley went on a disproportionate number of solitary fishing trips to escape the confinement of colonial society. 107 E Probyn, Outside Belongings. Routledge, New York, 1996. 108 D hooks, 'Homeplace: a Site of Resistance,' in Yearning: Race. Gender and Cultural Politics. South End Press, Boston, 1990. 1° 9 M. B. Pratt, Identity: Skin Blood Heart,' in E. Burkin, M. B. Pratt, and B. Smith, eds., Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism. Firebrand Books, New York, 1984, 9-63. HO B. Martin and C. T. Mohanty, 'What's Home got to do with it?' in T. de Lauretis, ed., Feminist Studies / Critical Studies. Macmillan, London, 1986, 191-212, 198. 45 has now shifted from the settled, established, and domesticated dynamics of culture, to its unhoused, decentered, and exilic energies, energies whose incarnation today is the migrant, and whose consciousness is that of the intellectual and artist in exile, the political figure between domains, between forms, between homes, and between languages.111 Homi Bhabha has written of the 'unhomely' displacement of the modern world and discusses postcolonial attempts to position the world in the home and the home in the world. The inscription of in-between, hybrid spaces of 'border existence' 'inhabits a stillness of time and a strangeness of framing that creates the discursive 'image' at the crossroads of history and literature, bridging the home and the world.'112 Focusing on literature, Rosemary Marangoly George suggests that an immigrant genre is marked by 'a curiously detached reading of the experience of 'homelessness' which is compensated for by an excessive use of the metaphor of luggage, both spiritual and material.'113 Finally, Paul Carter suggests that movement between homes could be reconceptualised as a condition of migrant existence: 'an authentically migrant perspective...might begin by regarding movement, not as an awkward interval between fixed points of departure and arrival, but as a mode of being in the world.'114 Postcolonial critics are concerned to recover experiences and representations by and about people from places constructed as marginal in a Western, imperialist imagination. At the same time, postcolonial critics are also concerned to examine the construction and effectiveness of a Western, imperialist imagination that constructed people and places as 'other' to its centred, dominant, and hegemonic 'self.' As Jonathan Crush writes, the aims of a postcolonial geography might include 1 1 1 Said 1993, op. cit., 332. 1 1 2 H . Bhabha, 'The World and the Home.' Social Text. 31/32. 1992, 141-153. 113 R. M. George, 'Travelling Light: Of Immigration, Invisible Suitcases, and Gunny Sacks,' Differences. 4, 1992, 72-99. 114 p. Carter, Living in a New Country: History. Travelling and Language. Faber and Faber, London, 1992, 101. 46 the unveiling of geographical complicity in colonial dominion over space; the character of geographical representation in colonial discourse; the de-linking of local geographical enterprise from metropolitan theory and its totalizing systems of representation; and the recovery of those hidden spaces occupied, and invested with their own meaning, by the colonial underclass.115 Examining the contested place of British women and British homes in India can challenge totalizing representations of imperial power. Focusing on geographical representations of home as well as empire, and domesticity as well as imperialism, can begin to mobilize and to embody the spatialised subjectivities of British women travelling to and within India and can help to reveal internal contradictions that destabilized imperial power and legitimation. Spaces of Home and Empire By referring to the spatialised subjectivities of British women travelling to and within India, my study clearly differs from other attempts to conceptualise gendered subjectivity, imperial and domestic spatiality, and imperial domesticity, merely in terms of public and private space. According to Carole Pateman, 'The dichotomy between the private and the public is central to almost two centuries of feminist writing and political struggle; it is, ultimately, what the feminist movement is about.'116 But, as an increasing number of accounts have challenged both essentialised subjectivities and spatialities, the complexity and contestation of private and public spheres are increasingly examined in historically, geographically, and socially specific terms. So, for example, Aida Hurtado writes that a dichotomy between private and public space is only relevant for white middle and upper class women because 'There is no such thing as a private sphere for people of Colour except that which they manage to create and protect in an otherwise H5 j Crush, 'Post-colonialism, De-colonization, and Geography,' in A. Godlewska and N. Smith, eds., Geography and Empire. Blackwell, Oxford, 1994, 336-337. H6 C. Pateman, The Disorder of Women: Democracy. Feminism and Political Theory. Polity, Cambridge, 1989, 118. 47 hostile environment.'117 Furthermore, historical discourses of separate spheres were class specific, helping an emerging and rapidly growing bourgoisie in Europe and North America to distinguish itself from other classes.118 Bourgeois discourses of feminine domesticity in Victorian Britain helped to shape representations of the home, marriage, and motherhood and discourses of separate spheres helped to structure domestic subjectivity as well as spatiality. Such discourses of separate spheres remain prevalent in accounts of imperial domesticity but the importance of race as well as class and gender often remains unarticulated. In contrast, a focus on the embodiment of imperial domesticity by British women travelling to and within India can reveal the political constitution and contestation of domesticity in the production and reproduction of imperial power and legitimation. According to Penny Brown, With the rise of the middle classes and the Evangelical movement in the late eighteenth century there emerged strong ideologies of domesticity, dependent on a clear division between the public and private spheres, with the home seen as a haven of peace, a source of stability, security, virtue and piety, held together by moral and emotional bonds, a construct modelled on the heavenly home to which all who experienced personal conversion might aspire.119 Bourgeois and Christian discourses of familial domesticity at home, which enshrined the values of piety, purity, and stability, depended on the moral and material influence of wives and mothers. Over the course of the nineteenth century, the rise of industrial capitalism led to the growing separation of home and work, the growth and increasing wealth of the middle class, and 1 1 7 Hurtado, op. cit., 849. H8 See A. Blunt and G. Rose, 'Introduction: Women's Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies,' in Blunt and Rose, op. cit., for further discussion. 119 P. Brown, The Captured World: The Child and Childhood in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing in England. Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York, 1993, 92. 48 an increasing valorization of home and domesticity as sites of both consumption and the reproduction of labour power. As a central example of the profound changes in the gendered and spatial organization of the family and domestic life, Catherine Hall traces the historical emergence of the housewife at the same time as the rise of industrial capitalism: Women became considerably less important in the direct creation of surplus value but more important in the reproduction of conditions for labour power - the family had to become the training ground of rational men. With the development of capitalism comes the separation of capital from labour, the separation of the home from the place of work and the separation of domestic labour and commodity production.120 Although legislation concerning marriage, property rights and earnings meant that all wives were subordinate to their husbands, discourses of feminine domesticity were clearly differentiated by class.121 The 'gilded cage' of bourgeois homes reflected not only the growth but also the domestic reproduction of this class. Unlike the aristocracy and working classes, the middle classes experienced the greatest changes in domestic life over the nineteenth century: 'Strengthened by industrialism's prosperity and increasing amounts of paid domestic service, it benefited from a revolution in living standards and comfort not needed by the aristocracy and not accessible to the working class until the mid-twentieth century.'122 As the location of home and paid employment became increasingly distant, domestic ideals came to be represented in terms of separate spheres. The bourgeois wife and mother, responsible for maintaining the home as a haven for her working husband, was often discursively embodied as 'the angel in the 120 Q pjaii; White. Male and Middle Class: Explorations in Feminism and History. Polity, Cambridge, 1992, 51. 121 J. Perkin, Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England. Routledge, London, 1989. This book includes extensive discussion of women, marriage, and the law. As Perkin notes, the nineteenth century also witnessed the rise of anti-marriage campaigns that resulted both in a backlash of the glorification of marriage as well as sustained campaigns for legal reform. 122 ibid., 314. Also see M. Abbott, Family Ties: English Families 1540 - 1920. Routledge, London, 1993. 49 house.'123 Family life, the home, and the presence of a wife and mother on which both relied, were elevated in importance over the course of the nineteenth century.124 To an unprecedented extent, the Victorian middle classes came to revere the home and familial domesticity: There were few aspects of their society the Victorians regarded with greater reverence than the home and family life within it...the Victorians regarded it as axiomatic that the home was the foundation and the family the cornerstone of their civilization and that within the family were first learned the moral, religious, ethical and social precepts of good citizenship.125 Over time, as the separation of public and private space came to be increasingly manifest in the built environment, Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall suggest that this separation also came to be increasingly demarcated in gendered terms. So, for example, they write that 'A masculine penumbra surrounded that which was defined as public while women were increasingly engulfed by the private realm, bounded by physical, social and psychic partitions. Men, in their privileged position, moved between both sectors.'126 And yet, within the spatial confines of home, middle class women were also actively engaged in reproducing social divisions by maintaining class hierarchies through their household management of servants. Not only did the employment of at least one, and usually two or three, servants help to define class distinctions that privileged the bourgeoisie, but the presence of household servants helped to reinforce this class hierarchy on a daily basis. As Elizabeth Langland suggests, 'a Victorian wife, E. Langland, Nobody's Angels: Middle-Class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1995. 124 A . J. Hammerton, Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Married Life. Routledge, London, 1992. Hammerton considers the less visible and less frequently recorded experiences of Victorian domesticity by focusing on conflict, domestic violence, and divorce. 125 A . S. Wohl, 'Introduction,' in A . S. Wohl, ed., The Victorian Family: Structure and Stresses. Croom Helm, London, 1978, 9-22, 9-10. 126 L . Davidoff and C. Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class. 1780- 1850. Routledge, London, 1992, 319. 50 the presiding hearth angel of Victorian social myth, actually performed a more significant and extensive economic and political function than is usually perceived.'127 By the 1850s, a middle class housewife was acknowledged as the mistress of her domestic sphere and, while this sphere remained subordinate to the public sphere of her husband's work and citizenship, she could manage the household 'as rationally and efficiently as her husband did his business.'128 The management and surveillance of servants within rigidly hierarchical households articulated and reinforced class distinctions that were frequently expressed in moral terms.129 Bourgeois discourses of feminine domesticity increasingly positioned wives and mothers as moral guardians on a household scale, whose influence could transcend the boundaries of private space.130 Moreover, the stability of home and family life were seen as centrally important to national as well as class stability. As Davidoff and Hall suggest, 'Women had both the time, the moral capacity and the influence to exercise real power in the domestic world. It was their responsibility to re-create society from below.'131 In a widely cited lecture that was subsequently published in 1865, John Ruskin encapsulated such discourses of separate spheres by celebrating the feminised space of 'Queens' Gardens.' Protected from the dangers of the world by masculine chivalry, a woman 'ruled' the house and home of her husband, which represented 'the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt, and division....so far as it is a sacred place, a vestal Langland, op. cit., 8. 128 Perkin, op. cit., 245. 129 Langland, op. cit.. Also see L. Davidoff, 'Mastered for Life: Servant and Wife in Victorian and Edwardian England,' Journal of Social History. 7, 1974, 406-459 and L. Davidoff, Worlds Between: Historical Perspectives on Gender and Class. Polity, Cambridge, 1995. 130 s e e Chapter 3 for discussion of feminine discourses of Victorian philanthropy, which represent a clear example of the moral influence of bourgeois women that was seen to extend beyond the home. 1 3 1 Davidoff and Hall, op. cit., 183. 