Making British Indian Fictions: 1772-1823 (Palgrave Studies by A. Malhotra

By A. Malhotra

This publication examines fictional representations of India in novels, performs and poetry produced among the years 1772 to 1823 as ancient resource fabric. It makes use of literary texts as case reports to enquire how Britons living either within the metropole and in India justified, faced and imagined the colonial stumble upon in this interval.

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The picturesque was associated with a certain genteel “Englishness,” aimed at creating symmetry and proportion in what it depicted. ” The usage of this equipment meant that the artists could claim to provide more accurate representations of the subcontinent than Hodges, who composed his sketches freehand. 111 This was in turn followed by artists, who received sponsorship from the EIC, depicting the handing over of the two princes. 4, which is an oil painting by Mather Brown entitled Lord Cornwallis Receiving the Sons of Tipu as Hostages (1792), is typical of British artists’ depiction of the scene.

And Mrs. Mushroom in his Edinburgh periodical The Lounger: a Periodical Paper (1786), likewise, provides a disparaging account of Britons returned from the subcontinent. In Mackenzie’s narrative, the fictitious and honest Scot, John Homespun, writes to the periodical bemoaning how his neighbors, Mr. Mushroom and Mrs Mushroom, have just returned from India with a fortune of one hundred thousand pounds only to infect his impressionable wife and daughters with their pretensions and extravagance. This is all naturally to the detriment of Homespun’s peace of mind.

The poorhouses, which housed the occasional stray Indian seaman, lobbied the company for reimbursement of the money that was spent on their maintenance. In an effort to deal with the problem, the EIC directors paid private lodging keepers and then, later, two contractors, John Anthony and Abraham Gole, to feed, clothe, and shelter foreign sailors for their sojourn in Britain. While purpose-built depots were built, the contractors could not contain all the lascars at peak time, and many of the sailors overflowed onto the streets.

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