Mary A. Procida
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Re-writing the Mutiny
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The subject matter of Joseph Noel Paton's painting was the Indian 'Mutiny' of 1857. For Anglo-Indians, the Mutiny served as a constant reminder of the tenuous nature of imperialism in India. The Mutiny shocked and appalled the Victorian public, and resulted in far-reaching administrative and military changes in India. The Mutiny and its aftermath also uncovered the interconnections of gender, violence and imperial political power in India. In rethinking their own position in relation to Indian insurgency, Anglo-Indian wives of the interwar period had to grapple with two hallowed conceptions of appropriate feminine responses to violence. Mainstream British narratives of the Mutiny deprived the Anglo-Indian woman of personal and historical agency. Rewriting the Mutiny and imperial violence to provide an active, empowered role for women was a necessary component of the image of the politically active and engaged 'imperial wife'.

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Married to the empire

Gender, politics and imperialism in India, 1883–1947


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