51 temple, a temple of the hearth watched over by Household Gods, before whose faces none may come but those whom they can receive with love...so far it vindicates the name, and fulfils the praise, of Home.'132 Representations of the home as a sacred space correspond with the moral duties of bourgeois wives and mothers that were intimately connected with the influence of Evangelical Christianity. As Davidoff and Hall write, 'If home was the physical location of domesticity, marriage was at its emotional heart.'133 The Christian sacrament of marriage not only reproduced a moral vision of domesticity in explicitly religious terms, but also provided the economic and social family unit of the rapidly growing middle classes. Although Evangelical Christianity reached its popular peak in the 1830s, its doctrines continued to exert considerable influence for the rest of the century, particularly among the middle classes.134 According to Penny Brown, Religion was given a central place in the intellectual and moral framework of middle-class culture and in the ideology of the home, reflecting the idea of the congregation of believers as a family, with struggles in the domestic environment seen as equally important in spiritual terms as human conflicts in any other sphere.135 Homes were represented as sacred spaces that were concerned with the spiritual as well as social and economic well being of a family. In their domestic roles as wives and mothers, bourgeois women were positioned as the moral guardians of home life and family relations in explicitly Christian terms. 132 j Ruskin, 'Of Queens' Gardens,' in E. T. Cook and A. Wedderburn, eds., The Works of John Ruskin. George Allen, London, 1905, 109-144, 122. 133 Davidoff and Hall, op. cit., 178. Also see J. R. Gillis, For Better. For Worse: British Marriages. 1600 to the Present. Oxford University Press, New York, 1985. 134 Perkin, op .cit.. Brown, op. cit, 93. 52 The moral duty of bourgeois women extended to their maternal as well as marital roles because 'The production and upbringing of children was likewise a carrying out of God's will.'136 According to Sally Shuttleworth, 'Motherhood was set at the ideological centre of the Victorian bourgeois ideal.'137 But maternity was a source of bourgeois anxiety, as women came to be embodied in sexual as well as maternal terms. Following Foucault, Jill Matus examines Victorian discourses of sexuality that represented female bodies in unstable terms, oscillating between representations of an asexual femininity and the medical, scientific, religious, and social regulation and administration of female sexuality.138 Bourgeois discourses of feminine domesticity focused on the moral, national, and imperial duties of childrearing rather than childbearing. While the rise of industrial capitalism led to the growing separation of work and home for the growing middle classes, it also inaugurated 'the early modern mother in the modern nuclear family.'139 To an unprecedented extent, children were represented as individuals in the nineteenth century, and middle class mothers were increasingly represented as responsible for rearing their sons as future professionals and their daughters as marriageable women.140 1 3 6 Perkin, op. cit., 239. 1 3 7 S. Shuttleworth, 'Demonic Mothers: Ideologies of Bourgeois Motherhood in the Mid-Victorian Era,' in L. Shires, ed., Rewriting the Victorians: Theory. History and the Politics of Gender. Routledge, New York, 1992, 31-51,31. 138 ]yj Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1, Translated by R. Hurley, Vintage, New York, 1990, and J. L. Matus, Unstable Bodies: Victorian Representations of Sexuality and Maternity. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1995. 1 3 9 E. A. Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama. Routledge, London, 1992, 17. Kaplan distinguishes between historical, psychoanalytic and fictional 'representational spheres' that correspond to three main kinds of 'discursive mothers': mothers in socially constructed, institutional roles; the mother in the unconscious; and fictional mothers, who encompass institutionally positioned and unconscious mothers. In my study, I am focusing on the discursive embodiment of imperial domesticity by British women in India, which, through its material focus, relates most closely to the 'historical sphere' identified by Kaplan. Ibid., 6-7. P. Kane, Victorian Families in Fact and Fiction. Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1995. 53 As wives and mothers, British women performed domestic, national, and imperial duties. Anna Davin has revealed the extent to which imperial politics influenced practices and representations of motherhood in Britain.141 The promotion of public health, hygiene and domestic education as well as the rationalisation of maternity through weighing and measuring babies, tied domestic reproduction explicitly to national and imperial reproduction that relied on ideas of racial purity, strength, and health. At the beginning of the twentieth century, these practices and regulations dramatically increased after the Boer War, when the poor health of many working class soldiers became the cause of national and imperial as well as domestic concern. As McClintock writes, 'Controlling women's sexuality, exalting maternity and breeding a virile race of empire-builders were widely perceived as the paramount means for controlling the health and wealth of the male imperial body politic.'142 Other aspects of domestic life in Britain were likewise closely tied to imperial power and imaginations. Over the course of the nineteenth century, the domestication of 'exotic' species in private British gardens as well as public gardens such as Kew represented the transplantation and rooting of imperial imaginations at home on a household as well as a national scale.143 The growth of commodity consumption during the nineteenth century similarly reflected and reproduced imperial imaginations on household and national scales, as shown by clothing, food, and early advertising.144 As discussed in Chapter 1, imperial exhibitions not only represented the 141 A. Davin, Imperialism and Motherhood,' History Workshop Journal. 5, 1978, 9-65. 1 4 2 McClintock, op. cit., 47. 143 R. Preston, "The Scenery of the Torrid Zone': Imaginary Travels and the Culture of Exotics within Nineteenth Century British Gardens,' Imperial Cities Project Working Paper 9, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, 1997. Also see J. Browne, 'Botany in the Boudoir and Garden,' in D. P. Miller and P. H. Reill, Visions of Empire: Voyages. Botany, and Representations of Nature. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996. 144 s e C ) fo r example, N. Chaudhuri, 'Shawls, Curry, and Rice in Victorian Britain,' in Chaudhuri and Strobel, op. cit., McClintock, op. cit., T. Richards, The Commodity Culture of Victorian Britain: Advertising and Spectacle. 1851 - 1914. Verso, London, 1990, and S. Zlotnick, 54 products of the British Empire to British subjects 'at home,' but also encouraged settlement in the Empire. Other Exhibitions drew explicit links between imperialism and British domesticity 'at home.' Focusing on the Ideal Home Exhibitions from 1908 to 1951, Deborah Ryan has shown the importance of imperial imaginations in fashioning suburban domesticity and cultures of consumption.145 Also focusing on commodity consumption, Anne McClintock has examined the ways in which imperial and domestic space and power were intertwined, while Ann Laura Stoler and Rosemary Marangoly George have focused on empires in the home as well as homes in the empire to explore power relations along lines of gender, race, class and sexuality both within and beyond imperial homes.146 But other attempts to theorize the translation of bourgeois discourses of feminine domesticity over imperial space continue to invoke separate spheres, ironically fixing the spatialised subjectivities of British women travelling to and within places such as India. Moreover, such representations of public and private space frequently overlook representations of whiteness and racial privilege in the context of imperialism by describing private space in racially exclusive terms that remain both transparent and tenuous. In their analyses of imperial masculinities, both Graham Dawson and John Tosh characterise masculine spaces of imperial adventure as an escape from feminised domesticity, which serves to polarize male, public spaces 'Domesticating Imperialism: Curry and Cookbooks in Victorian England,' Frontiers: a Journal of Women's Studies. 16, 1995. 1 4 5 D. S. Ryan, 'The Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition and Suburban Modernity, 1908 - 1951,' Unpublished PhD. Thesis, University of East London, 1995, and D. S. Ryan, 'The Empire at Home: The Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition and the Imperial Suburb,' Imperial Cities Project Working Paper 6, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, 1997. 14-6 McClintock, op. cit., A. L. Stoler, op. cit., A. L. Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Duke University Press, Durham, 1995, and R. M. George, 'Homes in the Empire, Empires in the Home,' Cultural Critique. 15, 1994, 95-127. 55 of empire from female, private spaces of domesticity.147 In these and other accounts, public and private spaces are delimited in gendered and racially exclusive terms. During the nineteenth century it was estimated that the smallest British household in India would require ten to twelve servants while larger households would require up to thirty, and, until the 1930s, it still remained common to employ up to a dozen servants.148 The British wives of officials were advised to issue daily orders, to complete a daily inspection of stores and the kitchen, and to be responsible for household accounts that included the servants' wages. Such daily contact with Indian servants contrasts with accounts that posit the racial and gendered exclusivity of British homes in India, which, according to Jenny Sharpe, represented 'a space of racial purity that the colonial housewife guard[ed] against contamination from the outside.'149 In a similar way, Inderpal Grewal asserts that 'most Englishwomen lived in English communities along race and class lines without associating with the 'natives."150 In their attempts to challenge both stereotypical and celebratory representations of memsahibs, Sharpe and Grewal are keen to stress the roles played by British women in the exercise of imperial power and authority. But Sharpe and Grewal both rely on distinctions between public and private space that separate domestic and imperial power relations to such an extent that the complex and often contradictory place of British women and of British homes in India remains unchallenged. Grewal, for example, writes that the domestication of women, the regulation of sexuality, the division between private and public, between the home and the marketplace were...part of the habitus in which i 4 / G. Dawson, 'The Imperial Adventure Hero and British Masculinity: The Imagining of Sir Henry Havelock,' and J. Tosh, Imperial Masculinity and the Flight from Domesticity, 1880 -1914,' in Foley, op. cit.. 148 "The Englishwoman in India: Her Influence and Responsibilities,' Calcutta Review, 1886, 358-370. The employment and management of Indian servants is discussed in Chapters 4 and 5. 1 4 9 Sharpe, op. cit., 92. 1 5 0 Grewal, op. cit., 72. 56 the individual subject was formed and which replicated the divisions of race and gender which were the nexus of colonial power relations.151 Thomas Metcalf uncritically reproduces a distinction between public and private space in his discussion of 'gender and the colonial order,' writing that 'The everyday life of the British in India, with women for the most part secluded, though...by no means inactive, in darkened bungalows, and with men engaged in the work of empire in court and camp, reinforced the distinctions between home and the world, and between the private and the public, which lay at the heart of the British domestic ideology.'152 Just as in Grewal's account, the imperial relations shaping the home as well as the empire beyond become obscured and the discursive embodiment of imperial domesticity by British women remains unexplained. By dividing public and private space in this way, Grewal, Metcalf, and Sharpe ignore the vital, and often contradictory nexus of imperial power relations that existed within British homes in India. Rather than examine the power relations shaping imperial domesticity within the home, such accounts overlook the domestic as well as imperial power exercised by the wives of British officials in their management of Indian servants. By reasserting rather than destabilizing the artificial boundaries between the private space of home and the public space of empire, such accounts ironically neglect the exercise of imperial power in everyday domestic life by British women. Kumari Jayawardena describes the 'reality of the colonial wife' in terms that similarly detach her from the imperial power relations that existed within as well as beyond British homes in India. In Jayawardena's terms, 'the colonial wife' lived 'in a sort of doubly refined bondage -isolated in the home as a woman and alienated in the colony as a foreigner.'153 Here, the spatial distinction drawn between home and empire reproduces a split between a sphere of private domesticity and public imperialism. Furthermore, the subjectivity of British women in India is 1 5 1 Ibid., 88. 1 5 2 T. Metcalf 1994, op. cit., 93-94. 153 K . Jayawardena, The White Woman's Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia During British Rule. Routledge, New York, 1995, 4. 57 also represented in spatially distinct terms that overlooks the importance of imperial domesticity that was discursively embodied by British women travelling to and within India.154 Conclusions Rather than view imperial domesticity in terms of public and private space, I examine the mobile, embodied subjectivities of memsahibs who travelled to set up homes in India and attempt to move beyond essentialist representations of both spatiality and gendered subjectivity that have been characterised in terms of separate spheres. Not only was British domesticity in India inseparable from the exercise of imperial rule, but British imperialism in India was also shaped by discourses of home and domesticity. I examine the contested place of British women and British homes in India, the coexistence of ideas of home in India and Britain, and challenges to and the reconstruction of imperial power on a domestic scale. This Chapter has travelled over a range of theoretical and empirical terrains. But, just as spaces of home and away are inseparably bound, so too are the theoretical origins and empirical destinations both of this Chapter and of this study as a whole. By considering embodied subjectivities, material performativity, and critical mobility, I have argued that the discursive inscription of bodies, homes, and empires need to be grounded and located in ways that resist confinement. Through a focus on spatialised subjectivities and ambivalence, I have stressed the need to locate a position from which to destabilize essentialist representations of space and subjectivity as well as the totalizing metanarratives of imperial power and the production of imperial knowledge. Discursive formations are materially specific in both space and time but also travel and change over space and time. By tracing notions of critical mobility, I aim to resist grounded confinement, infinite transgression, and aspatial metaphors of travel. In contrast, the material performativity of embodied subjectivities and imperial domesticity reflect the 154 See Chapter 6 for a critique of the distinctions between public and private space that have been invoked in the analysis of seasonal travel by British women to hill stations. 