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The white woman in colonial India, c. 1820–1930
Author: Indrani Sen

This book explores colonial gendered interactions, with a special focus on the white woman in colonial India. It examines missionary and memsahibs' colonial writings, probing their construction of Indian women of different classes and regions, such as zenana women, peasants, ayahs and wet-nurses. The three groups of white women focused upon are memsahibs, missionaries and, to a certain extent, ordinary soldiers' wives. Among white women in colonial India, it was the female missionaries who undoubtedly participated most closely in the colonial 'civilising mission'. The book addresses through a scrutiny of the literary works written by 'New Indian Women', such as Flora Annie Steel. Cross-racial gendered interactions were inflected by regional diversities, and the complexity of the category of the 'native woman'. The colonial household was a site of tension, and 'the anxieties of colonial rule manifest themselves most clearly in the home'. The dynamics of the memsahib-ayah relationship were rooted in race/class hierarchies, domestic power structures and predicated on the superiority of the colonising memsahib. The book also examines colonial medical texts, scrutinising how they wielded authoritative power over vulnerable young European women through the power/knowledge of their medical directives. Colonial discourse sought to project the white woman's vulnerability to specific mental health problems, as well as the problem of addiction of 'barrack wives'. Giving voice to the Indian woman, the book scrutinises the fiction of the first generation of western-educated Indian women who wrote in English, exploring their construction of white women and their negotiations with colonial modernities.

European women’s mental health and addiction in the late nineteenth century
Indrani Sen

. Here I probe both social realities as well as constructions in colonial discourse about women’s greater propensity to suffer from the condition known as neurasthenia especially in the tropical colonies. I then move on to examine mental health problems with regard to white women belonging to the lower social orders (specifically speaking, soldierswives), focusing upon the

in Gendered transactions
Who are they? Experiences of children, mothers, families and post-conflict communities
Sabine Lee

within the armies and soldierswives and companions give some indication that – then, as now – relations between foreign soldiers and local women could be nuanced. They also confirm that – again, then, as now – as a result of their social positioning women were frequently the more vulnerable part in such relationships. The patriarchal social orders of medieval and early modern times often brought with them dependencies that put women in precarious positions if they did not conform with socially acceptable 21 22 CBOW in the twentieth century l­ifestyle choices

in Children born of war in the twentieth century
David Killingray

in 1908 and also to France after the First World War. 29 This seems not to have been the case with some Eritrean askaris in the Italian colonial army who were sent to fight in Libya and Somalia in the 1910s-20s. Soldierswives and families remained behind and, lacking adequate subsistence, were forced to work as servants and even as prostitutes. 30 Europeans

in Guardians of empire
Abstract only
Indrani Sen

is to capture the multiple facets, the contradictions as well as the complexities in white women’s experience in colonial India in the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The three groups of white women whom I seek to focus upon are memsahibs, missionaries and, to a certain extent, ordinary soldierswives. In order to do this, I examine a diverse range of writings – memoirs

in Gendered transactions
Helen Boak

market for the first time, by former domestic servants and agricultural workers, and by working-class soldierswives and widows, the last of whom constituted an untapped reservoir of labour and could not manage financially on their war allowance (see below). 17 In December 1916 70 per cent of married women working in the Bavarian armaments industry were soldierswives. 18 One chemical factory in Leverkusen reported that it had employed no married women before the war but that by 1917 half of its female workforce was married. 19 Soldierswives often had the first

in Women in the Weimar Republic
Sex, domesticity and discipline in the King’s African Rifles, 1902–1964
Timothy Parsons

European women in East Africa, but there is little evidence that these feared events ever come to pass. 40 Categories of soldiers’ ‘wives’ In peacetime, when it was possible to accommodate the families of askaris in KAR barracks, the conjugal relations of African soldiers were much less of a problem. From the British standpoint, the incorporation of women and children into the

in Guardians of empire
Abstract only
Indrani Sen

disentangle the various strands that constituted the heterogeneous gendered category of the ‘white woman’ in Anglo-Indian society. In this highly hierarchical society class contradictions separated memsahibs (wives of civil administrators or military officers) from missionaries, and even more so from lower-class soldierswives, with whom virtually no contact existed. Besides, female

in Gendered transactions
David Thackeray

6 Labour, civic associations and the new democracy During the 1918 general election campaign the Labour Party published a leaflet in the form of a fictitious letter from a wife to her husband serving abroad in the army. He, and by extension the voter, were asked to remember the indignities that workers faced during the war and the important concessions which the labour movement had won for them. Attention was drawn to ‘the dreadful tales of soldierswives who were threatened with ejection’ which circulated before the Labour-championed Rent Restrictions Act was

in Conservatism for the democratic age
Service Family and Dependants’ Allowances, 1939 to 1945
Barbara Hately-Broad

Generally, soldiers were reported as stating that they felt they had been given the minimum increase possible and families continued to suffer.86 In Leeds a survey carried out after these increases had been implemented showed that one of the main causes of poverty was ‘being a soldier’s wife’.87 One-fifth of all soldierswives were claimed to be living in poverty, largely those with children who were too young for the mothers to go out to work, with an average shortfall of income against expenditure of 15s 6d per week.88 In the light of this discontent, in October 1942

in War and welfare