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A S U R V E Y OF
ANGLO-INDIAN
FICTION
T O
B. N .
PREFACE
A N G L O - I N D I AN wri t ers of fi c t i on enable I n dian s t o see
A themselves as ' others' , or their rulers, see t hem.
I n c i den t ally, they also enable us to see our masters as they
see themselvesnot as demi-gods, as we had imagin ed t hem
to be, but as human beings, and wi t h the c ommon weak-
nesses of human beings. We fi n d t hem nearer t o us i n
fi c t i on t han i n our contact wi t h t hem i n official li fe.
An gl o- I n di an fi c t i on i s a c ri t i c i sm of the life of En gli sh-
men an d En gli shwomen i n I n di a, and of I n dian s. Thi s
book i s a c ri t i c i sm of that c ri t i c i sm. I t s on ly justific ation
is that it may help our c ritic s to see themselves as an
I n di an sees them.
I am glad t o take this oppor t un i t y of t han ki n g my
friends Professors Chiran jiva Lal Mat hur an d K r i s h n a
Dat t a Aggar wal , my brot her L . Dhar mpal Gupt a, my
friends an d pupi ls L . Radha Kr i shn a Sud, M. A. , Mr .
Kr i s hn a Mur ar i , B. A. , L L . B . , and L . Har Nar ai n Batra,
B. A. , L . L . B. , for help i n c ompi li n g the bi bli ogr aphy and
useful suggestions; L. L abhu Ram, L i br ar i an , Punjab
Un i ver si t y L i br ar y, L . Ram Labhaya, L i br ar i an , Punjab
Publi c L i br ar y, an d L . Ram Lubhaya Sabhhlok, L i br ar i an ,
D y al Sin gh College L i br ar y, for maki n g available books
t hat c ould n ot be easily obt ai n ed; Pri n c i pal He m Raj an d
the D yal Sin gh College Tr ust Society for san c tion in g
extra mon ey for the purchase of An gl o- I n di an fi c t i on , an d
D r . E. D. Lucas of the For man Chri st i an College, Lahore,
for his interest i n this wor k .
BHUPAL SI N G H
T H E ' B R I j ' , N I C H O L S O N R O A D ,
L A H O R E .
March 26, 1934.
CONTENTS
CHAPTER I . I NT R ODUC T OR Y I
I. Use of the phrase ' Angl o- I ndi an fiction' . 2. Three periods of
Angl o- I ndi an fi ct i on. 3. Mai n ingredients of a novel of Angl o-
I ndi an life. 4. Early Angl o-Indi ans. 5. ' Qui - Hai ' of the early
nineteenth century. 6. ' Compet i t i on Wal l ah' . 7. Angl o- I ndi a
to-day, its characteristicsimperialistic but isolated, discrimin-
ately hospitable, its monot ony, its snobbery, its melancholy, its
conservatism, its calling-hour, its indifference to rel i gi on, its social
const i t ut i on, rel i gi on of wor k, misrepresentation of Angl o-
I ndi an women.
CHAPTER I I . ME A D O WS T A Y L O R A N D OT HE R PREDE-
CESSORS OF K I P L I N G . . . 31
8. Beginnings of Angl o- I ndi an fi ct i on. 9. W. B. Hockl ey. 0.
Scott's The Surgeon's Daughter. 11. Dickens and Indi a. 12. Thacke-
ray and Indi a. 13. Meadows TaylorConfessions of a Thug.
Tippoo Sultan, Taylor' s historical t r i l ogy, his general charac-
teristics. 14. Ot her novelists, 1834-53. 15. W. D. Ar n o l d .
16. Post -Mut i ny novels, 1859-69. 17. Precursors of Ki p l i n g
Phi l Robinson, Prichard, Cunningham, Alexander Allardyce.
CHAPTER I I I . R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G . . 68
18. Ki pl i ng' s Angl o- I ndi an stories. 19. Ki pl i ng' s Indi an stories.
20. Kim and The Naulahka. 21. Ki pl i ng' s l i mi t at i ons. 22. Ki p -
ling' s knowledge of I ndi an women.
CHAPTER I V . R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G A N D HI S SCHOOL
83
23. Influence of Ki p l i n g on short-story writers. 24. Mr s. F. A.
Steel. 25. Mr s . Al i ce Perri n. 26. Ot t o Rothfeld and ' An d r u l ' .
27. Edmund Candler. 28. Sir Edmund Cox, Herbert Sherring,
Richard Dehan, E. M. De l l , A. T. Marri s, and John Eyt on.
29. ' Af ghan' . 30. The Ranee of Sarawak, Maud Di ver , and
Mr s . E. W. Savi. 31. Hi l t o n Br own. 32. Miss Mayo, Mr s. L . A.
Beck, and Mr . Humfrey Jordan. 3 3. Ki p l i n g and his i mi t at ors
Tal bot Mundy, ' Ganpat' , and Al i ce Eustace. 34. Foran, Somers,
and A. E. R. Crai g. 35. Ki m' s cousins. 36. S. K. Ghosh.
x CONTENTS
CH A P TER V . NOV E L S OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E I 109
37. Mr s . B. M. Croker. 38. Mr s . Maud D i ver . 39. ' J
o h n
Travers' ( Mr s. G . H . Be l l ) . 40. Mr s . Alice P errin. 41 . Mr s . E . W.
Savi. 42. Shelland Bradley.
CH A P TER V I . NOV E L S OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 2 136
43. F ront i er novelsS. S. Thor bur n, Captain Bedford F oran,
W. G . Curtis Mor gan. 44. Sir Francis Younghusband. 45.
' A f ghan' , Michael John, John D el bndge, and Mr s . T. P ennell.
46. Novels of A nglo- Burmese life. 47. Novels of missionary life
Mr s . A l i ce P errin, Mr s . F . E. Penny, H enry Bruce, Miss Margaret
Wi l son, D r . Mary Scharheb, and H onor e Willsie Mo r r o w. 48.
L i fe i n the moffusilMiss I sobel Mount ai n, H i l t o n Br o wn ,
John Eyt on and Edwar d Thompson.
CH A P TER V I I . N O V E L S O F M I X E D MA R R I A G E S A N D
E U R A S I A N L I F E . . . . 1 6 5
49. (a) Marriage of an Englishman wi t h an I ndi an g i r l J . W.
Sherer,G . D i c k, D onal d Sinderby, Mrs. Maud D i ver , and R eginald
Campbell. (b) Marriage of an Engl i sh g i r l wi t h an I ndi an
Mr s . F . E. Penny, Mr s . E. W. Savi, A . E. R . Craig, E. Maddock,
S. H. Wool f , John Eyt on, The Confessions of a Princess by ?, Jane
H u k k . 50. Novels of Eurasian l i f e Mr s . Mi l ne Rae, P . C. Wr en,
Miss I rene Bur n, Shelland Bradley. 51 . Eurasian beauty. 52.
H enry Bruce. 53. The Ranee of Sarawak.
CH A P TER V I I I . I N D I A N P OL I TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N
NOV E L S . . . . . 195
54. Beginnings of I ndi an nationalismMrs. F . E. Penny, A . F .
Wallis, Beresford, H obart - H ampden. 55. Edmund Candler and
I ndi an unrest, Miss I rene Bur n and H enr y Bruce. 56. Novel s
of the second peri od of I ndi an nationalismMrs. E. W. Savi, R . J .
Mi nney, L i e u t - Co l . W. P . D r u r y , H . K. G or don. 57. Novel s
of the t hi r d peri od of I ndi an nationalismY. Endr i kar , Mr s .
Beatrice Sheepshanks, H ami sh Blair, Mr s . Theodore P ennell, and
S. Woods H i l l .
CH A P TER I X . E . M. F OR STER A N D E D WA R D T H OMP S ON
221
58. A Passage to India. 59. Edwar d Thompson.
CONTENTS X I
CH A P TER X . I N D I A N H I S T OR Y I N A N G L O - I N D I A N
F I C T I O N . . . . . 241
60. Buddhist peri od. 61. H i ndu peri odA yyar. 62. Mughal
per i odMr s. F. A . Steel, L . I I . Myers. 63. Seventeenth-
century. A urangzeb and Shivaji. 64. East I ndi a Company
'Sydney C. G r i er ' (Miss H i l da G regg), Frank R . Sell. 65. Begum
SomruL t . - G en. G . F. MacMunn, Mr s . G . H . Bel l , and V. E.
Banmsdale. 66. Wars in the nineteenth century. 67. Novels
of the I ndi an Mut i ny. 68. Siege of D e l hi , and Mr s . SteelOn
the Face of the Waters. 69. A nnexat i on of Upper BurmaMiss
Tennyson Jesse.
CH A P TER X L T H E MY S T E R I OUS EA S T, O R T H E A N G L O -
I N D I A N MY S T E R Y NOVE L S . . . . 268
70. Jewel hunt i ngMar i on Cr awf or d, L . Bambur g, ' G anpat' ,
J. I . Emery, L ady Chi t t y, H elen Fairley, John Easton, Eleanor
P egg, A r t h u r G reening, Joan Conquest, G . E. L ocke. 71.
Novel s of the occul t John H enr y Wi l l mer , Mme Z. L . Cavalier,
C. E. Bechhofer, R . E. G oddard, Mr s . L . A . Beck. 72. Novel s
dealing wi t h conspiracy against the Br i t i sh R ajJohn Ferguson,
A lastair Shannon, Mr s . L . A . Beck, Alexander Wi l s on, Sir H enry
Sharp, H azel Campbell.
CH A P TER X I I . E A S T A S SEEN B Y WES T, OR A N G L O -
I N D I A N N O V E L S OF I N D I A N L I F E . . 283
73. Mr s . F. E. P ennyThe mysterious East, L i f e of the zenana,
I ndi an marriage, Mr s . Penny's characters and her descriptions.
74. Edmund Whi t e. 75. R . J. Mi nney. 76. Conclusion.
A P P END I X . A N O T E ON S OME I N D I A N WR I TER S OF
E N G L I S H F I C T I O N . . . . 306
B I B L I O G R A P H Y . . . . 311
(a) A L i s t of A ngl o- I ndi an Novel s.
(b) Cri t i ci sm and Bi ography.
(c) A rticles and R eviews.
A G L OSSA R Y OF I N D I A N WOR D S USED I N T H E
B O O K . . . . . . 537
I N D E X
340
I N T R O D U C T O R Y
T
HE phrase ' Angl o- I ndi an fi ct i on' may be used i n a br oad
or nar r ow sense. Broadl y speaking it includes any
novel dealing wi t h I ndi a whi c h i s wr i t t e n i n Engl i sh.
St ri ct l y speaking it means fiction mai nl y describing the
l i fe o f Engl i shmen i n I ndi a. I n a st i l l narrower sense
i t may be taken t o mean novels dealing wi t h the l i fe of
Eurasians, who now prefer t o be called Angl o- I ndi ans.
A very large number of novels surveyed in this book are
Angl o- I ndi an i n the sense that they describe the l i fe of
Engl i shmen and Engl i shwomen i n I ndi a. But the survey
does not exclude I ndi an novels wr i t t e n by men of
nationalities other t han the Engl i sh. I t also includes
novels describing the l i fe of Eurasians and of Indians.
2. Angl o- I ndi an fiction covers a per i od of about a
century and a half. I t may be di vi ded i nt o three periods.
The f i r st per i od begins wi t h the Governor-Generalship
of War r en Hastings and ends wi t h the I ndi an Mu t i n y ;
the second per i od ends wi t h the death of Queen Vi ct or i a
and the publ i cat i on of Kim in 1901; the t h i r d per i od begins
wi t h the Par t i t i on of Bengal in 1905 and may be said to be
s t i l l i n progress. The present survey, however, does not
" extend beyond the year 1930, whi c h saw the publ i cat i on of
Edwa r d Thompson' s book, A Farewell to India.I Meadows
Tayl or and W. D. Ar n o l d are the chi ef novelists of the
f i r s t peri od"; Sir Henr y Cunni ngham and K i p l i n g of
the second; Ed mu n d Candler, E. M. Forster, and Edwa r d
Thomps on of the t h i r d . The novels of the f i r s t per i od
are mai nl y romances of I ndi an hi st ory, or are descriptive
sketches of Engl i sh society i n I ndi a ; those of the second
per i od are port rai t s of the official l i fe of Angl o- I ndi a,
mai nl y satirical; those of the t h i r d per i od show a vaster
range in the choice of subjects and are a true reflex of
the vari ed l i fe and problems of I ndi a i n t ransi t i on. The
I Some novels after 1930 also have been discussed.