58 simultaneous fixity and fluidity that can destabilize essentialist representations of space, subjectivity, and imperial power. British women travelling to India were represented in ambivalent ways on two scales: first, on a household scale as they left 'home' to produce places both like and yet unlike 'home' in India; and, second, on national and imperial scales as tensions between ideas of Britain and of India as 'home' were in many ways embodied by the contested place both of British women and British homes in India. The rest of this study examines the contested place of British women and British homes in India and ambivalent representations of imperial domesticity at a time of conflict in 1857 - 1858 and a period of reconstruction from 1858 to 1939. Before doing so, however, I will introduce Francis Wells, who travelled from Britain to set up home in India in 1853. Her letters to her father represent a unique record of her sojourn in India, before, during, and after the 'mutiny.' As such, her letters represent in vivid detail the life of a newly-wed, middle class British woman and her experiences of imperial domesticity. 59 Interlude Travelling to India The Letters of Francis Wells, 1853 -1857 Francis Wells, a doctor's daughter and the young wife of Walter Wells, a doctor in the Indian Army, left her home near Bristol in 1853 to travel to India. Although they expected to stay in India for at least seven years, the Wells' returned to Britain in 1858 after surviving the siege of Lucknow in the 'mutiny.' Over the five years that she lived in India, Francis Wells maintained a regular correspondence with her father, usually writing a monthly letter. In these letters, Francis Wells vividly depicted the life and anxieties of a middle class British wife and mother who travelled to set up home in India. Her letters describe the three month journey to India, setting up home in different places in North India, the routines of daily domestic and social life, and the vagaries of an 'imagined community' of British officials in India. As such, her letters provide a clear picture of middle class imperial domesticity in the years immediately before the 'mutiny' of 1857-8. Francis and Walter Wells sailed to India on the Lady Jocelyn, 'alias Jostling,q which left Plymouth Sound in October 1853. Plate 3 of the iron screw steamer Chusan represents a ship of a similar appearance and design to the Lady Jocelyn. On their first day aboard, while still under anchor in Plymouth Sound, Walter wrote to reassure his father-in-law that 'your dear daughter [is] very well and under all circumstances very happy. She slept like a 'Top' and ate a very good breakfast. '2 But Francis' unhappiness and homesickness is painfully clear in her first letter to her father. As she wrote, 1 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 23 October 1853, Bernars Papers, Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. 2 W. Wells to Dr Fox, 15 October 1853. 60 Plate 3: Steamship Chusan, Built 1852. Source: B. Cable, A One Hundred Year History of the P and O. 1837 - 1937. Ivor Nicholson and Watson, Ltd., 1937. 61 / hope dear Papa that you reached home safely, my thoughts were much with you and I am sure yours were with me. I knelt up at my cabin window for a long time after dinner yesterday looking at the reflection of the moon in the water which was truly lovely, and I felt very glad to think that at least we can look at some things in common.3 In the Bay of Biscay, Francis was one of few passengers to escape seasickness but her homesickness continued unabated. As she wrote, 7 have envied every homeward bound ship that we have seen.'4 Despite her initial unwillingness to talk to other passengers, who included 'eighteen ladies' and French and Dutch as well as British men, by the end of October, Francis and Walter had made several acquaintances on board. Francis describes her acquaintance with two officers' wives who were 'both about my own age and have only been married a few months. '5 Mrs Percival was travelling to the Cape, while Mrs Murray was travelling on to India and, according to Francis Wells, 'We are very exclusive and form a pleasant coterie. People are very free to talk on board ship and Walter says I have an inimitable way of keeping them at a distance. '6 Francis also seems distanced from other passengers in her Christian piety. As she wrote to her father, 'It is quite grievous to see how many of the people here read novels on a Sunday; after service is over they seem to forget what the day is, and the foreigners pay no regard whatever to it as they play the piano all day.7 Daily life on board the Lady Jocelyn followed a clear, monotonous routine and although 'it is certainly as pleasant as I could ever expect, yet I am very tired of it. '8 Francis wrote that 3 F. Wells to Dr Fox, October 1853. 4 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 23 October 1853. 5 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 24 October 1853. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid.. 8 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 25 October 1853. 62 she woke at 7.30 and then spent the next hour and a half dressing as she and Walter had to take turns washing in a tub of cold salt water. After breakfast at nine and prayers in their cabin, Francis spent time darning and adding to her letter home, and then sat on the deck, reading, embroidering, and talking to other passengers before lunch of 'bread and cheese, biscuits, sardines and anchovy paste.' After lunch, Francis would return to the deck to talk to the captain, watch observations of the sun being taken, and hear any news: 'everything is here a matter of interest, a ship in sight, a little bird, in short things almost too trivial to mention.'9 Then, retiring to her cabin, Francis would play her guitar until it was time to dress for dinner. After dinner and a final walk on deck, the evenings were spent in the cuddy and were, for Francis, 'the worst part of the day as the lights are not good and it is difficult to see to read or work.' Music was played both by a band and by passengers and, although Francis seems to have been an accomplished musician, her participation was limited by her husband: T always dread playing before strangers...My husband will not let me sing tho' I have been often asked to do so. He says I am not to make myself cheap. '10 By the last week of October, the tropical heat meant that Francis had to change her clothes and suffer aching feet and ankles. An awning over the poop deck meant that she could sit out without her bonnet, and she wrote that 'You cannot imagine how magnificent the tropical sunsets are, quite unlike anything you see in England. ' n On October 30, the passengers set foot on land for the first time since leaving Plymouth, spending a day on St Vincents in the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands. Francis described the island as 'perfectly barren, but of a most beautiful and picturesque form. ' n Here, they followed a well worn route of passengers before 9 Ibid.. 1 0 Ibid.. 1 1 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 28 October 1853. 1 2 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 30 October 1853. 63 them: 'We all took a walk to the tomb of a lady who died on board one of these steamers and was buried here. ' 1 3 Here also, Francis encountered Africans for the first time and described them in grotesque terms: 'The inhabitants are all real Africans as black as coal and hideous beyond description.' And yet, Francis thought that the appearance of African women contributed to the picturesque nature of the island: 'The women are very odd looking, but their dress makes them add much to the beauty of the scene. ' M In the second letter of his occasional correspondence, Walter Wells again wrote to reassure his father-in-law that 'my wife is quite well and very happy and comfortable and is now quite at home...She has made the acquaintance of the elite of our Lady passengers and plays daily on the Piano and works and reads.75 He suggested that Francis should have a piano of her own and enclosed price lists from London. Walter added that he had spent seven hundred pounds on his outfit and passage, and anticipated spending a further three hundred pounds on their arrival, thus implying that the seventy pounds needed to buy a piano was beyond his financial capabilities. Soon after their arrival in Calcutta, Francis declined her father's offer of a piano because she said that he could not afford it. In the event, Francis did not own a piano until two years later when Walter bought one from a couple who were returning to Britain for the first time in thirty five years. The piano that Francis eventully owned was more suited to life in India than one purchased in London as it was 'bound completely with brass, so as to stand the climate, with a packing case lined with tin, and a red wadded cover, which is always necessary in India and four glass insulators to keep the white ants off. ' 1 6 13 Ibid.. Later in the voyage, Francis noted the funeral on Christmas Day of Major Talbot who had died of dysentery. F. Wells to Dr Fox, 26 December 1853. 1 4 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 30 October 1853. 15 w . W e i i s t 0 D r pox, 29 October 1853. 16 p. Wells to Dr Fox, 21 October 1855. Francis wrote in the same letter that her guitar had split in the heat. 64 In late November, Francis wrote to her father with the news that she was expecting her first child in July. Describing her stepmother, who was herself expecting a child, Francis wrote that 'I wish I had asked Mrs Fox many questions about various things before I left England as it is not pleasant having only strangers to ask.ni Among the new passengers to join the ship at the Cape of Good Hope, Francis befriended Mrs Brookes, the wife of an army officer, who 'has one sweet little baby and has given me several useful hints. ' 1 8 Twelve days after leaving the Cape, the ship docked in Mauritius where Francis visited a fish market and a flower show and wrote to describe the natural beauty of the island: 'The foliage is so dense and flowers so gorgeous, I never saw such colours: the island is famous for its jessamine and the whole air seems perfumed with it: it grows in trees about the size of large laburnums; roses are wild in every direction and many other flowers that were quite new to me.'19 Two weeks later, in January 1854, the Lady Jocelyn reached Calcutta and Francis Wells' new life in India had begun. In her first letter from India, Francis was keen to reassure her father that she was still equally if not more interested in news from home. As she wrote: you are quite mistaken in thinking that my new career of life can make any home concerns appear insignificiant: on the contrary amidst the numerous new scenes and faces I have seen, my heart continually longs for you all and my greatest pleasure is to hear everything about you all, trifles as much as anything else.20 When they arrived in Calcutta, Francis stayed in a hotel while Walter secured accommodation in Barrackpore, eighteen miles away. At this time, Francis occupied herself by learning 1 7 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 27 November 1853. 1 8 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 26 December 1853. 19 ibid.. 2 0 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 14 January 1854. 65 Hindustani, being visited by officers, and sewing dusters and kitchen cloths. She found the social life of the British official elite restrictive, writing that 'I am not much in love with Calcutta dinner parties, they are very stiff and the obsequiousness of the servants is quite oppressive; I do not like being incessantly bowed to, and the total want of any words corresponding to please and thank you puts me out extremely. '21 By the end of January, the Wells' had moved into a bungalow in Barrackpore where Walter worked as a doctor in the 48th Regiment of the Native Infantry. Francis found that Barrackpore was 'an exceedingly pretty place' and described her bungalow as 'a square white house entirely surrounded with a verandah, all on one floor and consisting almost entirely of doors and windows. '22 She wrote favourably of her eleven servants, who, because of caste restrictions, were each responsible for a specific household task. As Francis wrote, 'there is no impudence, no finery with them and I think ours will soon get into order. '23 Over the course of her correspondence, however, Francis wrote to her father about frustrations with her Indian servants. In June 1854 she dismissed her dhoby or washerman for being drunk for three days but was having difficulty replacing him. At the same time, Walter had lost some gold shirt studs and the pay for all servants was being withheld until they were found. At other times, Francis wrote that I always pack off my women servants as soon as I can after breakfast for they do irritate me so I can hardly bear it'24 and described her servants as 'wretches [who] are enough to aggravate a saint, the kinder you are to them the worse they behave. ' 2 5 2 1 Ibid.. 2 2 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 26 January 1854. 2 3 Ibid.. 2 4 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 15 November 1854. 2 5 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 24 January 1855. 