She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India
- This event has passed.
The first British women to set foot in India did so in the very early seventeenth century, two and half centuries before the Raj came into being. In stark contrast to the languid memsahibs of popular imagination, these women were tough adventurers, their voyages extraordinarily daring leaps into the unknown. Those who dared the nineteen-month sea voyage, often confined to the lowest bowels of the ship, were at risk of hurricanes, shipwreck, and even piracy. While for some it was a painful exile – in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it could take more than three years to receive and reply to letters from home – for many others it was an exhilarating opportunity to re-invent themselves in the often decadent and socially porous British enclaves.
While it is well-known that women went to India to find husbands, what is almost unknown is that they also worked as traders, cloth merchants, milliners, bakers, dress-makers, actresses, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, boarding house proprietors, midwives, nurses, missionaries, doctors, geologists, plant-collectors, writers and travellers. India was the British ‘wild east’, and many women succeeded in building a new and often independent life for themselves. Based upon diaries, letters and memoirs, Katie Hickman reveals the life and times of hundreds of women who make their way across the sea and changed history.
CLICK SHE-MERCHANTS, BUCCANEERS AND GENTLEWOMEN TO PURCHASE
This talk is available to view for FREE. On the date and at the time above access our website and follow the link for the 2020 Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival.
Other events on the 10th October 2020
Wild Thing: The Short, Spellbinding Life of Jimi Hendrix
Wild Thing is the first biography to bring together the splendour and sadness of Jimi Hendrix’s brief life and to unravel the mystery of his final hours. Every guitar...
The American Duchess: The Real Wallis Simpson
A divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson was not welcomed by 1930s Britain when she entered a relationship with King Edward VIII. Rather, she became one of the most vilified...
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Adventurer and record-breaking sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston discusses his extraordinary life with Steve Ancsell. The first man ever to complete a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world, Knox-Johnston shares...
White King: The Tragedy of Charles I
Leanda de Lisle
His reign is one of the most dramatic in history, yet Charles I the man remains elusive. Leanda de Lisle looks at the myths and the tragedy, an epic...
Resolution: Two Brothers, a Nation in Crisis
David Rutland and Emma Ellis
Based upon the detailed archives held at Belvoir Castle, and drawing on a wealth of primary research, Resolution charts the lives and fortunes of two eighteenth-century aristocratic brothers –...