B
2 I NTRODUCTORY
fi rst per i od shows the great influence of Scott on An g l o -
I ndi an fi ct i on and a l i t t l e of Thackeray; the second per i od
prepares the way f or and sees the rise o f K i p l i n g ; the t hi r d
per i od continues the traditions of K i p l i n g and shows
some reaction against t hem.
3. Main ingredients of a novel of Anglo-Indian life.
A t ypi cal novel generally begins wi t h a voyage,
br i ngi ng the hero, more often the heroine, to the shores
of I ndi a. On her ar r i val i n a Presidency t o wn or a
mofussil ' st at i on' she is welcomed by a father, aunt, or
some distant rel at i on, and i nvari abl y causes a flutter in
the small Angl o- I ndi an col ony there. She becomes the
belle of the season, is much sought after, and goes t hr ough
the usual r ound of Angl o- I ndi an gaieties. There f ol l ow
accounts of burra-khanas, shooting-parties (generally t i ger-
hunts), picnics, visits to places of hi st ori cal interest, balls
and dances wi t h t hei r kala-Juggas, and race-meetings.
There are scandals and gossips at the club regarding her
' doi ngs' , interlaced wi t h love-rivalries and misunder-
standings, and finally everyt hi ng ends in a happy marriage.
A baboo, a begum, a nawab or a rajah, or a pol i t i cal
agitator i s t hr own i n f or local col our, or t o supply the
vi l l a i n indispensable t o a wo r k of f i ct i on. There are, of
course, many variations of the theme, but this may be taken
as a skeleton of a t ypi cal Angl o- I ndi an novel . The hero,
a handsome, st rong subaltern, or a st r uggl i ng assistant
i n the C i v i l Service, i s seldom a model of vi r t ue, but has
i nvari abl y one me r i t : he is conscientious in the discharge
of his duties. He risks his l i fe i n doi ng t hi s, and whatever
may be the trials and temptations of his posi t i on, he always
remembers that upon h i m depends the prestige of t he
Br i t i s h Empi r e. He may make a f ool of hi msel f at the cl ub
or the regimental mess, he may gamble, dr i nk, i ncur debts,
and fi ght , but the moment he i s dealing wi t h an I ndi an
He only knows that not through hi m
Shall England come to shame.
INTRODUCTORY 3
The heroine of an Angl o- I ndi an novel i s spi ri t ed, beauti
f ul , courageous, and a good rider. She can t al k we l l , and
l i ke the hero ment i oned above has a proper sense of her
responsibility as an Engl i shwoman i n I ndi a. I n spite of
these admirable qualities she behaves fool i shl y, and i n -
volves herself i n awkwar d situations f r om whi c h i t i s the
dut y of the hero t o extricate her. In most cases, however,
she is a mere puppet. Mor e interesting and i ndi vi dual i zed
t han the regul at i on heroine is the scandal-mongering,
bi t t er-t ongued, gossi p-l ovi ng spinster, or the fri vol ous
marri ed woman, the peculiar pr oduct of Angl o- I ndi an
l i fe. It i s she who relieves the monot ony of l i fe, keeps
the clubs goi ng, and is the chief source of at t ract i on in a
hi l l -st at i on. It i s she who enlivens the dul l and dreary
pages of Angl o- I ndi an novels. Some novels describe the
beauty of I ndi an mount ai n scenery; the loneliness, silence,
and spaciousness of our j ungl es; the splendour of our
bl ue skies and starry ni ght s; the sights and sounds of the
bazaars; the scenes of sweating, shout i ng, b r o wn humani t y
on a rai l way pl at f or m; and the picturesqueness, vari et y,
and squalor of I ndi an l i fe i n t owns and i n villages.
Occasionally we get a glimpse of the zenana; an account
of a nautch, I ndi an marriage, or funeral ; the descrip-
t i o n of a communal r i ot or an epi demi c; and a ski l f ul
handl i ng of the problems arising out of the contact
and conflict of East and West .
The mood i n whi c h these novels are wr i t t en i s generally
one of disgust, sor r ow, or ' melancholy' . The sense of
t hei r bei ng 'exiles' in a forei gn l and seldom deserts the
Engl i s h i n I ndi a. Separation f r om t hei r friends and families
and the vari ed, intellectual, and ci vi l i zed life of the Wes t ;
the constant j ourneyi ngs; the oppressiveness of the I ndi an
climate i n summer; the monot ony of official l i fe and the
feeling that doi ng one's dut y i n I ndi a i s a thankless j o b
al l these i mpar t t o the most fri vol ous novel a note of
sadness.
A common theme of these novels is the unhappiness,
4 I NTRODUCTORY
misunderstandings, and complexities of mar r i ed l i fe i n
I ndi a. Of course unhappy mar r i ed l i fe i s not a feature
peculiar t o Angl o- I ndi a. Marriages go wr o n g al l over
the wo r l d . But t aki ng i nt o consideration the comparat i vel y
smal l number of the Engl i s h i n I ndi a, i t i s surpri si ng t hat
year after year novels shoul d be wr i t t e n whose onl y
interest lies i n unhappy Angl o- I ndi a n marriages. Lo v e
and marriage constitute the mai n staple of fi ct i on. But
the chi ef motif of Angl o- I ndi a n fi ct i on i s not so much
crossed l ove as the misery of mar r i ed l i fe.
Ar t i s t i cal l y Angl o- I ndi a n fi ct i on i s a record of the
ephemeral. Except i ng Ki p l i n g , there are not mor e t han
a dozen novels whi c h may fi nd a place i n the hi st ory of
Engl i s h literature. Mos t of the moder n Angl o- I ndi a n
novels are wr i t t e n by women. Mos t of t hem show l i t t l e
sense of style, are poor i n characterization and pl ot
const ruct i on, and occasionally suffer f r om a propagandist
tendency. They are, however, valuable as s howi ng h o w
I ndi a has affected our rulers. If there are few instances of
i magi nat i ve creation i n Angl o- I ndi a n fi ct i on, i t i s at least
remarkable f or one character, i.e. Angl o- I ndi a.
4. Early Anglo-Indians.
The earliest Angl o- I ndi ans are k n o wn as ' nabobs' i n
Engl i s h literature. But the nabob of the Engl i s h comedies
i s frankl y a caricature of an Ol d I ndi an, i f not a myt hi cal
monster. He is generally described as a parchment-faced,
diseased-livered, weal t hy, vul gar , and effeminate bei ng
whose onl y f unct i on (according t o Engl i s h comedians)
was to make the audience l augh and to make a profligate
nephew or an impecunious niece happy at the end of t he
fifth act or the t h i r d vol ume. But he cannot be taken as
an average Engl i shman i n I ndi a of the eighteenth century.
He represents the weal t h, extravagance, l uxur y, and v u l -
gar i t y of a ver y few Angl o- I ndi ans, but not t hei r good
poi nt s. He does not represent those Angl o- I ndi ans wh o
I NTRODUCTORY 5
coul d not r et ur n t o Engl and because they were not r i c h;
he does not represent the life of loneliness and suffering, or
the struggles and trials of the earlier Engl i s h adventurers
i n I ndi a wh o were never heard of i n Engl and. I n vi ew
of the fact t hat onl y those Engl i shmen wh o had amassed
much weal t h coul d afford t o r et ur n t o Engl and, i t i s not
surpri si ng t hat t he Engl i s h got t he idea t hat al l early
Angl o- I ndi ans were ' nabobs' and t hat I ndi a was an El
Dor ado. Cont emporary memoi rs and histories gi ve a
more accurate idea of the actual condi t i ons of l i fe here:
of the wretchedness and desolation of friendless exiles
separated f r om al l that was dear t o t hem, i n a count r y
where there was no one to relieve t hei r sor r ow by one
gleam of sympathy or kindness. We learn f r om L o r d
Tei gnmout h' s (then Mr . Shore) bi ography that he had
t o tear hi msel f f r om his wi f e t wi ce because he coul d not
expose her t o the hor r or s of the deep and t o the dangers of
a savage count ry l i ke I ndi a, t hat there were not t wo houses
i n Calcutta wi t h Venetian bl i nds or glass wi ndows , and
t hat his salary as a wr i t er in 1769 was ei ght rupees a mont h.
The Oriental Memoirs of Forbes furni sh the best pi ct ure
of the cheerless l i fe of a young Engl i s h adventurer on his
ar r i val in Bombay. He describes hi msel f as a ' solitary
deserted bei ng' wh o had t o go t o bed sorely against his
w i l l soon after sunset, because he coul d not afford the
luxuries of a supper and a candle. Thi s , t oo, is not t ypi cal
of the l i fe of al l Engl i shmen i n al l parts of the count r y,
but it is useful as a corrective to the caricatures of the na-
bobs. 'Sydney C. Gr i er ' (Miss Hi l da Gr egg) has described
the lives of her count r ymen i n I ndi a i n the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, or , as she herself puts i t , ' dur i ng
the earlier stages of what i t i s correct t o call the expansion
of Engl and' , i n I n Furthest I nd (1894). Al t h o u g h i t
lacks the i nt i mat e knowl edge of a cont emporary docu-
ment , yet as a general pi ct ure of the t i me her account may
be t aken as correct. She tells us t hat the Company' s
servants went about i n palenkeens, dressed i n whi t e t o
6
I NTRODUCTORY
avoi d the heat of the sun; that 'meats' were served on
plates of china ' that cracks when any poi son touches i t ' ;
that behi nd each Engl i shman at the dinner table ' st ood
an I ndi an servant wi t h a great fan of peacock feathers',
and that royal ceremony was observed i n br i ngi ng i n and
r emovi ng the dishes.
I t wi l l therefore be useful t o discard the use of the wo r d
' nabob' i n connexion wi t h Angl o-I ndi ans of the seven-
teenth, the eighteenth, and the first quarter of the
nineteenth centuries. I t i s better t o call t hem O l d I ndians.
Mos t of t hem, however, resembled a nabob i n t hei r l ove
of show and fondness for pleasure. They were semi-
orientals i n their habits and manners of l i fe, l ovi ng ' splen-
d i d sl ot h and l angui d debauchery'.
1
They marri ed I ndi an
women or entered i nt o liaisons wi t h t hem. At the back
of their compound they had their zenana, where wandered
a cr owd of olive-coloured chi l dren. I f they marri ed
Engl i sh or European gi rl s, they l i ved in a separate estab-
lishment, but not in such seclusion as was preferred by
t hei r I ndi an wives or mistresses. Even Engl i shwomen
succumbed to the eastern envi ronment . They smoked
hookahs, drank claret and beer, and left their chi l dren to
the care of I ndi an servants. Expensive dinners and horse-
raci ng i nvol ved young ' wr i t er s' i n debts. The then pre-
valent style of weari ng the hair requi red the ' obvious aid of
huge cushions and masses of t ow or horse hair' .
2
Pelleting,
or maki ng pellets of bread and flicking t hem across the
table i nt o the mout h of a gentleman as he opened it to
speak, was considered by some ladies the finest of enter-
tainments. The l i fe of Engl i sh officers i n up-count ry
stations is summed up by War r en Hastings (The Great
Proconsul, by ' Sydney C. Gr i er ' ) . These officers were
devoted to their duties and field sports; they displayed
an admirable interest in I ndi an arts and letters, but they
were ' almost as far removed as the Gentoos themselves
1 Sir G. O. Trevelyan, Competition Wallah.
2 The Great Proconsul, p. 79.
I NTRODUCTORY 7
f r o m the society of Europeans' . They often devot ed t hem-
selves t o the acqui si t i on of a fort une,
' wi t h no higher end in view than to return to England as a
nabob, displaying the usual marks of the speciesa chariot at
his door, madeira on his table, gol d lace on his coat, and a
black behind his chair.' (p. 23.)
The usual mode of t r avel of Engl i shmen of average
means was i n palanquins or chariots bor r owe d f r o m
weal t hy baboos. Me n of posi t i on rode i n state coaches
w i t h musalchis, chobdars and a dozen servants r unni ng
before and behi nd t hei r carriage, shout i ng t hei r t i t l es.
Mos t o f t hem seem t o have lost the w i l l as we l l as the
power t o r et ur n t o Engl and. Those wh o ret urned t o
Engl and felt as i f i n a f or ei gn l and. By the second quarter
of the nineteenth century they were becomi ng as rare as
a mummy.
1
5. ' Qui Hai' of the early nineteenth century.