66 Although Francis had had some experience of housekeeping in Britain and could keep and balance accounts, new challenges of housekeeping in India included remembering the responsibilities of each servant and giving orders in Hindustani. Her days were occupied by 'working, writing, singing and reading.126 Daily life invariably followed the same routine, with Francis waking at seven, dressing, having breakfast at nine, and reading a chapter from the Bible and a daily prayer. For the rest of the morning, Francis ordered dinner, settled the household accounts, and attended to 'the numerous petty domestic affairs which you know require looking after in every house however small.127 After lunch, visitors could call over a two hour period, and, after a walk in the early evening, Francis would dress for dinner. In the evenings, Francis sewed while Walter read to her. As she wrote to her father, 'I have had some trouble to effect this last end, but unless he reads I will not sing and in this way I have managed it.'28 After a year at Barrackpore, the Wells' spent two months travelling to Allahabad with the 48th Native Infantry and lived there for a further year. In January 1856, the annexation of Oudh meant that Walter was posted to Cawnpore for two months while Francis remained in Allahabad. Francis joined him at his next posting in Lucknow in April 1856. Francis had to arrange their move to Lucknow, despatching furniture, twenty boxes of possessions, their servants, and their carriage horse. Francis was keen to stress in her letters home that she was enjoying life in India. As she wrote to her sister Florry, 'I am very happy in this country and like it very well except the hot weather, that certainly is dreadful, but you must not say 'horrid' India 2 6 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 28 January 1854. 2 7 Ibid.. 2 8 Ibid.. 67 for I do not think it a bad place by any means. ' 2 g Writing to her father, Francis said that 'I do not dislike [India] at all and have much better health here than I had in England. I never have a spot of any kind on my face and at one time at home I frequently had. ' 3 0 In March 1857, Francis wrote that Walter planned to retire from Indian service two years later. As she said, 'The longer I live in India the more I like it, of course there are some great drawbacks - the natives and the heat for instance but on the whole I think it is a pleasant country. ' 3 I The life that Francis enjoyed in India was clearly the Anglo-Indian life of an official British elite. When she arrived in Calcutta, Francis noted that 'The ladies here are excessively smart and pink is the predominating colour for bonnets: I am almost the only person with pink in my cheeks, and I notice that ladies' pallor is very much in proportion to the number of children they have with them. '32 Francis gave birth to three children while she lived in India. Walter was born in July 1854, a second baby was born at seven months and died five days later in September 1855, and George was born in August 1856. Before Walter was born, Francis wrote of her anxieties about raising a child in India. As she wrote, 'The more I see of [Anglo-]Indian children the more I hope to be able to send mine home before it is very old as they contract such bad habits in this country, all look so pale and sickly, and get to speak with a dreadful twang, indeed many speak no English which I think is a great pity. '33 But as soon as Walter was born, she began to dread being separated from him: 'I do not think I can ever spare my boy to go home certainly not for five years and even then although I know it will be right to send him to 2 9 F. Wells to her sister Florry, 17 February 1855. Francis also wrote that I do not think I would have come out to India if I could have imagined this heat, though it is a charming climate in the cold weather, but no one in England can.' F. Wells to Dr Fox, 18 June 1855. 3 0 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 10 May 1856. 3 1 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 9 March 1857. 3 2 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 17 January 1854. 3 3 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 24 June 1854. 68 England I shall not know how to part with him. '34 At one year old, Francis reported Walter's wide vocabulary: 'Of course principally Hindostanee [sic] but that is unavoidable and he will soon learn English. '35 In raising an Anglo-Indian child, Francis was concerned that her son Walter would acquire the worst traits of other Anglo-Indians, including his father: 'I am fearful lest he learns to abuse the natives as is too much the custom out here. Walter says he must be whipped if he does so, but I contend that will be quite useless if he hears his Papa do the same thing. You can have no idea in England to what extent this practice is carried out and sometimes it makes me feel quite ill.136 In her hopes for the future, Francis wrote that 'I should like to bring one of my boys up to the Civil Service, but Walter says he shall never be able to afford him the requisite education. Dear little creatures I hope we shall be able to afford to bring them home in three years, as unless compelled by most urgent necessity we never intend to send them to England unless we can accompany them. '37 As well as reassuring her father that she was enjoying life in India, Francis Wells also sought to reassure him that she was enjoying married life. As she wrote on the voyage to India, 7 am very happy with [Walter]. I do. hope that you will try for my sake to get over the feeling of reserve which you entertain for him.'38 She also relieved her father's anxieties that his letters were being read by Walter: 'Do not be afraid of my husband seeing them, as I only read him such news as I like him to hear. ' 3 9 Throughout her correspondence, several points of tension between Francis and Walter emerged. As well as his abuse of Indian servants, Francis also 3 4 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 17 October 1854. 35 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 16 July 1855. 36 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 5 April 1856. 3 7 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 5 January 1857. 3 8 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 27 November 1853 3 9 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 16 January 1854. 69 complained that 'my dear husband's driving is rather peculiar'40 and that 7 have yet to cure him of kissing me in the hot weather for I found that very unpleasant on board ship. '41 She also wrote to ask her father's advice when Walter stopped taking Holy Communion, which was clearly at odds with her own devout Christianity. But despite such points of tension, Francis wrote that 7 do try to be a kind, dutiful and affectionate wife but it is not very difficult to do so with a husband as I have; he is so indulgent and fond and the only trouble I have with him is about his shirts on which point he really is very trying: the shirts must have exactly the proper quantity of starch in and I cannot get them done right. '42 For his part, Walter described Francis' domestic devotion in favourable terms: 'You have no idea what a good manager she is in all her domestic affairs making things for our dear child which I had no idea she could accomplish and manages her house beautifully. '43 Overall, Francis believed that she was closer to Walter in India than she might have been had they remained in Britain: I fancy married people are much more fond of each other in India than they are in England...they are thrown together and for so many months in that year are dependent on each other for society. At home I used to think a gentleman in the house all day quite a bore, but now if Walter goes out for an hour I cannot keep away from the window watching for his return.44 And yet, such marital and domestic happiness was seen to depend on the domestic capabilities of a wife. In contrast to her own marriage, Francis described the unsuccessful marriage of Captain and Mrs James: He is going to send his wife home and he says she is the most useless wife anyone ever had and cannot keep an account and though she has been so long in India 40 Ibid.. 4 1 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 17 January 1854. 4 2 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 7 April 1855. 43 w. Wells to Dr Fox, 2 September 1855. Walter wrote this is in the letter in which he told Dr Fox of the death of his and Francis' second child. 44 F . Wells to Dr Fox, 21 October 1855. 70 cannot speak a word of Hindostanee. I cannot think what would have become of me now unless I could speak the language and keep my servants in order.145 Imperial domesticity and marital happiness were clearly seen to depend on the domestic proficiency of a British wife. Francis Wells perceived her Christian marriage as a sacred contract that was governed by certain rules of propriety. She was conscious, however, that her views differed from those of many other Anglo-Indians. Such differences were particularly marked on social occasions. As Francis wrote, I have never danced since my marriage and never intend to do so: I am universally laughed at but I do not think it consistent with the quietness and sobriety which are enjoined on married women: at the same time I do not exactly like to give this as my reason, because as almost everyone, married or not dances in this country it would seem to be setting up as better than others so I think the best thing is to stay at home and avoid all discussion on the subject.46 In another letter nearly two years later, Francis stated in more categorical terms that 'It is quite disgusting to see how some married ladies dance and go on in this country, and makes me quite blush for my sex sometimes. '4? By the time that she lived in Allahabad, Francis wrote that she was content with her domestic life: 'I am quite indifferent about society now as I am perfectly happy with my husband and child so do not care if I never see a creature.148 However, as a new resident, 7 have been quite overwhelmed with morning visitors since our arrival and quite dread returning them all, it is such a bore making new acquaintances. '49 But, a month later, Francis 4 5 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 5 February 1856. 4 6 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 7 April 1855. 4 7 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 9 December 1856. 4 8 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 17 February 1855. 4 9 Ibid.. 71 wrote that 7 think we shall find this a sociable place, the civilians are all pleasant people and seem inclined to entertain. ' 5 0 For Francis Wells, the rules of propriety that governed marriage and social conduct were specifically bourgeois ideals. Francis' notions of bourgeois propriety became vividly clear in her outraged reaction to the 'disasterous' news that her brother Edward - a doctor, like her father and husband - was planning to marry a governess.51 Once the marriage had gone ahead, Francis described her sister-in-law in bitter terms: 'She is an unprincipled thing to have married a young man in defiance of his father's wishes, and can have no love for him or she would not have destroyed his prospects in this way.'52 Because she believed that 'Edward has so irretrievably ruined his prospects in England,153 Francis suggested that he should apply to the Medical Service of the East India Company. The status of Francis Wells as an incorporated wife in the 48th Native Infantry is evident in her description of other 'regimental ladies' with whom she identified. Soon after arriving in India, she wrote that 'people say it is rather a quarrelsome corps, but the safest way here is never to talk of individuals and in that way it surely must be easy to keep on good terms with everyone. ' 5 4 It was particularly important for Francis, as the wife of a regimental surgeon, to keep on good terms with other women of a similar standing in the regiment. For the first few months, however, Francis regretted that 1 know no one well enough to speak to on anything but 5 0 F . Wells to Dr Fox, 8 March 1855. 5 1 F . Wells to Dr Fox, 30 Apr i l 1855. 5 2 F . Wells to Dr Fox, 5 January 1857. 5 3 Ibid.. 5 4 F . Wells to Dr Fox, 2 March 1854. 72 indifferent subjects, but I hope in time to get intimate with some of the ladies of the regiment. ' 5 5 Francis was one of only three 'regimental ladies' on the two month march from Barrackpore to Allahabad. Moreover, one of these ladies had only recently arrived in India and, after meeting her husband, Francis feared that Mrs Dashwood would be an inauspicious addition to the regiment: 'We have just had a visit from Mr Dashwood, such a coarse vulgar sort of man, smelling so dreadfully of smoke: I am sure if his wife is in his style she will be no addition to our society.'56 Once the Wells' arrived in Lucknow, it was their duty to call on other Anglo-Indian officials and their wives who were already resident. This social protocol of calling on other Anglo-Indians of a similar status reinforced the hierarchy of a British official elite. On one occasion, Francis wrote to her father in tones of great indignation when this hierarchy appeared to be under threat: There is a neice of Major Prior's in this station married to Mr Lewin of the Artillery: they are the only people we have not called upon as they neither of them [are] worth knowing, I will not say more: she has told people that my family are so intimate with her Uncle that our Park gate!! is exactly opposite his! and that we used to meet every day; so much for the truth people tell: she is pretty looking and very young and wants someone to guide her sadly instead of which her husband is a fool, and in consequence I should not like to be spoken of as she is. ' 5 7 From April 1856, Francis and Walter Wells lived in Lucknow, the capital city of the recently annexed province of Oudh. Two years later, the Times correspondent William Howard Russell described the splendours of this city, which presented: 55 Ibid.. Francis wrote this in connection with asking for advice from her father when Walter stopped taking Holy Communion. 56 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 15 November 1854. Mrs Ouseley, 'the nicest of all,' was in Calcutta with her husband for six months 'with an insane brother a civilian, who stabbed a native the other day and is to be brought to trial for it tho' he is violently mad.' F. Wells to Dr Fox, 15 November 1854. 57 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 9 December 1856. 