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On the face of the waters : a tale of the mutiny
Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Choose Store. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! That, however, is for the reader to say. As the writer, I have only to point out where my history ends, my story begins, and clear the way for criticism. Briefly, then, I have not allowed fiction to interfere with fact in the slightest degree. The reader may rest assured that every incident bearing in the remotest degree on the Indian Mutiny, or on the part which real men took in it, is scrupulously exact, even to the date, the hour, the scene, the very weather.
Nor have I allowed the actual actors in the great tragedy to say a word regarding it which is not to be found in the accounts of eye-witnesses, or in their own writings. In like manner, the account of the sham court at Delhi--which I have drawn chiefly from the lips of those who saw it--is pure history; and the picturesque group of schemers and dupes--all of whom have passed to their account--did not need a single touch of fancy in its presentment. So much for my facts. Regarding my fiction: An Englishwoman was concealed in Delhi, in the house of an Afghan, and succeeded in escaping to the Ridge just before the siege.
I have imagined anOther; that is all. I mention this because it may possibly be said that the incident is incredible. Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 0 0 star ratings 0 reviews. Overall rating No ratings yet 0. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.
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pefawuqa.cf: on the face of the waters a tale of the mutiny by flora annie webster steel pape
Detailed product descriptions. As the old ayah in Steel's novel points out, this crucial ability of "speaking our language? In fact, these novels reveal that eventually, it is precisely those emotional ties between ayah and white child which used to cause such colonial anxieties, that now helps to save them-in a context where the white parents do not succeed in escaping. Fanthome's Mariam: A Story of the Indian Mutiny of , a virtually forgotten novel which the author claimed was based on the real-life experiences of a memsahib, Mrs Mary Lavater the 'Mariam' of the title and her family.
Days before the Rebellion starts, rumours about its impending arrival circulate among the common people in the kitchens and the bazaars. Inside colonial households it is the servants who are the first to pick up its scent. The Lavaters' two servant women, Lado dai and Champa, a faithful old ayah who has been with them for years, come to learn about it from another memsahib's cook.
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As Mrs Lavater explains, "Bibi Smith's cook told my ayah" about the coming of the Revolt a footnote explains that 'Bibi Smith' refers to the 'native' wife of a European. At this point, these two servant women form an intrinsic part of the fleeing family group which the young daughter describes as consisting of dear mother, granny, myself, Anet, my cousin, Cocky, mother's half-brother; and his mother, our old servant Champa, and Lado had been separated from his parents during the Rebellion and brings him up as an Indian.
Flora Annie Steel, op. Subsequently, Lado dai is captured at one point by a local nawab hostile to the British. Suspecting that she knows where the white women are hidden, the nawab's men threaten and terrorize Lado, trying to extract information about their whereabouts-but she courageously refuses to reveal anything and is later released. However, not all 'native' female servants are pictures of fidelity. In Flora Annie Steel's On the Face of the Waters , Tara and her brother Soma, the two servants in the household of the English hero, are completely devoted and grateful to him.
When they are ordered to guard a memsahib who has taken shelter in the house, both attendants teeter on the brink of treachery-although eventually they do not actually betray their master's trust. II In the colonial imagination, the dancing girl or courtesan was a symbolically loaded category. Till about the s, 'nautch' formed an intrinsic part of British social life in India, with English men as well as women attending social gatherings at the homes of wealthy Indians where music and dance were provided as entertainment.
Descriptions of dancing girls, their elaborate clothing, jewellery, and so on, can be widely found in colonial narratives authored by both men and women up till this period. The majority of memshibs, such as Julia Maitland in the , Flora Annie Steel, Ope cit. Allen, London, , Vol. I, pp. By the middle of the nineteenth century, direct experience of 'nautch' had gradually become a distant memory due to the increasingly Europeanized lifestyle and the reduced social interactions with Indians. The Rebellion of saw a further hardening in British attitudes.
At Meerut and Lucknow, two important centres of the Rebellion, courtesans and dancing girls were believed to have played an active role. At that point, bazaar prostitutes had reportedly refused to give sexual favours to the remaining sepoys, and had taunted them for being 'cowards'- resulting in the sepoys freeing their imprisoned fellow-soldiers and joining in the revolt. The British were unable to appreciate tawaifs courtesans who were talented in poetry, music and dance and prided themselves on being artistes.
Occupying the high moral ground, the British grouped elite tawaifs and low-ranking randis prostitutes together as "dancing and singing girls". Julia Maitland,. Letters from Madras, Ope cit.
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Mary Martha Sherwood, Ope cit. Oldenburg notes that in Lucknow in the s "a randi For a discussion of the role of the courtesans in the Rebellion, also see Lata Singh, "Retrieving Voices from the Margins: Downloaded from ihr. In colonial 'Mutiny' fiction dancing-girls frequently appear but- indicating a clear gap between social realities and fictional representations -nautch-girls are scripted here as hostile to the rebels.