The ' Ol d I ndi a n' i mpercept i bl y changed i nt o the Qui
Hai of the pr e- Mut i ny I ndi a. The Ol d I ndi an of 1845 i s
a different bei ng f r om his pr ot ot ype of 178 5. We may di s-
t i ngui s h h i m f r o m his predecessor by cal l i ng h i m Qui Hai ,
a phrase c ommon enough i n the Angl o- I ndi a n l i t erat ure
of this per i od. Several novels publ i shed between 1825 and
1844 show h o w a Qui Hai differed f r o m or resembled an
' ol d I ndi a n' . Unl i ke t he Ol d I ndi an, he gave up I ndi a n
zenanas and some or i ent al habits. Marriages wi t h I ndi a n
gi r l s d i d not cease altogether, but became less common.
Lo v e f or t he hookah s t i l l cont i nued, and s o d i d l ove of
l uxur y and dissipation. The Ol d I ndi an was an I ndi ani zed
Engl i shman. Qui Hai retained his Engl i s h habits and
mode of l i f e. Thackeray' s sketches of James Bi nni e,
Joseph Sedley, and Col onel Newcome are sketches of
Qui Hais wh o , i n t hei r t u r n , have n o w become as ext i nct
as t he nabob or the Ol d I ndi an.
1 Calcutta Review, 1844, p. 10.
8 I NTRODUCTORY
The O l d I ndians, as seen in the romances and romance-
l i ke books of t ravel ( al l owi ng f or a l i t t l e exaggeration),
are generally ' ill-mannered, i l l i t erat e, and i mmor ar ' . These'
pictures of O l d I ndians are made up of ' unsi ght l y groups
of unpr i nci pl ed adventurersdissolute soldiers, cor r upt
ci vi l i ans, usurious merchantsall al i ke i gnor ant and
i mmor a l ' . The O l d Indians of the second quarter of the
nineteenth century, wh o m we have called Qui Hais, are
no l onger isolated savages dwel l i ng i n a remote count ry,
where ' the sound of the church-goi ng bel l ' i s never heard,
and the l i ght of European science and literature never
dawns upon the beni ght ed vi si on. The O l d I ndi an was
cut off f r om Engl and; the Qui Hai was onl y six weeks
behi nd his brothers and cousins i n Engl and. I n the earlier
per i od, the almost complete i sol at i on f r om Eur ope of
Engl i shmen i n I ndi a tended t o foster among t hem the
g r o wt h of certain vices, such as avarice, lust, cruelty, &C. '
The mor al and intellectual i mpr ovement of the An g l o -
I ndi an of the fi rst hal f of the nineteenth century was due
to the steamship, to the example set before their count r y-
men by a number of Governor-Generals after War r en
Hastings, and the establishment of the College of For t
Wi l l i a m. St i l l , a Qui Hai has not shaken off al l the vices
of his predecessor. Ho w he appeared t o an Engl i shman
wi t h the highest mor al ideals, l i ke W. D. Ar n o l d , may be
seen i n Oakfield. I n his amusements, ' pi g- st i cki ng' , snipe-
shoot i ng, horse-racing, cricket matches, picnics, balls, and
banquets, the Qui Hai is as deeply absorbed as the O l d
I ndi a n; also i n his indifference t owards, or lack of sym-
pathy f or , the people i n whose mi dst he l i ved, and i n
openly t reat i ng a ' bl ack f el l ow' as a beast, ' t o be dr i ven,
or otherwise empl oyed, as seems fit to the whi t e man, his
master',
2
he i s the l i neal descendant of the O l d I ndi an.
The Baboo and Other Tales (1834), a novel descriptive
of society i n Calcutta, portrays a number of characters wh o
may be taken to represent Qui Hais. Lady Wr o u g h t o n ,
1
Calcutta Review, 1846.
2
Long Engagements.
I NTRODUCTORY 9
l i v i n g i n r oyal style, hol di ng her levees, and spending
money wi t h o u t cari ng h o w i t was earned, i s a por t r ai t
of a society lady of the t i me. Captain Forester is described
as l ost t o Angl o- I ndi a, bei ng t oo f ond of ' black vel vet ' .
' Scri bbl et on Papers' in Anglo-India (1840) gives some
sketches of Madras Qui Hais. Ol d Jeremiah Lawson,
Chi ef Judge of the Sudder-ud-Dawlat, t o wh o m Miss
Scri bbl et on was promi sed as a br i de, is a caricature of a
Qui Hai. A more interesting and human book, gi vi ng a
fai t hful por t r ai t of bygone manners and customs, is The
Lady of the Manor (1844), by Mr s . Sherwood. The story
of Ol i vi a' s life i n her semi-orientalized uncle's household
i s the sad story of the steady degeneration of a g i r l of
eighteen dur i ng her stay i n I ndi a. Mr s . B. M. Croker,
wr i t i n g at a t i me when ' ski rt -danci ng was as yet in its
infancy' and a ' lady figurante was a rare spectacle on an
I ndi an stage', gives us a pi ct ure of a Qui Hai , a man who
had l i ve d so l ong here that he had become ' fossilized' .
' No t h i n g outside I ndi a appealed t o h i m; the easy-going
l i fe had penetrated to his very bones; he had his we l l -
t rai ned servants, his excellent f ood and l i quor , his cheroot
or his huka, his Pioneer, his l ong armchair, and his pet
grievance.'
1
6. 'Competition wallah'.
Af t er the Mu t i n y and the i ns t i t ut i on of the Bengal Ci v i l
Service, the Qui Hais began to die out . In several books
we f i nd echoes of r i val r y between Qui Hais or An g l o -
Indians of the ' o l d school ' and what the latter cont empt u-
ously styled ' Compet i t i on Wal l ahs' . The Qui Hais were
t rai ned f or service i n I ndi a at Hai l eybur y. Hai l eybur y
men were pr oud of themselves. Sir G. O. Tr evel yan,
i n his letters wr i t t e n about the begi nni ng of 1863, pub
lished under the t i t l e The Competition Wallah, shows h o w
the Angl o- I ndi ans of the ' o l d school ' l ooked d o wn upon
t he new ci vi l i ans, and laughed at t hem. Married in India
1
Mr. Jervis, ch. xxi i i , p. 184.
10 I NTRODUCTORY
(1910), by Constance Ho we l l ( a st ory of Angl o- I ndi a n
l i fe i n t he ' sixties), contains an i nt erest i ng passage s howi ng
t he at t i t ude of the pos t - Mut i ny Angl o- I ndi a n t owards
I ndi a, as we l l as his characteristics.
' Forty years ago, imperialistic sentiment di d not exist. The
English were not proud of the immense country they had
conquered: including all India in a comprehensive contempt
they detested its climate, denied its interest, belittled its artistic
achievements, abhorred its dark-skinned peoples, despised its
language; and this condition of feeling was much stronger
in the army than in the Ci vi l Service. Ar my men professed
to t hi nk that their own countrywomen had deteriorated by
coming to the inferior land; and "I woul d never marry in
I ndi a, " was a phrase fashionable among them: notwithstanding
whi ch affectation, many officers' marriages di d happen in
I ndi a. ' (29-30.)
I n this book the aut hor explains the difficulties of Engl i s h
soldiers and ci vi l i ans, wi t hi nadequat e salaries and no pri vat e
means, when they contemplated marriage i n I ndi a. We
learn that the rai l way d i d not exist beyond Cawnpore and
t he sahibs had to t ravel in doolis, each carried by four
kabars. Thei r luggage was br ought in bangbis escorted
by native pol i cemen.
Mr . Wet her al l , the subaltern, i s a t ypi cal soldier of the
t i me. To h i m al l I ndians are niggers and ' l y i n g rascals',
wh o can be br ought t o t hei r senses onl y by means of the
wh i p . He i s immensely pleased when his fi ancee tells
h i m t he i nt erest i ng story of h o w a poor copra-wallah was
knocked d o wn because he refused to sell his wares at the
pri ce wh i c h the f r i vol ous Mi ss Avi c e Featherstonehaugh
offered f or t hem. Mr . Alexander Al l ar dyce gives a
por t r ai t of a Qui Hai i n t he person of Eversley i n The City
of Sunshine (1877), whi l e Sir Henr y Cunni ngham gives
a pen-port rai t of an Angl o- I ndi a n of the new t ype i n t he
character of Desvoeux, ' a poet i cal dandy' , dressed wi t h a
sort of 'effeminate f i ner y' .
' He was far too profusely set about wi t h pretty things,
I NTRODUCTORY
II
lockets and rings, and costly knick-knacks; on the other hand,
his handkerchief was tied wi t h a more than Byronic negligence.'
( v ol . i , p. 81.)
Desvoeux is a ci v i l i an ' of the new regime' , ' a compet i t i on
wal l ah' , and has his fling at the ' ol d ones'.
' "But you know, " he says to Miss Vernon, "how the
old ones were chosen. Al l the stupidest sons of the stupidest
families in England for several generations, like the pedigree-
wheat, you know, on the principle of selection; none but
the blockheads of course would have anything to do wi t h
I ndia. " ' ( v ol . i , p. 90.)
I n Bol dero, Sir Henry Cunni ngham has dr awn a sketch
of a district officer of the 'seventies. He is represented
as over-zealous f or the i mprov ement and regeneration
of manki nd, disgusted wi t h the complex machinery of
gov ernment in whi ch he saw ' material, money, and t i me
wasted; . . . office comi ng to dead-lock wi t h office; one
bl underi ng head knocki ng against another; wants to
whi ch no one attended; wrongs whi ch no one av enged' .
He drov e the Muni ci pal Committee wi l d wi t h projects
of ref orm. He offended the doctors by i nv adi ng the
hospitals, the chaplain by obj ecting t o the v ent i l at i on of
the church and the l engt h of sermons, the Educational
Department by a savage tirade on the schools, and the
General by a bol d assault on the drainage of the barracks
' altogether a bust l i ng, j oyous, irrepressible sort of
man' . I I n Bl unt the author has proj ected a Compet i t i on
Wal l ah i nt o a Board, the other t wo members of whi ch
were educated at Hai l eybury, to illustrate the difference
between the t wo types of officials. Sir Henr y Cunni ngham
acknowledges that ' the v i l e cor r upt i on whi ch characterized
the East I ndi a Company in its earlier days', whi ch f ired
the righteous wr at h of Burke, had disappeared, but
' I ndi an Gov ernments had l ong remained the home of
j obbery' , and
' The stringent remedy of the Competitive System had been
1
Chronicles of Dustypore, p. 144.
12
INTRODUCTORY
necessary to deal wi t h the accumulated dullness wi t h which
licensed favouritism had crowded the ranks of the service.'
(p. 224.)
I n The Old Missionary (1897), Sir W. W. Hunt er puts the
f ol l owi ng words i nt o the mout h of a Li eut enant Gover nor
of Bengal :
' You Competition men come to Bengal wi t h your heads
f ul l of ideas, and you expect me to find the money to carry
them out. Why cannot you be content wi t h things as you
find them, as we were before you ? It is only a few years since
poor John Company was shovelled underground, and already
his peaceful ways seem to belong to a remote antiquity.' (p. 9.)
I n the last t went y years of the nineteenth century the
few Qui Hais, left behi nd i n the onwar d march of Br i t i s h
admi ni st rat i on, finally disappeared, havi ng been replaced
by Compet i t i on Wallahs. There is no Qui Hai in the next
novel of Sir Henr y Cunni ngham publ i shed nine years
later. I n Phi l i p Ambr ose he has depicted the tempta-
t i ons of a young, charmi ng I ndi an C i v i l Servant wi t hout
much character and experience. Ki pl i ng' s Angl o- I ndi a i s
the I ndi a of Engl i shmen of the new regime. Wi t h the
begi nni ng of the t went i et h century the Compet i t i on
Wallahs begi n to be referred to as ' heaven-borns' by
members of other services. Present-day Angl o- I ndi a is the
I ndi a of the I . C. S. ; other services do not count for much.
Mi l i t a r y Angl o- I ndi a has lost much of its importance i n
these days of peace.
I n several other moder n novels there is an occasional
reference t o the type of Angl o- I ndi an who has n o w be-
come extinct. I n The Star of Destiny (1920) by Mr . H. M. F.
Campbel l we f i nd an account of an Angl o- I ndi an of the
ol d school. These ol d Angl o- I ndi ans ' regarded the native
as a bei ng of a t ot al l y different and necessarily i nf er i or
order of creat i on' ; they learned as l i t t l e of, his language
as was possible and deliberately anglicized it; they t hought
i t was impossible t o understand I ndi a and there was no
use in doi ng so. They therefore made no effort to under-
I NTRODUCTORY 13
stand the count r y of t hei r adopt i on.