73 A vision of palaces, minars, domes azure and golden, cupolas, colannade, long fagades of fair perspective in pillar and column, terraced roofs - all rising up amid a calm still ocean of the brightest verdure. Look for miles and miles away, and still the ocean spreads, and the towers of the fairy-city gleam in its midst. Spires of gold glitter in the sun. Turrets and gilded spheres shine like constellations. There is nothing mean or squalid to be seen. There is a city more vast than Paris, as it seems, and more brilliant, lying before us. Is this a city in Oudh? Is this the capital of a semi-barbarous race, erected by a corrupt, effete, and degraded dynasty? I confess I felt inclined to rub my eyes again and again.58 For their first four months in Lucknow, the Wells' lived in 'the very heart of the city, buried alive in fact for I do not suppose we shall ever see a white person here. ' 5 9 Unlike most of the Anglo-Indian population of Lucknow, who lived in bungalows in cantonments or civil lines four miles away, Walter Wells was posted to the City Guard and he and Francis lived in an old palace in the centre of the 'native city.' As Francis wrote, All the palaces here are beautiful, such wonderful architecture, of course very Eastern but most picturesque...We are quite private and shut out from everyone in the house, but outside it is terribly public and very unpleasant to us both as we like quiet and here the officers and sepoys are all over the place: it is a great nuisance in the evening when we want to sit outside.60 Francis also reported that her movements had been seen by Indian women who lived in a zenana nearby.61 As she wrote, ->° W. H. Russell, My Indian Mutiny Diary, edited by M. Edwardes, Cassell, London, 1957, 57-8. See V.T. Oldenburg, The Making of Colonial Lucknow. 1856-1877. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1984, for discussion of the contrast between such descriptions of Lucknow from a distance and other descriptions of the streets and bazaars of Lucknow as 'mean [and] squalid,' and the implications of such descriptions for urban planning policies following the 'mutiny.' 59 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 5 April 1856. 6 0 Ibid.. 61 'Zenana' refers to the part of a house reserved for the seclusion of high-caste women. See J. Nair, 'Uncovering the Zenana: Visions of Indian Womanhood in Englishwomen's Writings, 1813 - 1940,' Journal of Women's History. 2, 1991, 46-81. 74 when I and the other ladies arrived, the black ladies sent a message to the Colonel 'that their hearts were quite happy now they saw some mem sahibs about' and requested that the sahibs would never go on to the roof of our quarters as that commands a full view of the zenana: so none of the officers are allowed to go up, but I intend to, some day when the weather is not so warm.62 But before the end of the hot season, Francis and Walter Wells had moved away from the native city to live in cantonments. Here they lived in 'a beautiful bungalow, the largest and best we have ever had [with] a good garden. '6S For the rest of the year, Francis' domestic and social life continued to revolve around lunches, dinners, balls, and entertaining visitors. By now, Francis rose and dressed by five and retired at nine and, unlike many other Anglo-Indian women, would not lie down all day unless she was ill: 'Many people have a nasty, slovenly habit of sitting half the day in a dressing gown, but that is a trick I have never indulged in. ' 6 4 But at the same time as writing about her domestic and social life, Francis also noted tensions that were emerging in the regiment. In March 1857, she described Captain Hasall as 'the black sheep' of the 48th Native Infantry who was often drunk and was 'without exception the most horrible man I ever heard of.'65 According to Francis, although Walter had been extremely attentive to Mrs Hasall during her 'dreadful confinement' in childbirth, Captain Hasall had insulted him and their disagreement had been referred to the Colonel of the regiment. In the following month, Walter offended the religious beliefs of sepoys in his regiment by drinking medicine straight from a bottle in the hospital. As Francis later described to her father: when Walter went to the hospital one morning not feeling well he put a bottle of medicine to his lips and tasted a few drops of it; he was thoughtless certainly to have done such a thing, but still it was an act of inadvertence and who could have thought 6 2 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 10 May 1856. 6 3 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 18 September 1856. 6 4 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 6 April 1857. 6 5 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 9 March 1857. 75 of such great consequences arising from it...the natives here got the story that Walter spat into the bottle.66 On April 6, Francis wrote that 'last night our house was burned to the ground over our heads.167 Francis ran to the Dashwood's bungalow in her nightgown, carrying her two children, and wrote that 1 never knew such terror before and I hope I never may again. I think my heart will never beat quietly again.'68 The fire destroyed the Wells' home and many of their possessions, including all of their crockery, glass, and stores of food as well as one thousand rupees. As Francis wrote: there is a very mutinous spirit in the native army now...my woman went outside to drink water and saw ten sepoys placing lighted straws on the thatch, she instantly screamed out and the men ran off but the thatch being old and dry caught in a second...! feel so ill and miserable...It is a terrible loss to us and will of course compel us to remain in India longer than we intended.69 Because Walter's actions were thought to have provoked the arson attack, he was deemed liable for the damage to the bungalow. A fortnight later, Francis wrote that 'I do not think we shall remain with this regiment: things have occurred which render it disagreeable to do so: and I think it is desireable that we should leave, however we have not yet quite made up our minds. It is such a terrible expense moving in India.170 But before the Wells' were able to decide whether or not to leave Lucknow, unrest among sepoys intensified both in Lucknow and throughout Oudh and culminated in the 'mutiny' that began in May and spread throughout north and central India during 1857. Francis wrote her 6 6 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 1 May 1857. 6 7 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 6 April 1857. 6 8 Ibid.. 6 9 Ibid.. 7 0 F. Wells to Dr Fox, 1 May 1857. 76 last letter to her father from Lucknow in May 1857 and her correspondence then ceased for the next seven months. During this time, Francis and Walter Wells, together with the rest of the Anglo-Indian population of Lucknow, were held under siege in what became one of the most significant conflicts in the 'mutiny.' The imperial domesticity that Francis Wells had enjoyed since 1854 was shattered by the 'mutiny' of 1857 to 1858. Chapter 3 77 Domestic and Imperial Crisis British Women at Cawnpore and Lucknow, 1857-8 Introduction Despite improvements in transport and communications between the two countries, in June 1857, an article in the Calcutta Review lamented the apathy and ignorance about India in Britain. In India, news five weeks old was received every two weeks and there were, according to the Review, two 'easy modes' of travel home, either by sea to Suez and then overland to Alexandria, or the longer route by sea around the Cape of Good Hope. As the article stated, 'Time and space, though not annihilated, nor even contracted to their shortest span, have been considerably reduced.'1 And yet, awareness of this reduction seemed to be largely one way. The Review argued that only an empire-threatening crisis would be likely to change the neglect of India in newspapers, Parliament, and among the British public more generally. This article appeared just as the first outbreaks of unrest marked the beginning of such a crisis. Over the course of the next year, events in India came to command an unprecedented level of public attention in Britain, as shown by daily newspaper reports and parliamentary debates.2 1 India in England,' Calcutta Review, June 1857, 335-363, 335. 2 Graham Dawson has described the 'mutiny' as 'the first 'national-popular' imperialist war fought by Britain in its Empire.' Dawson 1995, op. cit., 47-8. The 'mutiny' continued to shape imperial imaginations about India after 1858, as shown by the publication of a wide range of imperial histories, including, for example: W. H. Fitchett, The Tale of the Great Mutiny, Smith and Elder, London, 1902; G. W. Forrest, A History of the Indian Mutiny. Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, 1904; J. W. Kaye, A History of the Sepov War in India 1857-58. W. H. Allen, London, 1876; and G. B. Malleson, The Indian Mutiny of 1857. Seeley and Co., London, 1891. More than fifty English novels about the 'mutiny' were published between 1857 and 1900 and thirty more appeared before 1939. P. Brantlinger, 'The Well at Cawnpore: Literary Representations of the Indian Mutiny of 1857,' in Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism 1830-1914. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1988, and N. Paxton, 'Mobilizing 78 One central focus of attention was the fate of British women in India, with accounts of their deaths and barely veiled hints at their violation resulting in impassioned cries for vengeance. The 'mutiny' of 1857-8 marked a turning point not only in terms of British rule in India, but also in terms of representations of British women in India. In this chapter, I argue that the imperial conflict was often represented through images and accounts of domestic defilement that were, in many cases, embodied by British women. The 'mutiny' was represented as a crisis of imperial domesticity that threatened the permanence not only of British homes but also of British rule in India. I am focusing on representations of British women during the 'mutiny' on a range of scales: in Britain and in India; and at Cawnpore and at Lucknow. In particular, I contrast representations of British women as victims at Cawnpore and as survivors and as heroines at Lucknow. In both cases, I suggest that the fate of British women could only be represented through their absence, either from the place where they died at Cawnpore or from the place where they lived under siege at Lucknow. Disaffection among Indian infantry soldiers or sepoys had been intensifying since January 1857 and events in May marked the start of what in imperial terms came to be known as the Indian or sepoy 'mutiny' and in nationalist terms as the 'First War of Independence'.3 Detachments of the Bengal army mutinied at Meerut, killing several British officers and setting fire to the cantonment, before marching to Delhi and declaring the Mughal king, Bahadur Shah Chivalry: Rape in British Novels about the Indian Uprising of 1857, Victorian Studies. 36, 1992, 5-30, 7. Also see 'The Indian Mutiny in Fiction,' Blackwood's Magazine, 161, 1897, 218-231 for an account of the popularity of such novels in the 1890s. 3 See M.L. Bhargava, Saga of 1857: Success and Failures. Reliance Publishing House, New Delhi, 1992, S. B. Chaudhuri, English Historical Writings on the Indian Mutiny 1857-9. The World Press, Calcutta, 1979, and J. Ladendorf, The Revolt in India 1857-8: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Materials. Inter Documentation Company, Zug, for a historiography and bibliographies of the 'mutiny.' See R. Guha, 'On Some Aspects of the Historiography of Colonial India,' in R. Guha and G. C. Spivak, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988, for a critical discussion of the elitism of Indian historiography. I am referring to events of 1857-8 as a 'mutiny' because I am examining imperial representations of the crisis. 79 II, as the reinstated ruler of Hindustan. Over the next year, revolts against British rule spread throughout central and northern India, taking place most notably at Delhi, Lucknow, and Cawnpore, as shown by Figure 2. The 'mutiny' largely took the form of uprisings by Indian soldiers against their British officers in the Bengal army but did not spread to the two other armies of the East India Company in the presidencies of Madras and Bombay. However, in some places, particularly in the recently annexed province of Oudh, the 'mutiny' was also characterized by widespread agrarian unrest.4 But such military and popular struggles tended to remain localized and disparate, so that the events of 1857-8 represented 'something more than a sepoy mutiny, but something less than a national revolt.'5 The 'mutiny' was brutally suppressed by more than 35,000 soldiers sent from Britain by June 1858. Writing from London for the New York Daily Tribune, Karl Marx wrote that 'it should not be forgotten that, while the cruelties of the English are related as acts of martial vigour, told simply, rapidly, without dwelling on disgusting details, the outrages of the natives, shocking as they are, are still deliberately exaggerated.'6 Such 'disgusting details' often centred on the fate of British women in the 'mutiny.' 4 See, for example, G. Bhadra, 'Four Rebels of Eighteen-Fifty-Seven,' in R. Guha and G. C. Spivak op. cit., R. Guha, Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India. Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1983, J. Pemble, The Raj, the Indian Mutiny and the Kingdom of Oudh 1801-1859. The Harvester Press, London, 1977, and E. Stokes, The Peasant and the Raj: Studies in Agrarian Society and Peasant Rebellion in Colonial India. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1978. 5 T. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt: India 1857-1870. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1965, 60. 6 K. Marx and F. Engels, The First Indian War of Independence 1857-1859. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1959, 83. 