Dancing-girls in 'Mutiny' Fiction The courtesan as a British-informer appears in Philip Meadows Taylor's famous 'Mutiny' novel Seeta where Peri Buksh, the enchanting 'tuwaif't" routinely spies on conversations among the local nawabs who attend her dance-performances and is able to gather information for the British during the Rebellion. Taylor, who was knowledgeable about Indian social institutions, takes care to locate the tawaif tradition as an ancient and time-honoured practice, enjoying both power and social influence: Centuries ago, her progenitors had sung and danced before the kings of Malwa and Khandesh The conflict between Nirgis' dual loyalties inevitably comes to a head when she meets and falls in love with Lieutenant L'Adone, a military officer with the East India Company-a meeting that marks the novel's turning point.
Subsequently, when the English troops, who have retreated to the Ridge during the siege of Delhi, urgently need information on how to enter the heavily guarded Red Fort, it falls upon her to provide them with this strategic information. As Nirgis, tom by conflicting loyalties, finally turns into a British informer out of love for the Englishman, the narrative plays out the inter-connected tropes of 'native' female loyalty and British erotic conquest of the 'native' woman. Anti-Colonial Courtesans At the same time, there are a handful of colonial 'Mutiny' novels which delineate the courtesan as anti-colonial.
In keeping with the events of history at Meerut, it mentions how 'bazaar women', including a prostitute called 'Gul-anari', play an actively hostile role, taunting the sepoys into revolt. Although not actually set in the Rebellion as such, Kipling's tale actively lends itself to a 'Mutiny reading', with resonances of kept deliberately alive by a constant harking back to the event. In the process, she tricks an unsuspecting English admirer of hers into helping in the escape. Thus, not only is Lalun a participant in anti-British politics, what is more, she manipulates the English in furthering her anti-colonial activities.
From Allard's Nirgis to Taylor's Peri Buksh, the courtesan had been re-written into the colonial 'Mutiny' novel as actively working against the Revolt. It falls upon Kipling's tale to restore the courtesan to the site of anti-British politics in which she was historically located. III Possibly the most important of all the 'loyal native women' figures in 'Mutiny' literature is that of the Indian beloved, with erotic relations between colonizing men and colonized women appearing in a number of novels. While in the early years of colonial contact, having 'native connections' or Indian mistresses was the norm, sexual contact between the races declined over time.
Gradually, marriage between high ranking Muslim women and Company officers or even keeping a concubine came in for disapproval, with the result that by mid-century formalized inter-racial In Steel's novel op. The Hindu woman was located both as a victim of social oppression and also as an exemplary figure of wifely-fidelity. Indeed, the latter paradigm was sometimes used to counter nascent feminist movements in the West in the nineteenth century.
By scripting the white man's mastery over the 'native' woman, these narratives serve the strategic purpose of bolstering support for the imperial cause and also re-enact the colonizer's conquest and subjugation of the colony itself.
The deployment of the 'faithful Hindu wife' figure is most prominent in Philip Meadows Taylor's 'Mutiny' novel Seeta , which delineates an unconventional mixed-race marriage between a beautiful sudra widow and an English administrator which takes place during the Rebellion. Seamlessly weaving together personal and political loyalties, the novel has Seeta, the brilliant 'native' wife, with her high intelligence she is a learned scholar in Sanskrit scriptures and questioning mind, supporting the British rather than the Rebel cause.
Another instance of inter-racial marriage in a 'Mutiny' novel can be seen in 'Gillean's' novel The Rane op. In contrast, the rebels are presented as revivalists who are bent on reviving patriarchal practices like sati. In particular, they oppose the law pertaining to widow- remarriage, suspecting that behind this law there are lecherous British designs on the Indian widow's sexuality, since every widow can now, 'like a prostitute', take a new husband.
In the end, she is killed trying to shield him from a rebel's attack. At this point she dies in the service of both husband and empire- and the image of the self-sacrificing wife becomes fused with that of the loyal 'native' soldier. Strikingly, in all these cases, the death of the 'native' beloved forms a recognizable pattern in most colonial novels. Even if personally desirable, these women are problematic from the political, social and cultural points of view and hence have to suffer inevitable erasure- through-death in these narratives.
Almost all the novels end with the untimely demise of the woman and these deaths spell the implicit liberation of the white lover who now turn to marriage with an English girl. Taylor, Seeta, Ope cit. Sita, the long-suffering wife of the hero Rama in the epic Ramayana, and Savitri, the faithful wife of Hindu mythology who brought back her husband from death, are traditional figures of wifely fidelity.
Mingling personal and political loyalties, the 'native. There was an authorial ambiguity about diverse small incidents-s-such as the Englishman's kiss, which meant little to him but which held great value for the girl who dreamt of marriage, or his merely finding her beautiful, or his seating her albeit lovingly not in equality by his side, but on the carpeted floor beside his chair.
All these gestures had interrogated the Englishman's emotional involvement. Finally, during the victory of the British forces towards the novel's close, the Englishman is killed in the battle of Delhi.