1
They came t o I ndi a
t o amass a fort une, and were not t oo part i cul ar how
they di d i t .
2
They enjoyed unl i mi t ed freedom, and t hei r
aut hor i t y was unquest i oned; and they hel d the l i fe of an
I ndi an cheap.
3
7. Anglo-India to-day.
(i ) Imperialistic but isolated. The Angl o- I ndi an of to-day
has not that pr of ound cont empt f or natives wh i c h di st i n-
guished his count r ymen of the pos t - Mut i ny per i od, nor
is he so deliberately i gnor ant of the language, customs,
and hi st or y of I ndi a and her people. But he i s pr oud of
possessing I ndi a, and l ooks upon hi msel f as a great
colonizer and a great admi ni st rat or, whose mi ssi on in l i fe
i s t o rule backward eastern countries i n the interest of
those countries. He lives an isolated l i fe l i ke An g l o -
Indians of the past, and i s not ver y l i beral i n his vi ews.
Ac c or di ng t o Mr s . G. H. Bel l , his narrow-mindedness i s
the result of his very i sol at i on. Mr . G. Lowes Di cki ns on
compared the Angl o- I ndi a n wo r l d t o an ' At l ant i c l i ner
f l oat i ng on the I ndi an Wo r l d . I t has wat er - t i ght com
partments.' The Angl o- I ndi a n i s cut off f r om richer mi nds
t han his o wn and does not mi x wi t h Indians. Hence he
lacks the very breadth of mi n d upon the possession of
wh i c h he congratulates himself.
4
Mr s . Barbara Wi ngf i el d-
St rat ford si mi l arl y wri t es in Beryl in India:
'The whole white community in India was, as a whole,
hopelessly narrow-minded, unimaginative, and lacking in
dignity. ' (p. II.)
Mr s . Ma u d Di ve r , wh o calls Angl o- I ndi a ' t hi s l i vel y and
apparently unt hi nki ng wo r l d of Br i t i s h I ndi aa wo r l d
domi nat ed by official personalities, and abbrevi at i ons' ,
thus characterizes her count r ymen i n I ndi a i n Desmond's
Daughter:
' What are they, after al l , these Anglo-Indians, and what spell
1 pp. 87-8. 2 Locke, The Golden Lotus, pp. 305-6.
3
Savi, Torchlight, p. 17.
4
A. Perrin, East of Suevz, p. 198.
14 INTRODUCTORY
is put upon them by the land of their service, that even their
own countrymen deem them almost a race apart ? Those that
best know them are least ready wi t h a definition: and as for
the verdict of the travelled observer, one of the breed dis-
misses them airily as "a l i t t l e scattered garrison . . . mute,
snobbish, not obviously clever and obviously ill-educated",
stewards of great mysteries who "don' t and won' t understand
any race but their o wn " ; while another, seeing a few inches
deeper, detects under the surface of muteness and officialism
the sturdy self-control, the patient and persistent dri vi ng force
that have made the country what it is to-day.' (p. 49.)
( i i ) Discriminately hospitable. The Angl o- I ndi a n of t o-
day i s discriminately hospitable. I n times of t r oubl e and
need he is prepared to receive under his r o o f compara-
t i ve strangers wh o may have l i t t l e or not hi ng i n common
wi t h h i m beyond the fact of t hei r bei ng Engl i shmen. I n
the early nineteenth century the open-door, i ndi scri mi nat e
hospi t al i t y of Angl o- I ndi a struck Engl i shmen as one of
t hei r bri ght est vi rt ues. ' One of the many lessons,' says
Mr s . Per r i n, ' t hat the great Mot he r I ndi a instils i nt o the
hearts of her whi t e foster chi l dren i s t o sympathise wi t h
one another' s troubles and misfortunes, however t r i v i a l
or however serious.'
1
However , as t i me passed, t hi s
hospi t al i t y began to be less i ndi scri mi nat e. Mr s . Ross
Chur ch (Florence Mar r yat ) i n Gup says t hat i n her t i me
i t was a very general compl ai nt i n I ndi a t hat t he count r y
w i t h regard t o its hospi t al i t y was not what i t used t o be.
She makes ' ol d fel l ows, wi t h the native cl ot h trousers
st i cki ng close to t hei r legs' , say t hat when they were boys
and ut t er strangers they were received by everybody wi t h
open arms. Thi s shows t hat i n t he ol d days an Engl i s h-
man was less common and therefore more wel come t han
he i s now, and that under the rul e of J ohn Company
the Ol d Indians ' had a larger quant i t y of cur r y and rice
wher ewi t h t o regale t hei r friends' . Ac c or di ng t o Mr s .
Ross Chur ch, i n t he pos t - Mut i ny I ndi a ' unquest i oni ng
1
East of Suez, p. 141.
I NTRODUCTORY 15
entertainment for man and beast is an impracticable
vi r t ue' . I t i s ' uncalled-for kindness' and impossible i n a
count ry ' whi ch is being daily reinforced by employees
f r om every grade of society' . But she does not agree wi t h
' gentlemen of red and green pl ai d trousers, that it has
entirely vanished' . Mr s . B. M. Croker i n her f i r s t novel ,
Proper Pride (1882), speaks of the proverbi al hospitality of
the Angl o- I ndi an. Ki p l i n g i n the Phantom Rickshaw t hi nks
that ' Globe-trotters wh o expect entertainment as a r i ght ,
have, even wi t h i n l i vi ng memory, bl unt ed this open-
heartedness, but none the less to-day, if you bel ong to the
I nner Circle and are neither a Bear nor a Black Sheep, al l
houses are open to you' . There are indications that in the
I ndi a of to-day, wi t h good hotels spri ngi ng up i n the larger
cities and dak bungalows in the remotest districts, the
vi r t ue of hospitality is not so essential as it necessarily
was in the ol d days. I n Mr s . Savi's Sackcloth and Ashes
( wr i t t en after the war) Lance Ke l l y on his arri val i n Bengal
asks wi t h surprise, ' Where is the vaunted hospitality of the
Angl o-I ndi ans ?'
( i i i ) Its monotony. Angl o- I ndi an life is monot onous,
especially for women. Whe n the novel t y of I ndi a wears off,
the peri od of disillusionment begins. Banished f r om al l
interest or discussions i n the affairs of I ndi a by civilians
and soldiers,
' not young enough to be content wi t h the same round of
amusements and too clever to stagnate, the monotonous
routine of her daily existence begins to prey upon her soul.
. .. Every day was so much like every other day, a ride in the
morning, and an idle empty day in the bungalow wi t h nothing
in particular to do, but read or sleep, a game of gol f or a set
of tennis t i l l dark and then a long evening at the club.'
( Y. Endrikar, Gamblers in Happiness, p. 121.)
I n many novels we get a glimpse of the t r yi ng monot ony
of the Englishwoman' s life i n I ndi a, especially i n the hot
weather. A penance-like wal k for health's sake in the early
1
P. 83.
12 I NT RODUCT ORY
mor ni ng, wi t h the soul gasping f or a breath of fresh air; a
late breakfast and no l uncheon, struggles to sleep or rest
i n the aft ernoon; tea; a dr i ve i n the stuffy, st i l l evening,
an hour passed under the fans at the cl ub, wi t h papers and
magazines and l angui d conversation, f ol l owed by di nner
in the garden; a short i nt er val spent in gazing at the stars;
and an early goi ng t o bed t o make up f or the early r i si ng
these complete the pi ct ure of a nor mal day i n An g l o -
I ndi a. Thi s monot ony i s sometimes br oken by a moon-
l i ght pi cni c or a dance. Li f e i n the col d weather, and i n the
larger cities and mi l i t ar y cantonments, is a l i t t l e more vari ed,
but i n a small station where the dozen or so of Europeans,
who know every line of one another' s faces by heart, and
everyt hi ng about one another' s lives, have to meet at the
cl ub daily and listen to pet t y squabbles and malicious
gossip, life is dul l .
( i v) Its snobbery. Several wri t ers speak of the snobbery
of Angl o- I ndi ans. Mr s . Ross Chur ch wri t es i n Gup,
'Rupee is the name of the highest god they worship; then
' rank' for the women, 'beauty' for the men, after which they
have no more religion. ' (p. 63.)
Mr . Alexander Wi l s on divides the people of this count ry
i nt o three di vi si ons, 'sahibs, snobs, and sinners' .
1
Thi s
is an apt classification of Angl o- I ndi a. Sahibs may be
said to represent gent l emen; sinners are gentlemen wh o
have gone wr o n g ; snobs are not gentlemen but pret end
t o be so. The wor shi p of rank i s the wor st feature of
Angl o- I ndi an society. ' The laws of precedence', wri t es
No r a h K. Strange, ' whi c h gover n European society i n
I ndi a are almost as i mmut abl e as those of the Medes and
Persians.'
2
Mr . Edwa r d Thomps on wri t es bi t t er l y of the
' herd ethos' of the I ndi an Ci v i l Servants and t hei r con-
1
The Devil's Cocktail, p. 321.
2
Mistress of Ceremonies, p. 49. Miss Yvonne Fitzroy in Courts and Camps
in India writes: 'If I were asked what struck me as the chief concern of Eng
lish social life in I ndia, I should answer: "T o seek Precedence and ensue
i t ! " Precedence is the focal point of India's social nonsense, convulses the
home, and has even, it is rumoured, convulsed the Government.' (p. 210.)
I NT RODUCT ORY 17
t empt uous treatment of al l ot her classes. Mr . Shelland
Bradley and several ot her wri t ers ri di cul e t he desire of
Engl i shmen and Engl i s hwomen t o have t hei r names on
the Gover nment House l i st .
(v) Its melancholy. I n spite of the i nt oxi cat i on of power
Angl o- I ndi a i s not altogether happy. The Engl i s h soldier
pines f or the sights and sounds of London, the mot her f or
her chi l dren, the husband f or his wi f e, the t o i l i n g official
f or the opport uni t i es l ost , the statesman for contact wi t h
mi nds mor e cul t i vat ed t han his o wn , and the epicure f or
t he joys of the Engl i s h table. Mr . Oat en calls this l ongi ng
f or home and dissatisfaction wi t h the count r y of t hei r
adopt i on Angl o- I ndi a n ' mel anchol y' . I n earlier times,
when the condi t i ons of l i fe i n I ndi a were much harder,
this note of melancholy was s t i l l mor e pr omi nent i n An g l o -
I ndi an l i t erat ure t han at present. Increased amenities of
l i f e, better pay, greater opport uni t i es and facilities f or
vi s i t i ng Engl and, have somewhat lessened the i nt ensi t y
of home-sickness, but not altogether removed i t . I n the
f i ct i on of the nineteenth century, f r om Hockl ey t o Ki p l i n g ,
we come across i t again and again. Mr . W. D. Ar n o l d i n
Oakfield and Sir Charles Lya l l i n verse voi ced i t wi t h deep
and genuine feeling. Sir Henr y Cunni ngham expresses i t
i n The Caeruleans. Mast erl y, wh o was gi ven t o t al ki ng i n a
t one of persiflage, becomes at once serious when Lady
Mi r anda refers to Angl o- I ndi a n life as del i ght f ul l y free.
' "Yes, " he said; "free as the desert, 'the desolate freedom
of the white jackass,' freedom from the people you care about,
the things you are interested i n, the places you lovefreedom
from everything but what can be tied up in red tape, and put
in a despatch boxfreedom whi ch is free in the same way
that the Roman's solitude was peace." ' (p. 129.)
In The Madness of Private Ortheris, Ki p l i n g has gi ven
expression t o i t i n unforgettable wor ds. Amo n g moder n
novelists, Mr s . Coul son Kernahan says, in The Woman who
Understood,
' Anglo-Indian life is a sacrifice. It is a sceries of uprootals.
18 INTRODUCTORY
There either a woman separates from her children or leaves her
husband. Whichever it is, it is sacrifice. I often wonder if any
gain compensates for the loss.' (p. 136.)