80 Figure 2: Theatres of War in the Indian 'Mutiny', 1857-8 Source: Innes, op. cit. and MacMunn, op. cit. 81 There have been many debates about the causes of the 'mutiny' both at the time and since. Imperial histories of the 'mutiny' have tended to focus on the rumour that cartridges for new Enfield rifles had been greased with beef and pork fat. Biting into such cartridges would, therefore, break the religious faith of both Hindu and Muslim sepoys.7 However, public and parliamentary opinion at the time ranged more widely with, for example, the Bengal Hurkaru reporting that 'The origin of the mutiny seems day by day more difficult of detection. Unctuous cartridges, unctuous Colonels, Indian princes, Oud[h], low pay, Russia, annexation, are each in turn suggested, and at every new solution, more insoluble appears the difficulty.'8 Furthermore, in parliamentary debates, the Marquess of Clanricarde stated that 'to suppose that this was a mere question of greased cartridges was absurd'9 and Disraeli, a member of the Conservative Opposition, was equally adamant that 'The decline and fall of empires are not affairs of greased cartridges.'10 Most contemporary debates about the causes of the 'mutiny' focused on the organization of the Bengal army and the recent annexation of the province of Oudh, which is mapped in Figure 3. The Bengal army consisted of 150,000 men, of whom 23,000 were European,11 although the latter force was further diminished by soldiers fighting away from India in the Crimean and Persian wars. European forces were also spatially concentrated, with, for example, only one European regiment stationed between Agra and Barrackpore. Moreover, up to a third of ' See Jenny Sharpe's discussion of the 'truth-effects' of this rumour in imperial historiography. Sharpe, op. cit., 59-61. 8 Bengal Hurkaru, 28 May 1857. 9 Marquess of Clanricarde, 6 July 1857, Hansard op. cit., Vol. CXLVI, 951. 1 0 Benjamin Disraeli, 27 July 1857, Hansard op. cit., Vol. CXLVII, 475. 11 Metcalf, op. cit. Most of those designated European' were British soldiers. The armies of the Bengal, Bombay, and Madras Presidencies consisted of 281,940 men, of whom 41,475 were European and 3644 were English commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Illustrated London News, 11 July 1857. Figure 3: Map of Oudh, 1857 Source: Innes op. cit. and Pemble op. cit. 83 sepoys in the Bengal army came from Oudh. An estimated 50,000 sepoys were denied many of their landholding privileges and became subject to a new, rigid revenue system when the British deposed the king and forcibly annexed the province of Oudh in 1856.12 The disaffection of the Bengal army was also attributed by some commentators to the widening distance between British officers and sepoys. It was argued that increased proximity to Britain led to a greater detachment from and disinterest towards both India and the sepoys under their command. Rather than view India as 'home,' British officers, like Walter Wells, regarded their sojourn there as more temporary than permanent. As Robert Vernon Smith argued in Parliament, the attachment which the native soldier formerly bore to his officer has of late years, from various causes, considerably diminished. In past times, the yearning for home used not to prevail to the same extent among the officers, or at least it had not the same chance of being gratified. Englishmen in military command used to look upon India as their home and residence. Now, however, the modern facilities for furlough has given rise to an unceasing appetite to the same class of men for a return to England; and this circumstance, I have no doubt, has exercised a considerable influence in promoting disaffection in the Indian army.13 In similar terms, Lord John Russell argued that Young men go to India; they hope before long that they shall get back to their native country; they receive the English newspapers constantly; they get letters from home twice a month; their feelings and habits remain English; and that being the case, they cannot condescend to enter into the feelings of the natives, and to show that sympathy which existed between the two races in former times.14 The greater proximity between Britain and India due to improved transport and communications arguably contributed to an increasing social distance between British officers and Indian sepoys. At the same time - and as discussed in Chapter 2 - the increasing tendency of British officers to V l Metcalf op. cit. and Pemble op. cit. 1 3 Vernon Smith, 27 July 1857, Hansard, op. cit., Vol. CXLVII, 496. 1 4 Lord John Russell, 27 July 1857, Hansard, op. cit., Vol. CXLVII, 523-524. 84 marry British rather than Indian women also contributed to a widening gulf between British officers and the Indian soldiers under their command. Some commentators attributed the outbreak of the 'mutiny' both to perceptions of Britain rather than India as 'home' and to a widening domestic and social distance between British rulers and their Indian subjects. Within Britain, public consciousness of events in India reflected not only the increased ease of transport and communications between the two countries but also the domestic as well as imperial significance of the crisis. In December 1857, the Illustrated London News was keen to represent the crisis within Britain as well as India, stating that 'Many an eloquent pen chronicles the fortitude and resignation of those who have had to go through the fiery ordeal of the Indian revolt; but who will describe the equal heroism of the innocent sufferers from the crisis at home?'15 In a well documented example of such sufferings at home, a Scottish man was reported to have lost twenty two relatives in the 'mutiny' in a six week period.16 Concern about events in India was seen to extend from individual families to the British public more generally. As Vernon Smith said, 'I remember nothing occurring at so great a distance which has so powerfully affected society. It is impossible to walk the streets of the metropolis without witnessing the anxiety with which the arrival of news from India is expected.'17 To an unprecedented extent, private information came to shape public knowledge of the 'mutiny.' Because Anglo-Indian as well as Indian newspapers were subject to censorship during the 'mutiny,' private letters came to provide information that was often reprinted in the press and cited in Parliament. Although the Bengal Hurkaru was critical of the 'highly coloured and embellished' information contained in many letters, such information came to acquire strategic 1 5 Illustrated London News, 26 December 1857. 16 Illustrated London News, 17 October 1857. 1 7 Vernon Smith, 27 July 1857, Hansard, op. cit., Vol. CXLVII, 504. 85 as well as personal importance.18 In Parliament, the Earl of Ellenborough complained that 'not one word of official information has yet been given to Parliament. We have been left to depend upon private letters and upon articles in the newspapers.'19 At this time, the extension of the telegraph had begun to revolutionize communications between Britain and India. In August 1857, in the depths of the 'mutiny,' it was estimated that by early 1858, the extension of telegraphic communication between London and Alexandria would enable news to travel from Bombay to Britain in fifteen days. According to the Times, the extension of the telegraph represented the greatest change in our relations with India that has takn place since our possession of the Empire...It appears as if we could really afford to get into scrapes, the resources of escape, repair, and renovation are so exuberant; so that at the very bottom of an adverse emergency, in the very depth of the crisis, and when our Indian reputation is for the moment prostrate, we inaugurate a new era for India, in which our hold over her will be ten times tighter than ever, and in which that Empire will be more in the relation of Ireland, or we might almost say an English county, to us than that of a distant continent.20 Whilst recognising 'the very depth of the crisis,' this article anticipated the reassertion of British rule in India and pointed to the strategic role of the telegraph in binding India closer to Britain and thus ensuring future imperial security.21 During the 'mutiny,' news from India arrived in Britain by telegraph every seventeen days.22 As Earl Granville noted in Parliament, 'the public have been put in possession by electric telegraph of the whole substance of what we know.'23 18 Bengal Hurkaru, 19 June 1857. 1 9 Earl of Ellenborough, 13 July 1857, Hansard op. cit., Vol. CXLVI, 1323. 2 0 Times, 18 August 1857. 21 'Our hold over her' suggests the masculinist physicalism of 'time-space compression' that was celebrated by many commentators both at the time and since. See D. Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity. Blackwell, Oxford, 1989, for further discussion. 2 2 Times, 28 July 1857. 2 3 Earl Granville 13 July 1857, Hansard op. cit., Vol. CXLVI, 1331. 86 Both the greater accessibility of information by telegraph and the flow and nature of private information raised popular consciousness of events in India to an unprecedented level. This popular consciousness was often heightened by representations of British women in the 'mutiny.' The 'mutiny' had far reaching implications for British rule in India. The main constitutional consequence of the 'mutiny' was the Royal Proclamation of 1 November 1858 and subsequent Government of India Acts, which replaced the rule of the East India Company with that of the British Crown. As Thomas Metcalf argues, 'Although not often apparent on the surface, the India of the Queen was markedly different from the India of the Company'24 because the 'mutiny' had disrupted not only the formal structures of imperial rule but also the imperial representations that had legitimated such rule. Jenny Sharpe suggests that the 'mutiny' ruptured ideas of British imperialism as a civilizing mission based on consensual notions of British generosity and Indian deference.25 As Bernard Cohn has argued, the 'mutiny' led to significant changes in the increasingly formalized, ritualized, and often spectacular display of British authority in India. Memories of the 'mutiny' continued to shape representations of imperial identity and authority to the British themselves. As Cohn writes, the Mutiny was seen as a heroic myth embodying and expressing [the] central values [of the British] which explained their rule in India to themselves - sacrifice, duty, fortitude; above all it symbolized the ultimate triumph over those Indians who had threatened properly constituted authority and order.26 2 4 Metcalf, op. cit., vii. Metcalf contextualizes the 'mutiny' and its implications in terms of Victorian liberalism, arguing that it marked a departure from liberal ideas of improvement to a more cautious, conservative era of imperial rule. 2 5 Sharpe, op. cit., 1993, 58. 26 B. Cohn, 'Representing Authority in Victorian India,' in B. Cohn, An Anthropologist Among the Historians and Other Essays. Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1987, 647. 87 Particular places imbued with heroic myths of the 'mutiny' shaped a new imperial geography of India in the years after 1857. Travelling around central and north India on the clear itinerary of a 'mutiny tour' helped British residents and visitors to imagine their place as imperial rulers.27 In particular, the siege of Lucknow continued to shape British imperial imaginations over many years following the 'mutiny,' as shown by the Times stating in 1930 that 'probably no achievement in British history stirs the blood of Englishmen more deeply than the defence of Lucknow.'28 Indeed, after the recapture of the Residency at Lucknow in March 1858, the Union Jack was lowered from its tower for the first and last time on August 15, 1947, the date of Indian Independence. This was the only Union Jack in the British Empire to fly day and night and when it was finally lowered, the Illustrated London News reported the event as 'probably the most poignant flag ceremony of the day.'29 The 'mutiny' was often represented in terms of domestic' defilement both in terms of the destruction of British homes in India and the challenge to British rule in India. Such representations were often embodied in ambivalent ways by the fate of British women in 'mutiny.' I examine how the conflict was represented in Britain in two connected ways. First, I consider how and why the 'mutiny' was represented by domestic imagery. Second, I discuss the ways in which representations of British women came to embody representations of the imperial conflict. Here, I examine the ways in which imperial domesticity was discursively embodied by British women as victims and heroines at Cawnpore and Lucknow. 1 1 M. Goswami, "Englishness' on the Imperial Circuit: Mutiny Tours in Colonial South Asia,' Journal of Historical Sociology. 9, 1996, 54-84. See Chapter 5 for further discussion of these 'mutiny tours' and the memorialization of the 'mutiny' at Cawnpore and Lucknow. A clear parallel exists with Inderpal Grewal's work on Indian women developing a national imagination and consciousness by travelling around India. I. Grewal, Home and Harem: Nation. Gender. Empire and the Cultures of Travel. Duke University Press, Durham, 1996. 2 8 Times, 18 February 1930. 2 9 Illustrated London News, not dated, from The Mutiny Scrap Book, School of Oriental and African Studies, MS 380484. 88 Representing Home and Empire Discourses of proximity and distance helped to shape representations of the 'mutiny' in newspapers and in parliamentary debates as a crisis of imperial domesticity on two connected scales: first, between Britain and India and, second, the place of British homes in India. Representing home and empire on these two scales drew upon the intertwined discourses of domestic, national, and imperial power, honour, and prestige. Such discourses not only influenced contemporary reports and popular consciousness of the 'mutiny,' but also influenced future debates about imperial rule and colonization in India.30 Domestic imagery represented the 'mutiny' as an uprising not only against British homes in India but also against the permanence of British rule in India. The deaths of British officials, their wives and children prompted the Bengal Hurkaru, an Anglo-Indian daily newspaper, to state that 'This is not a mere local outbreak, it is a great crisis, a crisis unprecedented in the history of British India...It is now a question of empire.'31 By September, Karl Marx described the British forces in the north western provinces of Bengal as increasingly isolated 'amid a sea of revolution'32 against capitalist imperialism. But the extent to which the 'mutiny' represented an imperial crisis was open to question, not least in early parliamentary debates. While the Liberal British government under Palmerston was anxious to contain the threat posed to imperial rule by describing the uprising as a military mutiny, Disraeli described the 'mutiny' as a rebellion of national proportions that threatened British rule in 30 I will discuss debates about imperial rule and colonization in India in the years following the 'mutiny' in Chapter 5. 