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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Scotland to Shalimar by Bryony Hill (memoirs of British Raj India)

I am a fan of colonial literature - the memoirs, the experiences which can never be repeated and all the fanfare that went with it. Of course the positives on the British side are balanced by the negatives where the natives were oppressed, cheated and penalised at every turn. This story is full of memorablia, of history in spades in families of all the connections made and unmade, a few scandals and general life in India during the time of the British Raj. The day to day life, the fear of illness, of climate, the danger to women in childbirth, the high rate of infant mortality, the necessity heart breakingly to send children back to England for education and their safety and the loneliness on both sides of families torn apart. An interesting tidbit here were the recipes - the making do and making of what was known and traditional to the Britishers who tried very hard to follow what they knew best. This was ideal reading after a diet of murders and mysteries galore. Sent by Red Door Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

3 comments:

jenclair said...

This does sound fascinating. The sun really did "never set on the British Empire."

Laura's Reviews said...

This does sound fascinating. Does it present both sides of the story or is it just the British point of view?

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

There was a time when I wanted to read colonial literature, though I did end up watching films on the subject. Thanks for the reminder.