' John Travers' ( Mr s. G. H. Bell) i s f ul l of this note i n
Sahib-log. She sadly refers to ' I ndi an partings and meet
ings'; I she misses in I ndi a those 'people who are in posses
sion of what they l ove most ' ;
2
she sighs for the bi r t h of
spring i n Engl and, and exclaims, ' Ho w one coul d weep for
the breath and the sound and the sight of it by the waters
of Babyl on!' (p. 125.) She knows that I ndi a stole much,
destroyed much, but gave not hi ng;
3
and her heart goes
out in sympathy for those young wives and mothers whose
children are in Engl and, whose husbands are in the plains,
and ' whose homes are baked in the cantonments, dismantled
and silent, save for the punkhas' creaking, empty, but for
the sweating soldier men' .
4
Accor di ng t o Mr . Duff-Fyfe
I ndi a is no place for a whi t e man wi t h slender means and
no certain and heaven-born posi t i on. He loathes the
country and everything connected wi t h i t .
5
Sir Francis
Younghusband, who was so anxious to ' l i ven t hi ngs' for
Engl i sh soldiers in I ndi a, says that their life ' wi t hout home
attractions' is dreary and depressing.
6
But the most interest
i ng of modern books f r om this poi nt of vi ew, marked
by a deep note of sadness, accentuated by the disquiet
i ng conditions of modern pol i t i cal I ndi a, i s Mr . Edwar d
Thompson' s A Farewell to India. Mr . Thompson' s disap
poi nt ment is great; as his love for I ndi a was great. Alden' s
departure f r om I ndi a is the departure of a sincere Christian
' who had l oved I ndi a, identified himself wi t h her, was
bruised and broken in her service, and yet was discarded
by her wi t hout a wo r d of gratitude or regret.
(vi ) Its conservatism. Amo n g other characteristics of
Angl o- I ndi an fiction we may notice its conservatism.
Whi l e Angl o- I ndi a i s very unconventional i n some
1
Sahib-log, p. 14.
2
I bid. , p. 114.
3
I b i d . , p. 2 11.
4
I b i d . , p. 210.
5
The Relentless Gods, p. 21.
6
But in Our Lives, p. 115.
I NTRODUCTORY 19
respects, it is strangely conservative in others. Mr s . Savi
draws attention t o this peculiarity of Angl o- I ndi an life
in The Unattainable. Edwi na, the heroine, finds on her
ar r i val f r om Engl and that the circle i n whi ch she moved
was ' correct t o the poi nt of weariness', and di d things
whi ch ' their grand-parents had done for generations' ;
they 'echoed their views despite the advance of t i me and
evol ut i on' ; they worshi pped ceremony as a god, treated
extremes of fashion as i mmor al , and freedom of speech as
a ' shocking breach of decorum, amount i ng t o i mpr o
pri et y' , and ' condemned to per di t i on al l who refused to be
hide-bound by custom' . Thi s conservatism and love of
ceremony result f r om their bei ng cut off f r om the current
of ever-changing and constantly movi ng life at home.
They woul d begi n t o stagnate l i ke a pool of water cut off
f r om the mai n stream but for the constant i nfl ux of new
t hought , energy, fashions, and manners br ought by new
arrivals. Anot her force that tends to make the An g l o -
I ndians formal and conservative is their fear that sudden
changes in t hought , speech, and dress mi ght adversely
affect their prestige. Engl i sh society in most of the stations
of Angl o- I ndi a i s l i mi t ed t o a small number whi ch, on
account of official transfers and other changes, is generally
i n a state of fl ux. I t may be supposed, therefore, that i n
I ndi a an Engl i shman is free to do what he likes, as no
Mr s . Gr undy controls his conduct. But considerations of
prestige, arising out of his posi t i on as a member of the
r ul i ng caste, act as power f ul brakes on the Angl o- I ndi an,
young or ol d. The Engl i sh i n I ndi a lead a glass-house
existence. The minutest details of their lives are known t o
t hei r servants. These latter t al k in the bazaars, and thence
the news, magnified, distorted, or exaggerated by imagina-
t i o n or misunderstanding, may reach the remotest corners
of I ndi a, affording amusement t o the elders of a vi l l age
smoki ng their hookahs under the pepul tree, the women
at the wel l , and even street urchins engaged in their
pastimes and frolics. The fear of l osi ng prestige explains
20 I NTRODUCTORY
many curious practices of Angl o- I ndi a. I n some clubs al l
the wi ndows and doors are closed so that the servants may
not see the sahibs dancing. Mr s . Bel l does not approve of
short skirts and short sleeves, because it ' horrifies the
I ndi an' .
1
Nor a h K. Strange says, in Mistress of Ceremonies,
' what is ordinary and quite harmless in Engl and takes a
very different compl exi on in Eastern eyes'.
'In England it is no body's but your husband's business if
you choose to dress up like a harlequin and prance about like
an inebriated negro; but in India i t ' s every decent thinking
person's business to see that his race doesn't lose prestige in
the eyes of a still subject people, who are as ready to magnify
flaws as they are to forget past benefits.' (pp. 118-19.)
Mr. Edwar d Thompson says in Night Falls on Siva's Hi / / ,
that i t i s not often that Engl i shmen quarrel i n I ndi a i n the
presence of native servants.
2
Considerations of prestige
are chiefly responsible for the almost complete exclusion
of I ndians f r om Engl i sh clubs. Such clubs have done more
t o ' breed i l l - wi l l t han any other dozen i nst i t ut i ons' .
3
For
pol i t i cal reasons some clubs have had to admi t I ndians
of posi t i on, but they have done so wi t h a bad grace.
Mr . Endr i kar refers t o an interesting situation that arose i n
a cl ub whi ch had to admi t I ndians, because the Gover nor
threatened to resign his membership otherwise. The
I ndi an members were i nvi t ed t o take part i n al l the events,
but when i t came t o dancing, ' hal f the ladies of the station
were up i n arms at the mere suggestion of dancing
wi t h I ndians' .
4
I n the past i t was tacitly understood that
none of these I ndians woul d wi s h to be present at the cl ub
dances. But when Ratnaswami casually said that accom
panied by a fri end he intended to attend the cl ub dance,
the Mowl pur e Cl ub was taken aback. The exclusiveness
of the older clubs is shown by the statement that whi l e
they wel comed al l Engl i shmen, ' prince and philosopher
1
In the Long Run, p. 11.
2
p. 20.
3
Talbot Mundy, Om.
4
Gamblers in Happiness, p. 172.
I NTRODUCTORY 21
sweeper and beggarman' , I no I ndi an, even if he were a
nawab or maharajah, was eligible for membership. Mr .
Tal bot Mundy writes i n Om that the members of the
De l hi Cl ub were pr oud of the fact that ' no I ndi an, not
even a Maharajah, has ever set foot over its threshold' .
Angl o- I ndi a has several unwr i t t en laws and traditions
whi ch may not be vi ol at ed, except at the ri sk of i ncur r i ng
its serious displeasure. Angl o- I ndi a has definite views on
the marriage of its count rymen i n I ndi a. I t does not
approve of the marriage of an official at the commence
ment of his career, and condemns it as ' an unpardonable
piece of st upi di t y' .
2
Mi l i t ar y Angl o- I ndi a i s st i l l more
strict i n this respect. I t s rule i s : ' A lieutenant can' t marry.
A captain must n' t . A major may if he likes. A colonel
ought . '
3
The tragedy of a wasted life recorded i n Mr .
Thompson' s Night Falls on Siva's Hill is the result of
independence shown by one of the Mianis i n mat r i moni al
matters. Angl o- I ndi a condemns mi xed marriages i n no
uncertain terms. An Engl i shman who marries an I ndi an
g i r l i s pi t i ed, and Angl o- I ndi a does al l i t can t o prevent
such a mesalliance. A romant i c Engl i sh g i r l who commits
the f ol l y of mar r yi ng an I ndi an gentleman is ostracized
and regarded as dead by Angl o- I ndi a.
( vi i ) Its calling-hour. The calling-hour of Angl o- I ndi a
has surprised al l newcomers, and makes Angl o- I ndi an
society resemble Cranfordians i n this respect. The t wo hot -
test hours of the day are selected for payi ng calls. Sir Henr y
Cunni ngham considers this custom ' i di ot i c' . He wonders
how it arose and that no one has f ound courage or
strength enough to break a custom ' so detrimental to the
health and comfort of manki nd' .
' Li ke Chinese ladies' feet, the high heels on which fashion-
able Europe at present does penance, suttee of Hi ndu widows,
and infanticide among the Rajput nobles, it is merely a curious
instance that there is nothing so foolish and so disagreeable
1
G. B. Newcomen, Blue Moons, p. 11o.
2
A. Perrin, East of Suez, P. 287.
3
F. E. Penny, A Question of Love, p. 39.
22 INTRODUCTORY
that human beings w i l l not do or endure i f i t onl y becomes
the fashion.' (Chronicles of Dustypore, p. 47.)
Anot her pecul iar custom is that it is the new comer w ho
cal l s first, w i t hout w ai t i ng to be cal l ed o n ; the cal l is
ret urned and the new comer is asked out or not , as peopl e
see fit. I f no such i nvi t at i on is received the matter ends
there.
1
The met hod of payi ng cal l s i s simpl e. Y o u dr i ve
t o the fi rst house on your l ist. I f the l ady i s not recei vi ng,
the servant w i l l br i ng a box w i t h the i nscri pt i on ' N o t at
Home' . Y o u simpl y drop y our card and dri ve on t o the
next house on the l i st . I f the l ady is receiving, the servant
bri ngs the l ady's sal aams and y ou have to go in for a few
minutes. No cal l is expected to l ast for more than five
minutes. ' The funniest part ' , w rites ' O . Dougl as' i n
Olivia in England (1913), ' o f it is that one may have hun
dreds of peopl e -on one's vi si t i ng l ist and not know hal f
of t hem by sight, because of the convenient system of the
not-at-home box . '
2
The etiquette of Angl o- I ndi a demands
that y ou shoul d l eave as soon as another vi si t or arrives.
( vi i i ) Its indifference to religion. Meadow s Tay l or in The
Story of My Life refers to the indifference of his contem
poraries to r el i gi on. Apar t f r om missionaries, the average
Engl i shman in I ndi a to-day cal l s hi msel f a Christian mor e
f or pol i t i cal than other reasons. Church attendance on
Sundays is necessary more to show the sol idarity of
Engl i shmen i n I ndi a than t o satisfy their spi ri t ual needs.
Mos t of t hem attend church as they attend parades, that
i s, under orders. Here is a characteristic passage f r om
M r . Y. Endri kar' s Gamblers i n Happiness, t ypi cal of An g l o -
I ndi a' s attitude tow ards r el i gi on:
'I go on principl e in India to show that I am not ashamed
of my rel igion. I w oul d l ike to have an order issued that every
European officer shoul d attend church every Sunday, if he
is in headquarters. In Engl and I confess I take a hol iday.'
(p. 155.)
1
Savi, Sackcloth and Ashes. 2
P
. 98 .
I NTRODUCTORY 23
Sir Francis Younghusband says in But in Our Lives that
l i v i n g i n I ndi a wi t h Hi ndus and Mohammedans had made
h i m realize that Christianity had never sunk i nt o the very
mar r ow of the bone of an Engl i shman l i ke Isl am and
Hi ndui s m i nt o the I ndi an. Some Angl o-Indi ans are
posi t i vel y hostile t o Christian Churches i n I ndi a. Miss
Bi shop says in Wine of Sorrow that the Government vi ewed
Christianity as a most dangerous i nnovat i on, and was l oat h
t o expose the Hi n d u t o its contagion. He adds wi t h sor
r o w that more t han one Christian officer ' bowed down t o
wo o d and stones' to please a native people wh o m he feared.I
Mr . L. Beresford believes that i f Engl i sh rule i n Indi a i s ever
fi nal l y l ai d i n its coffin, ' the Church by the tactlessness of
its representatives wi l l have assisted t o nai l down the l i d ' .
(ix) Its social constitution. In order to understand
Angl o- I ndi an l i fe, it is necessary to understand its peculiar
const i t ut i on. I n Angl o- I ndi a most of the women are
young and marri ed.
2
The very young g i r l and the very
ol d lady are absent f r om i t . Yo u n g chi l dren have t o be
sent to Engl and to be educated there and ol d ladies accom
pany their husbands after their retirement. Thi s leaves
Angl o- I ndi a wi t h gi rl s and wives. Secondly, these ladies
have not hi ng serious to do. They have no ' domestic
responsibilities and occupations' . They have so many
servants that there is l i t t l e they need do themselves. If
any enthusiastic mistress of the house desires to do t hi ngs
f or herself, she soon finds that it is useless. 'Coerulean
life is l ong and the art of Cerul ean house-keeping is
1
p. 22.