31 Bengal Hurkaru, 12 June 1857. 32 Marx, op. cit., 76. 89 India.33 For many commentators, the 'mutiny' was an imperial crisis that was best represented by images of domestic defilement that raised doubts both about the permanence of British rule in India and the possibility of reconstructing future British homes in India. Several commentators used domestic imagery to represent the imperial crisis as a civil war, revealing the inseparability of national and imperial power, honour, and prestige. In June 1857, the Earl of Ellenborough argued in the House of Lords that 'It is as much the duty of the Government to protect our empire in India as it would be to protect the county of Kent, if attacked'34 and, in the following month, the Times declared that 'a civil war is upon us.'35 In similar terms, the Illustrated London News reported that: Our house in India is on fire. We are not insured. To lose that house would be to lose power, prestige, and character - to descend in the rank of nations, and take a position more in accordance with our size on the map of Europe than with the greatness of our past glory and present ambition. The fire must be extinguished at any cost.36 Here, domestic imagery vividly conveys the threat posed to British ownership of India as well as the inseparability of national and imperial power, honour and prestige that depended on such ownership. Other commentators used domestic imagery to represent a more personalized, embodied threat to British homes in India. For example, in May 1857, the Bengal Hurkaru also represented the severity and immediacy of the imperial crisis in domestic terms: As shown, most notably, in the three hour speech Disraeli made in Parliament on 27 July 1857. 3 4 Earl of Ellenborough, 29 June 1857, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates: Third Series. London, Cornelius Buck, Vol. CXLVI, 518. Lord Ellenborough had been Governor General in India from 1842 to 1844 and had been President of the Board of Control four times between 1828 and 1858. Metcalf, op. cit. 3 5 Times, 27 July 1857. 36 Illustrated London News, 4 July 1857. 90 when mutinies interfere only with the security of our Indian Empire - when they merely lower in the eyes of the world the national name - the consequences are comparatively trifling. The Government is aroused sooner or later, and more troops settle the matter. But when mutinies break out in our domestic establishments - enter our houses, and penetrate even to our wardrobes - it is plain that something must be done. We can bear up against a dishonoured name, but not a discoloured shirt. We can bear a stain upon our characters, but a stain upon our cravats becomes a momentous consideration.37 This, I think, suggests that while some uprisings threatened the security of the Indian Empire, the present 'mutiny' threatened the Indian Empire itself. The domestic images of 'houses,' 'wardrobes' and 'cravats' seem to stand for British rule in India and, while 'comparatively trifling' mutinies could be contained, the scale and severity of the current 'mutiny' represented a challenge to the very basis of British rule. In effect, the Bengal Hurkaru described the 'mutiny' as an uprising that threatened both the permanence of British homes and the permanence of British rule in India. In August, the Times published a letter that graphically represented the destruction of a British home in India. In a letter from Neemuch in June, the wife of an officer in the Bengal army wrote that: Our house, like all others, is a ruin, a shell, without one article left us. Our beautiful books, either torn or burnt; our furniture broken up, chopped in pieces, or carried off; not a cup, plate, or glass left; carpets torn up, or carried away; not a single garment of any kind; our silver dishes gone; doors, windows smashed; trinkets and curiosities, of which I had a goodly store, all taken away or destroyed...We have now nothing left.38 Such an inventory of domestic destruction and loss represented the imperial conflict in direct and vivid terms to the British public by conveying the threat to British homes and British rule in India through a description of domestic defilement. A similar image appeared in Punch in June 1857. As Plate 4 shows, the Indian 'mutiny' not only threatened British homes in India, but this 3 7 Bengal Hurkaru, 11 May 1857. 3 8 Times, 7 August 1857. 91 threat both to imperial domesticity and to imperial rule more broadly was represented in embodied ways by the fate of a terrified and defenceless white wife and mother. With a baby at her breast and a young child playing next to her, the British woman is depicted at the centre of domestic and familial calm that has just been shattered by the invasion of two Indian insurgents. Her vulnerability is further compounded by the absent presence of her husband whose portrait hangs on the wall behind her. The box labelled 'England' on the chaise tongue suggests that national and imperial power is similarly vulnerable alongside the child. One Indian is about to sieze the child and is armed with a sword while the other brandishes a flaming torch. The rebels, represented in menacing ways, appear set to destroy the woman, her children, and the home itself. But the presence of the Indian insurgents is the only indication that the home is in India. Otherwise, the furniture and decorative interior appear quintessentially British, without even a visible cord for the ceiling fan known as a punkah that would have undoubtedly cooled the room. As a result, the Indian rebels are shown to be invading not only a British home but they also appear to be threatening British rule in India. In both cases, the presence of a defenceless British wife and mother embodies the severity of this threat to domestic, national, and imperial power, honour and prestige. The fate of British women in India discursively embodied the 'mutiny' as a crisis of imperial domesticity that had implications not only for the presence of British homes in India but also for the security of British rule in India. Plate 4: Domestic Defilement during the 'Mutiny.' Source: Punch, June 1857. 93 Representing Women In newspapers and parliamentary debates during the 'mutiny,' representations of women in Britain often served to convey the extent of suffering at home, but, most often, British women were represented as victims of the 'mutiny' in India. In Parliament, Lord Portman described the case of a widowed mother to illustrate the extent of suffering at home. Of her four sons, one had died in the Crimean War, and one had died, one was injured, and one was still fighting before Delhi. As he said, 'Cases like this are rife among us. She is able to bear her anxiety with patient submission to the will of God. How many poor women, wives, mothers, sisters less educated have but little consolation that can lessen their sorrow.'39 Not only were the sufferers at home represented in exclusively female terms, but the ability of women to cope with such trials through their Christian faith seemed to be class specific. As well as representing the extent of suffering 'at home,' women in Britain were also represented as either recipients or providers of relief, again in class specific ways. On the one hand, the government provided three shillings and sixpence a week for the wife and children of each soldier who had been sent to fight in India. Although this allowance was more generous and more widely available than parish relief, it remained insufficient. A garrison chaplain from the Isle of Wight wrote in a letter to the Times that the wives of soldiers were supplementing this minimal allowance by knitting socks and selling them for sixpence a pair. As he said, It has been proved that soldiers' wives are not all worthless and idle; they can and will work...The eagerness of the women to obtain the work is excessive.'40 On the other hand, middle and upper class women in Britain were often represented as philanthropic heroines, raising and administering relief funds not for the wives of soldiers 'at home,' but for the British women and children who had survived the fighting in India. 3 9 Lord Portman, 3 December 1857, Hansard op. cit., Vol. CXLVIII, 17. 40 Letter from W. F. Hobson in the Times, 14 August 1857. 94 In the nineteenth century, many middle and upper class women came to be increasingly involved in philanthropic work. Feminine discourses of moral and maternal virtue facilitated the activities of women not only within but also beyond the home through philanthropic organisations and fundraising activities: 'From their domestic citadel, women could make forays to spread that tenderness and purity, thought to be the essence of female character, through society.'41 The philanthropic work of women was represented as an extension of the domestic sphere, enabling leisured middle and upper class women to act individually and collectively in appropriately feminine ways beyond the home. But other commentators have suggested that such transgressions beyond the private sphere into more public areas of philanthropy and social policy could provide important channels for radical political activity by women.42 The pervasive Christian culture in the nineteenth century arguably meant that 'Christianity confirmed what nature decreed: women had a rightful and important place in the charitable world.'43 For many women, philanthropic activities were legitimated as part of a Christian as well as a feminine mission that could extend beyond the home. But the philanthropic expression of Christian femininity was restricted to women of the leisured middle and upper classes who had sufficient time, inclination, and their own or their husband's money.44 Such philanthropic work served to reinforce class disparities between those dispensing and those receiving aid by reinforcing a class hierarchy that highlighted 'the generosity of the rich and the inadequacies of the poor.'45 In 41 F. K. Prochaska, Women and Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century England. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980, 7 42 j. Rendall, 'Friendship and Politics: Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827-91) and Bessie Rayner Parkes (1829-1925),' in S. Mendus and J. Rendall, eds., Sexuality and Subordination: Interdisciplinary Studies of Gender in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge, London, 1989. 4 3 Ibid., 17. 44 Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts was the prime example of an independently wealthy philanthropist in the nineteenth century. See E. Healey, Lady Unknown: The Life of Angela Burdett-Coutts. Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1978 and C. B. Patterson, Angela Burdett-Coutts and the Victorians. John Murray, London, 1953, Chapter 9: Philanthropy. 45 B. Harrison, 'Philanthropy and the Victorians,' Victorian Studies. 9, 1966, 353-374. 95 1857-1858, however, it was frequently stressed that the relief funds raised in India and in Britain during the 'mutiny' were designated to help all classes of British women and children in India. While middle and upper class women were largely responsible for raising relief funds, they did so to help all British sufferers in India. Although a clear class disparity existed between the work of soldiers' wives and the fundraising activities of leisured women in Britain, the recipients of relief in India were seen to cut across all ranks of British society. The victims of the 'mutiny' were clearly seen to include middle and upper class British women. The Times reported that a relief committee had been established in India 'for the immediate relief of the many ladies and families of all classes known to be crowded in the different river steamers then on their way to Calcutta for refuge; nearly all were utterly destitute, without clothing or means of common support.'46 The Illustrated London News similarly stressed that relief was available to all British women and children, describing 'the agonising privations and sufferings which had been, and which [it was] feared were still being, undergone by the wives, and widows, and children of all ranks in India, from the officers through all the various grades of society, down to the tradesmen and shopkeepers, who had lost their all in this terrible visitation.'47 In Britain, although a committee to raise funds for victims of the 'mutiny' had been set up by the Lord Mayor of London, it was his wife, the Lady Mayoress, who came to be most prominently associated with its work. By September, 'several ladies' had formed district committees to collect funds under the presidency of the Lady Mayoress and had succeeded in raising £36,000.48 Although the organisation of such relief funds involved 'ladies,' their supporters were located in all classes throughout the country: 'Everywhere, and among all 4 6 Times, 26 August 1857. 4 7 Illustrated London News, 29 August 1857. 4 8 Times, 1 September 1857. 96 classes, the warmest sympathy for the sufferers, and indignation at the atrocity of the outrages, have been manifested.'49 Such representations of feminine philanthropy 'at home' provided a stark contrast to the more prevalent images of British women as victims of the 'mutiny' in India. Reports of their deaths and suffering represented the vulnerability of such women at the heart of an imperial conflict. In September, the Illustrated London News reported that We hear with pain, but not perhaps with horror, of the deaths of our brave officers and soldiers slain by the mutineers, for it is the soldier's business to confront death in all its shapes; but when we read of the atrocities committed upon our women and children the heart of England is stirred; and the sorrow for their fate, great as it is, is overshadowed by the execration which we feel for their unmanly assassins, and by the grim determination that Justice, full and unwavering, shall be done upon them.50 Representing British women as victims in the 'mutiny' served to legitimate masculine retaliation against their 'unmanly assassins.' The so-called 'heart of England' was effectively stirred by representing British women as displaced and dishonoured, enabling British vengeance to appear all the more virile in the face of Indian emasculation.51 Such representations of Indian emasculation revolved around discourses of honour. By committing 'atrocities' against British women, the masculine honour of Indian men was not only irrevocably disputed but also served to bolster the masculine honour of British men as the brave and gallant defenders of British women. Many accounts represented atrocities perpetrated against British women in lurid detail. A letter from an 'Anglo-Bengalee' printed in the Times stated that 'Our ladies have been dragged naked through the streets by the rabble of Delhi. Quiet ministers of the gospel have been 49 Illustrated London News, 19 September 1857. 