2
Florence Marryat (Mrs. Ross Church) writes in Gup (1868): ' For one
of the greatest proofs of India's progressing civilization is, that now there
are old maids there occasionally.' But Mrs. Alice Perrin, writing in A
Woman in the Bazaar (1914), says: ' The aged white man or woman is
seldom to be encountered in I ndi a; they have done their time, gone home
or to their graves. Sometimes they stay to live out their last years
in some more or less salubrious region, but such settlers are dying out,
and wi t h easier transit home, are not replaced; for though living may be
less expensive, and cheap luxuries attractive, there is always the loss of
prestige and the desire to end their days in England.' (p. 76.)
2 4 I N T R O D U C T O R Y
extremely short' , says Camilla.
1
Servants are many, l i vi ng
is cheap, the ki t chen is unattractive and unhygienic, and
the onl y house-keeping probl em of the mem-sahib i n
I ndi a is to keep accounts of dusters or charcoal. Just to
pass t i me, or for the sake of a new sensation, or a l i t t l e excite-
ment , these women begi n to ' play at being in l ove' .
2
A
t hi r d feature of Angl o- I ndi an life i s that its men f ol k are
either very busy or very idle. The Assistant Magistrate,
the Ci vi l Surgeon, the Engineer, and the Superintendent of
Police are examples of busy people. The young unmarri ed
subaltern, on the other hand, has very l i t t l e to do.
Four t hl y, the climate of Indi a separates the t oi l i ng hus
band f r om the wi fe, who spends the greater part of the
year at one of the h i l l stations and comes down to the
plains onl y i n the col d weather. Whe n we consider i n
addi t i on the influence of climate and the scarcity of
Engl i sh females in I ndi a; the fact that for help and protec
t i on i n t i me of t roubl e and need Engl i shwomen have t o
depend upon Engl i shmen in general; that there is no lack
of. bachelors maki ng merry away f r om the discipline of
t hei r regiments, and of married men whose wives are i n
Engl and; and finally that life at hi l l stations wi t h its r ound
of amusements, dances, dinners, picnics, and balls is gay
t hr oughout the year,
3
is it surprising that a society so
1
'Housekeeping in the East is a comparatively easy affair; it is accom-
plished in the early morning, and consists chiefly of "orders". T he butler
and the cook swagger back to the kitchen full of authority. They issue
mandates under cover of "Missus's orders", the missus being innocent
of nine-tenths of them. T he result is admirable, a trouble-saving arrange-
ment which should turn the whole body of housewives in England green
wi t h envy.' (Living Dangerously, p. 74.)
2
Mrs. Ross Church emunerates the types of females who are to be
found on the hills, and who make the hills dangerous to an idle man.
'There are the wives who can't live wi t h their husbands in the plains; and
grass-widows . . . they are (without any reference to the amount of their
charms) the most dangerous that the idle man could encounter. Then there
are young ladies whose parents are not able, or willing, to send them to
England just yet, but who are too old to live wi th safety in the heat of
Ma d r a s . . . . And lastly there are mothers themselves, wi t h their troop of
little ones.' (p. 102.)
3
Thus writes Mrs. Margaret Mordecai about the gaiety of Anglo-
I N T R O D U C T O R Y 2 5
peculiarly constituted should become a Garden of Eden
where the De v i l enters t o t empt Eve,
1
or that tragedies or
comedies of l ove and marriage should be the most
pr omi nent feature of the life of Angl o- I ndi a and of An g l o -
I ndi an fiction, whose pages are so f ul l o f flirtations and
fri vol i t i es, scandals and gossip, as to exclude almost every-
t hi ng else? Sir Henr y Cunni ngham i n his i ni mi t abl e
manner traces the gr owt h of a woman l i ke Mr s . Vereker,
' a type of character whi c h I ndi an life brings i nt o especial
prominence, and develops i nt o fuller perfection than is to
be f ound in less artificial communi t i es' . He says:
'She had come to India while still almost a child, and in
a few months, long before thought or feeling had approached
maturity, had found herself the belle of a station, and presently
a bride. These circumstances separated her frequently from
her husband, and she learnt to bear separation heroically.
The sweet incense of flattery was for ever rising, and
she learnt to love it better every day. Any number of men
were for ever ready to throw themselves at her feet and
proclaim her adorable; and she came to feel it right that they
should do so. She found that she could conjure wi t h her eyes
and mouth, and exercise a little despotism by simply using
them as Nature t ol d her.' (Chronicles of Dustypore, pp. 80-1.)
Sir Henr y Cunni ngham wr ot e i n the last quarter of the
nineteenth century. To show that Angl o- I ndi an l i fe has
not changed in its essential elements since t hen, we quote
the f ol l owi ng f r om The Jungle Girl by Mr . G. Casserly,
whose book was published onl y a few years ago.
' Her husband, of course, was as blind as most husbands seem
I ndi a: 'Station life in I ndia is delightful. It is so easy and la2y, and at the
same time so gay and bright: it reminded me of our old fashioned life at
Vi rgi ni a Springs. English coldness and English reserve seem to melt in
the tropical sun, and the English military and official society is as sociable,
friendly and gay as any that may be found in the worl d. Men dance there
wi t h apparent delight who refuse to do so at all in England, and they court
the society of women as much as they avoid it at home. This at once makes
for a gaiety quite lacking in England, and it may truly be said that in I ndia
every woman of any attraction whatever is a belle.' (Indian Dream Lands,
1925, p. 306.)
l
The Acid Test.
26 INTRODUCTORY
to be in the Anglo-I ndian society. For in that land of the
Household of Three, the Eternal Triangle, it is almost a
recognised principle that every married woman who is at all
attractive is entitled to have one particular bachelor always
in close attendance on her, to be constantly at her beck and
call, to ride wi t h her, to drive her every afternoon to tennis or
gol f or watch polo, then on to the club and sit wi t h her there.
His duty, a pleasant one, no doubt, is to cheer up her otherwise
solitary dinner in her bungalow, on the nights when her
neglectful husband is dining out en garfon. No Cavaliere
Servente of Ol d Italy ever had so dizzy a time as the Tame
Cat of I ndia of to-day.' (p. 64.)
Mr s . Wi ngfi el d-St rat ford, wr i t i n g i n 1921, thus describes
Angl o- I ndi an life :
'Once or twice it struck her that the lives of most of the
women she met were singularly aimless ones. She was also
surprised sometimes at the matter-of-fact way in which some-
body's husband and somebody else's wife almost invariably
paired off together. Every lady in the station, except herself,
seemed to have what Mrs. Tukeson knew as a "Boy", and
were surprisingly frank about i t . ' (p. 87.)
T he young f l i r t , after a life of dalliance, wi t , fl at t ery, and
strife, generally develops i nt o the scandal-mongering
wi cked lady of the station, presi di ng over the cl ub, and
f i ndi ng her chi ef business i n life i n pul l i ng neighbours t o
pieces or in chaperoning a young niece.
1
She discusses over
her tea-cup the sins of her friends and acquaintances,
criticizes other women' s gowns, calculates h o w much
each man earns, and estimates the allowance he makes to
his wi f e.
2
J udgi ng Angl o- I ndi an life f r om its pursuits,
amusements, and clubs, a new comer is l i kel y ' t o l ook
wi t h hor r or and l oat hi ng upon an existence whi c h ap
peared to sap al l that was best and sweetest out of l i f e,
and transformed i t i nt o a hideous, grasping, money-
maki ng, place-seeking travesty' .
3
(x) Religion of work. But it wo u l d be a mistake to
1
L. Beresford, The Second Rising, p. 71.
2
A. Wilson, The Devil's Cocktail, p. 141.
3
Ibid., p. 141.
I NT RODUCT ORY 27
t hi nk that the flirt or the gossip represents the whol e of
Angl o- I ndi a. The l i fe depicted i n most Angl o- I ndi an
novels i s of a t r i vi al character.
1
But the men who gover n
I ndi a possess many sterling virtues, or they woul d have
lost I ndi a l ong ago. Devot i on t o dut y or ' doi ng one's
j ob' , as Mr . Thompson puts i t , i s the most i mpor t ant of
t hei r virtues. I t i s wel l illustrated i n several novels,
t hough never so clearly or promi nent l y as the life of gaiety
and amusements. In The Caeruleans, Camilla f ound that
real I ndi a was ' something very different f r om that of
magazine articles' . She f ound Angl o-Indi ans hard at wor k.
' The nobi l i t y of their task seemed t o t hr ow a sort of mor al
grandeur over their lives that mi ght otherwise have been
commonplace and even ignoble i n their dullness.'
2
I ndi a
is a hard taskmaster. She gives men pl ent y of opportunities
of pr ovi ng their wor t h.
3
Nove l after novel mentions
(incidently) the whole-hearted devot i on of Engl i shmen
to their wor k. Sylvester of The Price of Empire and
Delahey of the Shadow of Abdul resemble Henr y Lawrence
and r emi nd one of the ancient Spartans and Romans.
Even Sir Henr y Cunni ngham, who has so mercilessly
exposed the faults of Angl o- I ndi an society, acknowledges
that Hannibal' s soldiers di d not have to wo r k so hard as
the Engl i sh officials at El ysi um. Thi s devot i on t o wo r k
i s ' a new r el i gi on' t o the Engl i shman i n I ndi a. It grips
h i m as not hi ng else does.
4
It is a remarkable and pleasing
1
'John Travers' (Mrs. G. H. Bell) twice comments on the Angl o-
I ndian novel in her Hot Water. 'I can't see what such a novel could present
to one's mind that is not essentially commonplace, if its characters are the
English in I ndia. For you people cannot be odd or revolutionary. Y ou
cannot even be unconventional here.' (pp. 56-7.) Later on she again
speaks of 'the feeble imbecility of Anglo-I ndian novels in general'. ( ' Al l
Simla Gossip, and valiant warriors, and raids and proposals at picnics.')
(p. 127.)
2
p. 206.
3
K. M. Edge, The Shuttles of the Loom, p. 2 01.
4
Mr . G. Lowes Dickinson in Appearances thus summed up Angl o-I ndi a:
'twaddle and tea, after tennis, "frivolling"it is their word; women too
empty-headed and men too tired to do anything else. This mill-round of
work and exercise is maintained like a religion. T he gymkhana represents
28 I NT RODUCT ORY
characteristic of Angl o- I ndi a n novelists t hat whi l e they
del i ght i n dr a wi ng at t ent i on t o t he follies and imperfec-
t i ons of Angl o- I ndi ans they do not over-emphasize the
prai sewort hy traits of t hei r character. I n the distant out -
posts of t he f r ont i er , i n jungles and l onel y mofussi l
stations often far r emoved f r o m men of t hei r o wn race,
these ci vi l i ans and soldiers have done t hei r dut y f or dut y' s
sake. Mr s . Ma u d Di v e r i s u n t i r i n g i n her admi r at i on f or
the Spartan ideals of dut y and service t hat di st i ngui sh the
lives of her count r ymen i n I ndi a. Anot he r book wh i c h
embodies t hi s ideal of silent service and wor s hi p of wo r k
is But in Our Lives by Sir Francis Younghusband. One
f i nds a subdued echo of the same i n Mr . Ed wa r d Th o mp -
son's t wo books, An Indian Day and A Farewell to India.
Hamar, Fi ndl ay, and Al d e n are his heroes; they suffer but
do t hei r j obs.
(xi ) Anglo-Indian women misrepresented. Angl o- I ndi a n
novelists, b o t h men and women, have not done justice t o
the wome n of Angl o- I ndi a . Eve n Mr . Thomps on i s har d
on t hem, and goes so far as to suggest t hat muc h of t he
poi soni ng of the wor l d' s t h i n k i n g comes f r om the idleness
and ease of sheltered women, especially young wome n.
Hi l d a wonders i f there i s any count r y where i t i s so useless
and ineffectual t o be an Engl i s hwoman as I ndi a.
1
Thi s
i s the feeling of many Engl i s hwomen wh o are disgusted
wi t h the commonplace lives of t hei r sisters i n I ndi a. Some
wome n wr i t er s l i ke Mr s . Ma u d Di v e r , Mr s . Al i c e Per r i n,
and Mr s . G. H. Bel l have at t empt ed t o show t hat the l i f e
of Engl i s hwomen i n I ndi a i s not so f r i vol ous as i t
appears on the surface, and t hat t hey also have played
t hei r par t si l ent l y but heroi cal l y i n maki ng t he Br i t i s h
Empi r e what i t i s.
2
However , i t i s not Angl o- I ndi a n
the "compulsory games" of a public school. It is part of the "white man's
burden". He plays as he works, with a sense of responsibility. He is bored,
but boredom is a duty, and there is nothing else to do.' (p. 16.)
1
An Indian Day, p. 204.
2
In the past, the race prejudice of the English tommy and Englishwoman
widened the gap between England and I ndia. N ow some Englishwomen
I N T R O D U C T O R Y 2 9
fiction that gives one the idea of the real cont r i but i on
of the women of Engl and t o the greatness of Engl and. I t
was left to a poet, Mr . George Essex Evans, to appraise
the gl ori ous part played by the women of the West i n the
expansion of Engl and. For l ove they faced the wilderness,
left the Vine-wreathed cottage' for the ' slab-built, zinc-
roofed homestead' or ' huts on new selections', leaving the
'pleasures of the ci t y, and the friends they cherished best'.
The red sun robs their beauty, and, in weariness and pain,
The slow years steal the nameless grace that never comes again;
And there are hours men cannot soothe, and words men can-
not say
The nearest woman's face may be a hundred miles away.
For them no trumpet sounds the call, no poet plies his arts
They only hear the beating of their gallant, l ovi ng hearts.
But they have sung wi t h silent lives the song all songs above
The holiness of sacrifice, the dignity of love.
These women of the West , l i ke some fl ower trans-
planted to bl oom beneath alien skies, make efforts to
adapt themselves to their changed environments, and it is
no wonder that they wi t her away. The gaiety of a few
seasons does not compensate for the l ong years of a dreary
existence that l i e ahead, and if to a new comer I ndi a
appears a l and of never-ending amusements and pleasures,
the gl amour soon wears off, and even the most fri vol ous
woman is forced to realize the difficulties and responsi
bilities of her posi t i on. Even Mr s . Savi, whose pi ct ure of
Angl o- I ndi a is not flattering, says in one of her novels :
' What a lot of women are unassuming heroines in private
life. One has only to come to the East to discover the stuff
there is in us.' (A Prince of Lovers, p. 125.)
have begun to realize that they can play an important part in bridging
the social chasm that is responsible for the bitterness of political life. Miss
Yvonne Fitzroy truly says that to many Indians an Englishwoman in I ndia
represents all they can know of England. ' We, in I ndia', she says, 'may
not be the flower of our kind, but by us wi l l our kind be judged.'
30 I NTRODUCTORY
Mr s . Perri n writes, in The Happy Hunting-Ground:
'Generally speaking, the conditions of Indian existence may
be said to foster the finest feminine qualities of the English-
woman, though i n some lamentable cases the life may develop
the very worstand then it is the individual, not India, that
is to blame.' (p. 112.)
Sir Francis Younghusband divides Engl i shwomen i n
I ndi a i nt o three classesthose who, l osi ng al l womanl y
grace, become mere copies of men; those who ' l i ve a hot -
house, scented l i fe, and wi t her and crinkle i f a breath of
fresh air enters their r o o m' ; and finally those whom Sir
Francis calls ' the gl or y of our race*,
' who have been brought up in rain and sunshine, and have
been accustomed to mix wi t h men and women of every rank
in life, and to live wi t h animals, and who yet retain every
womanly charm.. .. They are no mere drawing-room orchids:
they have the charm and fragrance of the wi l d rose.'I
Angl o- I ndi an novels have delineated the first t wo types
but generally i gnored the t hi r d. We should not forget also,
that many Engl i sh wives who are represented as goi ng
wr ong i n I ndi a wi l l go wr ong anywhere, and that often
their foolishness is interpreted as sin by jealous husbands
and scandal-mongers. There are few novels in Angl o-
I ndi an fi ct i on more poignant i n their pathos t han Mr s.
Perrin' s The Woman in the Bazaar, showi ng how the
tragedies of Angl o- I ndi an married life mi ght be averted
i f the husbands had a l i t t l e more understanding of the
feelings and difficulties of their wives i n I ndi a, and coul d
learn to l ook upon their mistakes a l i t t l e more charitably.
I f they remembered the prayer of Rafella,
Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone;
Still support and comfort me,
many an Engl i sh home in I ndi a mi ght be happier than it is.
I But in Our Lives, p. 171.
CHAP T E R I I
M E A D O WS T A Y L O R A N D O T H E R
PREDECESSORS OF K I P L I N G
8. Beginnings of Anglo-Indian fiction.
I
N D I A has fascinated Eur ope since t i me i mmemor i al .
F r o m very early times she has been l ooked upon as a l and
of gol d and jewels, and of magic and marvels. For many
romancers i n the Mi ddl e Ages, I ndi a was a count r y f or the
exercise of ri ot ous i magi nat i on. Before Vasco da Gama
discovered the Cape rout e to I ndi a, European knowl edge
of I ndi a was deri ved f r om scattered references i n the classics
or the wi l d i magi ni ngs of the fabulist. The Elizabethan
travellers not onl y described the marvels of I ndi a but also
dr ew at t ent i on to the ' great profi t e' that was ' t o be made
w i t h the commodi t i es of this count r y' .
1
I n Tamburlaine,
Ma r l owe gave expression t o that gl amour wi t h wh i c h the
tales of the travellers had invested the East. Cosroe is
pained and 'resolves' i nt o tears because
Men from the farthest equinoctial line
Have swarmed in troops i nt o the Eastern India,
Lading their ships wi t h gold and precious stones,
And made their sports from all our provinces.
(Tamburlaine, I. I.)
Tambur l ai ne i s not prepared t o sell the meanest soldier i n
his t r ai n f or ' A l l t he gol d i n Indi a' s weal t hy arms' . Shake
speare describes the Fi el d of the Cl ot h of Go l d i n the
f ol l owi ng t er ms:
and t omorrow they
Made Britain Indi a; every man that stood
Show' d like a mine. (Henry VIII, I. I.)
I n the seventeenth century, t hough I ndi a was s t i l l cl ot hed
i n the gl or y of distance and was ' a gr and poet i cal dream' ,
1
Hakluyt.
32 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
she began to lose some of her romance. Sir Thomas
Br owne speaks of the disadvantages of investment i n the
East I ndi a Company. Evel yn gives a glimpse of the
' nabob' of the next century i n the pompous East I ndi a
merchant of his t i me ; so does Dr yde n i n the character
o f Sir Ma r t i n Mar al l . But i t was not t i l l the eighteenth
cent ur yt i l l after the victories of Cl i vet hat Engl and
began to see something of real I ndi a, and the foundations
of Angl o- I ndi an f i ct i on were l ai d.
The magnificence and weal t h of the Angl o- I ndi ans,
t hei r eccentricities and vul gari t i es, first attracted the atten
t i o n of the publ i c and wri t ers i n Engl and i n 1772, the f i r st
year of Hastings' s Governor-General shi p, when Foot e
produced The Nabob, a play pi ct ur i ng the discomfiture
of Sir Mat t hew Mi t e , a returned Angl o- I ndi an. I n 1773
there appeared a satirical poem, The Nabob, or Asiatic
Plunderers. In 1780 was published Intrigues of a Nabob,
by N. F. Thompson.
1
A b o u t 1785 Mackenzie satirized
the nabobs i n the person of Mr s . Mus hr oom. I n the
same year there appeared a book in f our volumes ent i t l ed
Anna, or Memoirs of a Welsh Heiress, Interspersed with
Anecdotes of a Nabob.
The Disinterested Nabob, a Novel, is ment i oned by M r . R.
Sencourt,
2
and may be regarded as the first Angl o- I ndi an
novel so far known. 1789 saw the publ i cat i on of Hartly
House, whi c h, t hough described as a novel , is ' the first
j our nal wr i t t e n by a woman for her friends i n Engl and' .
3
Sophia Gol dbor ne, an empty-headed Engl i sh g i r l , wri t es
an account of her l i fe of magnificence i n I ndi a t o Arabel l a,
wh o m she pities on account of her humbl e duties and
modest pleasures. Calcutta women are shown as spending
f our or fi ve thousand pounds over t hei r shoppi ng i n a
mor ni ng. For several years thereafter we have no record
of any novel dealing wi t h I ndi a. I n 1811, Miss Sydney
Owenson, later Lady Mor gan, publ i shed The Missionary,
1
Lounger, No. 17.
2
India in English Literature, p. 210.
3
I b i d . , p. 217.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 33
an I ndi an tale in three vol umes. She is the aut hor of English
Homes in India (1828), whi c h depicts the l i fe of An g l o -
Indi ans.
9. W. B. Hockley.
Mor e i mpor t ant t han Mi ss Owenson i s the name of
W. B. Hockl ey of the Bombay Ci v i l Service wh o had, by
1828, publ i shed three interesting books of fi ct i on, al l
dealing wi t h Hi n d u l i f e : Pandurang Hari: or Memoirs of
a Hindoo (1826), Tales of the Zenana (1827), and The English
in India (1828). Hockl ey' s reput at i on chiefly rests on
Pandurang Hari. It purport s to be a free translation of an
I ndi an document placed i n the author' s hand by a Hi n d u
of the Deccan. Pandurang Hari is the story of a young
adventurer of noble b i r t h , t o l d i n the first person. I t s
i mport ance i s not due t o its art, whi c h i s crude, but
to the fact that it served as a model f or Meadows Tayl or' s
more famous book, The Confessions of a Thug.
The pl ot of Pandurang Hari is simple. Pandurang Ha r i
(later Prince Jeoba) is f ound as a deserted orphan by a
Mahrat t a of some consequence and taken care of by h i m.
He learns his fi rst lessons i n treachery and cor r upt i on
there, and nar r owl y misses bei ng hanged. He next serves
i n t he army of Juswant Rao Hol kar wh o was f i ght i ng
Scindiah. The aut hor i nci dent al l y gives an i nt erest i ng
descri pt i on of Mahrat t a forces:
'Saddles were always slipping off for want of girths; strings,
fastened to any ol d pieces of i r on by way of bits, supplied
bridles; ol d turbans served for martingales and tent ropes for
cruppers. A most villanous medley of every clumsy shift under
the sun was seen on all hands. The infantry were just as
wretchedly accoutred as the cavalry; everything was wanting
and nothing regular.' (p. 43.)
Af t er the death of his pat r on and the defeat of Hol ka r he
becomes Gossein at the suggestion of an o l d i mpost or
Gabbage Gousala wh o is no other t han his treacherous
uncle, and is robbed of al l he possessed. He t hen serves
D
34 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
as a peon in Bombay, but being implicated in a conspiracy
t o murder the Topee-Walla treasurer is, by way of puni sh
ment, ferried across the water to the Mahratta count ry.
In Bombay Nusr oo, a bul l ock-dri ver, befriends hi m.
Nusroo' s conception of the East I ndi a Company is
amusi ng:
' He said that according to some accounts he had heard the
Company was an old Englishwoman, aunt to the Ki ng of the
Topee-Wallas, and that she had got so much money as might
buy the whole worl d were she not over-anxious to have our
country first.' (p. 60.)
Pandurang's l i fe, in short, is a series of unfortunate adven
tures. Ver y often his plans are upset by his uncle, who
di d not know that Pandurang was his nephew. Mor e than
once he loses his l i ber t y; more than once his life is in
danger, but in the end he successfully overcomes al l
obstacles. He manages t o wi n the hand of Sagoonah,
finds his long-lost father, and is recognized as the heir to
the Musnud of Sattarah.
Pandurang Hari is a poor wo r k of art. It s pl ot is r ambl i ng,
the characters are ill-defined, and the series of dramatic
coincidences i r r i t at i ng. Yet it is a remarkably fai t hful
sketch of Mahratta life at the begi nni ng of the nineteenth
century. The posi t i on of the Gosseins, the enormous
influence they wi el ded dur i ng the rei gn of Bajee Rao,
their cri mi nal activities, the description of the robbers'
cave, the life and admi ni st rat i on of cities l i ke Poona and
Sattarah, the posi t i on of the Engl i sh, the pol i t i cal condi
t i on of the Deccan, the r i val r y of Scindiah and Hol kar ,
the mode of t ravel l i ng and the dangers of travel on account
of Pindarees, thugs, and robbers, are al l wel l and faithfully
described.