50 Illustrated London News, 5 September 1857. 51 See M. Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The 'Manly Englishman' and the Effeminate Bengali' in the Late Nineteenth Century. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1995, for further discussion. 97 murdered. Their daughters have been cut into snippets and sold piecemeal about the bazaar.52 The Illustrated London News painted 'a ghastly picture of rapine, murder, and loathsome cruelty worse than death'53 while Blackwoods Magazine described 'Horrors, such as men have seldom perpetrated in cold blood, outrages on women and children, atrocities and cruelties devilish in their kind - murder, treachery, rapine, mutiny - have been the expression of their rebellion.'54 As Jenny Sharpe has shown, other accounts invoked the ultimately unrepresentable rape of British women through hints and innuendoes.55 By appearing to set the limits of representation such accounts could speculate about what existed beyond such limits, as shown by a report in the Times in August: There are some acts of atrocity so abominable that they will not even bear narration....We cannot print these narratives - they are too foul for publication. We should have to speak of families murdered in cold blood - and murder was mercy! - of the violation of English ladies in the presence of their husbands, of their parents, of their children - and then, but not till then, of their assassination.56 Sharpe argues that 'a discourse on rape...helped to manage the crisis in authority so crucial to colonial self-representation at the time.'57 Through a focus on their 'deflowered' bodies,58 representations of British women came to legitimate British retaliation and heroic vengeance. As the Illustrated London News asked, 5 2 Times, 8 August 1857. 53 Illustrated London News, 22 August 1857. 54 Blackwoods Magazine, December 1857. 55 J. Sharpe, 'The Unspeakable Limits of Rape: Colonial Violence and Counter-Insurgency,' Genders. 10, 1991, 25-46, and Sharpe 1993 op. cit. Also see Paxton op. cit. for discussion of the fictional representation of British women as victims of the 'mutiny' in the years after 1858. 56 Times, 6 August 1857. 57 Sharpe 1993 op. cit., 67. 58 Times, 8 August 1857. 98 what do those who cry out for mercy to such wretches say of the murder of helpless babes and unoffending women? and of the almost incredible indignities and cruelties committed upon English ladies - cruelties so horrible that their mere mention is almost an offence in itself?59 Unlike Jenny Sharpe, I am focusing on the embodiment of imperial domesticity by British women rather than representations of the rape of British women both during the conflict and after 1858. As such, I am focusing on representations of British women as wives and mothers and images of domestic defilement at a time of conflict. Clearly, in many contemporaneous accounts, images of domestic defilement were epitomised by images of the rape of British wives and mothers. Sexual violence against women on an individual and a systemic level continues to be a feature of war,60 and sexual violence against women, both in ^ y Illustrated London News, 8 August 1857. 60 See, for example, C. Enloe, Bananas. Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1990, and J. J. Pettman, Worlding Women: A Feminist International Politics. Routledge, London, 1996. As Pettman writes, 'Reports from Bosnia and Herzegovina estimate the numbers of women subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence is between 20,000 and 35,000.' Pettman, op. cit., 101. In 1993, a United Nations Security Council resolution was passed that established the first War Crimes Tribunal to investigate rape and sexual assault. This War Crimes Tribunal examined these crimes in the former Yugoslavia and was followed, in 1994, by another War Crimes Tribunal to investigate rape and sexual assault in Rwanda. But a number of legal problems limited the effectiveness of these tribunals. For example, a tribunal could only cover those offences that were already regarded as crimes, and, in 1992, rape and sexual assault were not counted as war crimes. Also, rape and sexual assault could not be classified as a Crime Against Humanity because this label refers to systemic and planned offences against sections of the civilian population rather than individuals. Since then, rape and sexual assault in the former Yugoslavia have been defined as part of genocide. C. Chinkin, 'War Crimes Tribunals - or, who would be a Woman,' paper at the Amnesty International Southampton Group Meeting, 10 March 1997. In light of the horrific levels and experiences of rape in war and peace, the materiality of rape seems a more important consideration than its metaphorical significance. A 'rape script' has been used to represent the processes and effects of imperial expansion and capitalist globalization, as discussed in Blunt and Rose, op. cit. and J.K. Gibson-Graham, The End of Capitalism (as we knew it): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Blackwell, Oxford, 1996, Chapter 6. The term 'rape script' is from S. Marcus, 'Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Theory and Politics of Rape Prevention,' in J. Butler and J. Scott, eds., Feminists Theorize the Political. Routledge, London, 1992, 385-403.1 agree with the caution expressed by Sara Suleri who writes 99 war and peace, often remains invisible, unreported, unwritten, or disbelieved. I am troubled by references in Sharpe and elsewhere61 to 'unsupported' accounts referring to the rape of British women in the 'mutiny', because such references echo discourses of doubt that persist not only historically but also today. Furthermore, Sharpe legitimates her discussion by stating that to doubt that British women were victims of sexual violence is to doubt that Indian women were similar victims: 'Upon characterizing the stories of sexual violence as fictions, I do not wish to suggest that no English woman was raped - that is, to perform the reverse of colonial accounts that denounce the rumors of British soldiers raping Indian women.'62 In Sharpe's account, it only appears to be legitimate to consider British women as victims of the 'mutiny' because Indian women were also victims. In contrast, I suggest that it is legitimate to focus on representations of the fate of British women during the 'mutiny' because such representations reveal the internal contradictions that can begin to destabilize and fracture imperial discourses of power, authority and knowledge. While I am not denying the horrific fate of many Indian women during the 'mutiny' and during British imperial rule in India over a longer time period, the purpose of this current study is to examine the ways in which British women discursively embodied imperial domesticity. During the 'mutiny,' representations of domestic defilement that were embodied by the fate of British women revealed the immediacy and the severity of the conflict that threatened not only British homes but also British rule in India. In the 'mutiny,' imperial discourses of masculine vengeance revolved around domestic defilement and its embodiment by British women in India. But such discourses were not that 'The geography of rape as a dominant trope for the act of imperialism...has been in currency for too long for it to remain at all critically liberating.' Suleri, op. cit., 17. I would advocate a material rather than metaphorical discussion of rape, but I would resist the discourses of doubt perpetuated by Jenny Sharpe. 61 For example in S. Mills, 'Colonial Domestic Space,' paper presented at the Imperial Cities: Space, Landscape and Performance Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 3 May 1997. 6 2 Sharpe, 1993, op. cit., 67. 100 uncontested. Turning to articles that appeared in two British journals that were addressed to a specifically female readership - the Englishwoman's Review and the Lady's Newspaper - I will consider divergent representations of British women as victims of the 'mutiny' that were addressed explicitly to British women at home. Women's periodicals, novels, and conduct books discursively produced and reproduced the appropriate behaviour and aspirations of bourgeois femininity. Two transformations in the history of such writings can be identified: the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century was marked by books constructing the ideal of a domestic woman, replacing courtesy literature that portrayed aristocratic behaviour as the ideal to which both men and women should aspire; then emerged, in the nineteenth century, a 'beauty system' whereby women came to be represented as objects requiring improvement to aspire to the ideals of bourgeois femininity.63 From the late eighteenth century onwards, the rise of periodicals addressed to female readers provided influential arenas for the production and dissemination of bourgeois and feminine discourses that revolved around the appearance and behaviour of women. As Margaret Beetham suggests, 'Like the nineteenth century middle-class home, the woman's magazine evolved during the last century as a 'feminised space."64 Indeed, the rise of bourgeois feminine domesticity over the nineteenth century and the identification of reading as a leisured, private activity, meant that middle class women at home were increasingly targetted as readers of periodicals, conduct books, and novels. And yet the 'feminised space' of such magazines was inherently unstable and ambivalent. At the same time as asserting their female readership, such publications represented and repeated discourses of bourgeois femininity to which their readers were still aspiring: 'Throughout its history, the woman's magazine has defined its readers 'as women.' It has taken their gender as axiomatic. Yet that femininity is always represented in the magazines as fractured, not least because it is b i N. Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1985, and N. Armstrong and L. Tennenhouse, eds. The Ideology of Conduct: Essays in Literature and the History of Sexuality. Methuen, New York, 1987. 64 M. Beetham, A Magazine of Her Own? Domesticity and Desire in the Woman's Magazine. 1800-1914. Routledge, London, 1996, 3. 101 simultaneously assumed as given and as still to be achieved.'65 Just as the capitalist rise of print media helped to bind a national 'imagined community,'66 so the rise of publications specifically addressed to women helped to bind an 'imagined community' of middle class female readers. As divergent representations of British women in India during the 'mutiny' suggest, such an imagined community, gendered subjectivity, and the 'feminised space' of women's periodicals were all fractured, unstable, and ambivalent. Building on her erroneous assumption that the Englishwoman's Review was 'the only women's newspaper published at that time,'67 Vron Ware develops an argument that serves to essentialize representations of British women in the 'mutiny' for women readers in Britain. By comparing reports in the Englishwoman's Review with those published in the Lady's Newspaper, I suggest that such representations both of and for British women were more complex and ambivalent than Ware suggests. The Englishwoman's Review (and Drawing Room Journal of Social Progress, Literature and Art) was published from 1857 to 1859 and was, according to Beetham, a 'proto-feminist' journal that sought 'to address the women of England from the women's point of view.'68 Although it identified the lack of occupation for middle class women as a pressing social problem, the Englishwoman's Review refused 'to prate of women's rights,' and rather redefined 'rights' and 'occupation' in more feminised terms as 'usefulness and kindness.'69 Unlike the Englishwoman's Journal, which was published from 1858 until 1864 and addressed women's rights in the law, education, and employment, the Englishwoman's Review covered political news only to the extent that women could shed their feminine 'softening 6 5 Ibid., 1. 66 Anderson, op. cit.. 67 Ware, op. cit., p.39. 68 Englishwoman's Review, 1, 1857, cited by Beetham, op. cit.. 69 Ibid.. 102 influence.'70 Furthermore, the resolutely bourgeois'character of the Englishwoman's Review was reflected by its refusal to publicise more aristocratic interests such as fashion and the London Season. In August 1857, the Englishwoman's Review reported that 'The details of the sufferings and barbarities endured by English women and children almost surpass imagination, foul and cruel murder not being the worst of the evils inflicted upon the helpless victims in the various stations of the Bengal presidency.'71 As Ware writes, the paper adopted the tone of the aggrieved victim, giving full encouragement to the brave men who survived to avenge their sex. Accounts of dead children, of rooms filled with blood, matted hair, mangled toys, rotting clothes, would all have had a particular impact in the pages of a woman's paper which aimed to reinforce the conventional female role in the domestic sphere.72 In its coverage of female victims in the 'mutiny' and its calls to avenge their suffering, articles in the Englishwoman's Review closely resembled those that appeared in more mainstream newspapers with largely male readers such as the Times and the Illustrated London News. But, at the same time, another newspaper that was addressed to female readers interpreted events in India in markedly different ways. Although the Lady's Newspaper reflected the same domestic concerns as the Englishwoman's Review, its interpretation of events in India was very different. Unlike the Englishwoman's Review, the extensive coverage of the 'mutiny' in the Lady's 70 Beetham, op. cit.. Also see Burton 1994, op. cit., and J. Rendall, "A Moral Engine?' Feminism, Liberalism and the Englishwoman's Journal,' in J. Rendall, ed., Equal or Different: Women's Politics 1800-1914. Blackwell, Oxford, 1987, 112-170, for further discussion. The Englishwoman's
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Travelling home and empire British women in India, 1857-1939 Blunt, Alison Mary 1997
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