Hockley' s Tales of the Zenana,or A Nawab's Leisure Hours
is in some respects a better book than Pandurang Hari. It is
a collection of wi t t y tales whi ch the author had heard f r om
his servants. They are wor ked up i n the style of the
Arabian Nights.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 35
10. Scott's 'The Surgeon's Daughter'.
Contemporaneous wi t h the publ i cat i on of Hockl ey' s
Tales of the Zenana, Sir Wal t er Scott, one of the greatest
masters of romant i c fiction, published his romance The
Surgeon's Daughter. In comparison wi t h Scott's other wel l -
k n o wn novels, it is no better than a cheap melodrama,
r ambl i ng and ill-constructed. But The Surgeon's Daughter
s t i l l deserves close study. It shows how Scott's imagina
t i on was fired by I ndi a, ' the true place for a Scot to t hr i ve
i n ' . In the preface to the book he tells us why he was
attracted by Indi a. In Indi a he coul d find 'as much shoot i ng
and stabbing' as ever t ook place in the wi l ds of the Hi g h -
lands ; there he coul d find rogues, ' that gallant caste of ad-
venturers who l ai d down their consciences at the Cape of
Good Hope as they went to Indi a, and f or got to take t hem
up again when they returned' . I ndi a also was the l and
of great exploits where ' the most wonder f ul deeds' were
done ' by the least possible means, that perhaps the annals
of the wo r l d can afford' . He had read and enjoyed Orme' s
History of Military Transactions of the British Nation in
Indostan (1763) and he regarded the European adventurers
of the eighteenth century as demigods. The romance of
I ndi a, ' the various religious costumes, habits, and manners
of the people of Hi ndost ant he patient Hi ndoo, the
warl i ke Rajpoot, the haughty Mosl emah, the savage
and vi ndi ct i ve Mal ay' , gri pped hi m, and t hough he had
never been to I ndi a and knew not hi ng at al l about Indians,
he undert ook to wr i t e this romance of I ndi a at the sugges
t i on of some of his friends and relations who had seen I ndi a :
' Like the imitative operatives of Paisley,' he says, ' I have
composed my shawl by incorporating into the woof a l i t t l e
Thibet wool , which my excellent friend and neighbour, Colonel
MacErries, one of the best fellows who ever tried a Highland
moor or dived into an Indian jungle, had the goodness to
supply me wi t h. '
2
1
Mr. Croftangry's Preface, xvi i i .
2
Mr. Croftangry's Conclusion, p. 152,
36 MEADOWS T AYL OR A N D OTHER
The pl ot of this story i s melodramatic. Meni e Gray, the
beautiful daughter of a Scotch surgeon, is decoyed to I ndi a
by her treacherous l over, Ri chard Middlemass, who, i n the
hope of bei ng made a governor, intends t o sell her t o
T i ppoo Sultan, or, i n the wor ds of the Swiss adventuress
Madame Mont r evi l l e, t o present her t o h i m 'as a l i l y f r om
Frangistan to pl ant wi t h i n the recesses of the secret garden
of his pleasures'. A devoted l over rescues her. The mai n
characters are of the usual type wi t h Scott. Ri chard
Middlemass is al l wickedness, as A d a m Hart l ey is al l
faithfulness. Miss Gray belongs to the usual class of
Scott's heroinesa pi nk and whi t e maiden wi t hout
judgement. Hai dar A l i is represented as just by perhaps
pol i t i cal considerations, but by temperament ' his bl ood
is as unr ul y as ever beat under a black ski n' . ' H a k i m, ' he
says, addressing the fai t hful Hart l ey, ' t hou shalt r et ur n
wi t h the Fer i ngi woman, and wi t h gol d t o compensate her
i nj ur i esDo t hou say t o t hy nat i on, Hyder A l i acts j ust l y. '
Apar t f r om pl ot and characterization the ' atmosphere'
of the story deserves at t ent i on. In Hi l l ar y, Scott paints a
t ype of I ndi an swaggerer wh o m he knew wel l . He was
aware of the unscrupulousness of the Company and its
servants. The scandals connected wi t h recrui t ment of
servants f or the Company and ' the bl azi ng promises
by whi c h I ndi a had mesmerized the brains of young
Bri t i shers'
1
f i nd a v i v i d port rai t ure i n this novel . There
are references to Engl i shmen smoki ng the hookah, to
duels and t o the behaviour of ' the mets and quincepigs' on
an I ndi aman who made the voyage of Engl i sh gi rl s comi ng
t o I ndi a very uncomfortable by t hei r habi t of rude staring.
Scott is at his best in describing the splendour of I ndi an
scenery, the strange t error and fascination of our jungles
and the blaze of the princely procession as it passed
t hr ough the bazaars of Seringapatam. The meet i ng of
Prince T i ppoo wi t h the Begum i s described wi t h Scott' s
usual vi gour and eye f or picturesque details.
2
1
R. Sencourt, p. 323.
2
The Surgeon's Daughter, ch. xIv.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 37
11. Dickens and India.
Unl i ke Scott, Dickens was never attracted by Indi a. He
was pre-eminently a novelist of London, and was t oo
much of an Engl i shman t o t hi nk of Indi a. But even t hen
I ndi a had become so i mport ant in the nineteenth century
that i t coul d not be altogether i gnored. In maki ng Jonas
Chuzzlewit the secretary of the Angl o-Bengal i Di s i n
terested Loan Company, Dickens, l i ke Thackeray, satirizes
the format i on of bogus companies by means of whi ch
many Jonas Chuzzlewits exploited the ignorant. Thi s
company was a bogus concern engineered by Ti g g
Mont ague and Da vi d Cri mpl e, wi t h a paid capital of ' a
t wo and as many noughts after it as the pri nt er can get
i n a l i ne' . It was typical of many fraudulent companies
whi ch robbed the publ i c before the i nt r oduct i on of protec
t i ve legislation. In Dombey and Son there is a reference to
the l ong distance between Engl and and Indi a. Li t t l e Paul
asks his sister Florence:
' "Floy, where 's India, where that boy's friends live?"
"Oh, i t ' s a long, long distance off."
"Weeks off?" asked Paul.
"Yes, dear. Many weeks' journey, night and day." ' (ch. vi i i . )
Heari ng this Paul feels that if Florence went to Indi a, he
woul d die. In Little Dor r i t Dickens refers to Indi a as a
place where governesses l i ke Miss Wade hoped to have a
good t i me. Miss Wade tells us that her mistress delighted
' t o expatiate on the style i n whi ch we were t o l i ve i n
Indi a, and on the establishment we should keep, and the
company we should entertain' , when the nephew of the
family rose t o an i mpor t ant posi t i on i n Indi a. In David
Copperfieldwe learn that the young husband of Betsey Tr ot -
wood went t o Indi a and there rode an elephant al ong wi t h
a ' baboon' , whi ch i n the opi ni on of Da vi d Copperfield was
a mistake for a baboo, or a begum. Jack Mai den, the
needy and idle cousin of Mr s . St rong, who went t o I ndi a
is l ooked upon by young Da vi d as a modern Sindbad.
3 8 M E A D O W S T A Y L O R A N D O T H E R
He is pictured as the bosom friend of al l the Rajahs in the
East, si t t i ng under canopies, smoki ng curly gol den pipes
a mi l e l ong.
12. Thackeray and India.
Thackeray was bor n in Calcutta and had Angl o- I ndi an
bl ood i n his veins. He remembered the land of his bi r t h
and, as is wel l known, introduced it in his novels. But he
has not wr i t t en any real novel of Indi a, wi t h the exception
of a burlesque entitled Some passages in the Life of Major
Gahagan, whi ch is now known as The Tremendous Adventures
of Major Gahagan (1838). Maj or Gol i ah Gahagan,I who
t hi nks himself a man of supernatural beauty and extra-
ordi nary bravery, relates, quite in the style of the Baron
Munchausen, his celebrated I ndi an adventures whi ch
carried his fame even to the ears of Napol eon. Most of the
I ndi an characters in the book are either cruel and cowardl y
or treacherous. Dows unt R ow Scindiah is represented
as a cruel and barbarous chieftain; Zubberdas Kha n is
' a ruthless Afghan soldier' who put out the eyes of Shah
A l l u m; Ghor um Sang is a treacherous servant of Maj or
Gahagan; and al l I ndi an ladies are hor r i bl y ugl y and
faithless. The Maj or is a burlesque of those desperate
adventurers who, fi ndi ng Engl and t oo hot for t hem,
sought the golden sands of the East to repair their fortunes.
T hey were often the refuse of Engl i sh respectability.
W i t h the exception of a reference to Bengal Hurkaru, a
1
In an article, ' T he Real Maj or Gahagan' {Calcutta Review, 1891, p. 20
et seq.), it is poi nt ed out , that Wi l l i a m Linnaeus Gardner, a man who ' di d
his wo r k wi t h calmness and reticence, wai t i ng patiently for his oppor t u-
nities, and content to l i ve and die undecorated' , was the or i gi nal of Maj or
Gahagan, who engraved his honours on his vi si t i ng cards and i nformed
the publ i c of his conversations wi t h Royal t y and his feats in l ove and war.
' L i ke his fictitious representative, our hero was a t al l and brave wi el der
of the sabre, wh o raised and commanded a body of Irregul ar "Hor s e".
L i ke Gahagan, he bearded the truculent H ol ka r in his durbar-tent, and
wo n the l ove of a dusky princess of nd. ' But wi t h these circumstances the
resemblance ends; for whi l e Thackeray' s hero was a braggart and a
swaggerer, our o wn Angl o- I ndi an Maj or was a ' modest, r et i r i ng gentle-
man, wi t h an almost mor bi d hatred of self-assertion'.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 39
newspaper, there is not much local col our. The siege of
Fut t yghur , where the Maj or performs prodigies of val our,
i s i nt roduced onl y t o illustrate the supernormal prowess of
that gallant officer. The nature of a burlesque requires
some amount of exaggeration, but Thackeray, who has
gi ven t o Engl i sh literature its greatest burlesque i n
Rebecca and Rowena, here shocks the reader by the very
grotesqueness of his characters and situations.
In his famous Engl i sh novels Vanity Fair, The New-
comes, and Pendennis, Thackeray has created a few Angl o-
I ndi an characters who even to this day remain as models for
Angl o- I ndi an wri t ers to copy. Joseph Sedley, the fat and
vai n Collector of Boggl ey Wol l ah' a f i ne, lonely, marshy,
j ungl y di st ri ct , famous for snipe-shooting and where not
unfrequently you may flush a tiger' is a skit on I ndi an c i vi l
servants of the days of Barwel l and Hol we l l . Though
Sedley ran away f r om Brussels whi l e the battle of Wat er l oo
was ragi ng, he boasts of his bravery on his r et ur n to I ndi a
and is dubbed Wat er l oo Sedley. Col onel Jack Al t amont ,
a man wi t h very black hair and whiskers, wi t h t wi nkl i ng
eyelashes, and a thousand wri nkl es in his red-coloured
face, is a representative of the unscrupulous adventurers of
the early days of the East I ndi a Company. He is an escaped
convi ct who had been sentenced t o t ransport at i on for
f or gi ng his father-in-law' s name. He pretends to be a
Col onel i n the service of the Nawab of Luc know and lives
part l y on his gains at the gami ng table and part l y on money
whi c h he obtains by bl ackmai l . James Bi nni e is a sym-
pathetic por t r ai t of an I ndi an c i vi l servant who retires
after t went y- t wo years' service. He is unl i ke the ' nabob
of books and t r adi t i on' who, Thackeray tells us, i s no
l onger t o be f ound:
'He is neither as wealthy nor as wicked as the jaundiced
monster of romances and comedies, who purchases the estates
of broken-down English gentlemen, wi t h rupees tortured out
of bleeding rajahs, who smokes a hookah in public, and in
private carries about a guilty conscience, diamonds of untold
40 MEADOWS TAYLOR AND OTHER
value, and a diseased l i ver; who has a vulgar wife, wi t h a
retinue of black servants whom she maltreats, and a gentle son
and daughter wi t h good impulses and an imperfect education,
desirous to amend their own and their parents' lives.' (Tie
Newcomes, ch. vi i i . )
T he onl y I ndi an character i n Thackeray' s novels wh o
deserves ment i on i s R ummun L o l l . He i s a r i ch merchant
of l o w or i gi n and doubt f ul honesty. I n Engl and he passes
as Hi s Excellency R ummun L o l l , otherwise his Highness
R ummun L o l l , the chief pr opr i et or of the D i a mond Mines
at Gol conda, wi t h a cl ai m of three mi l l i ons and a hal f upon
the East I ndi a Company. He smokes his hookah and t o
please h i m many E ngl i s h gentlemen make themselves sick
by pul l i ng at i t . D oc t or Mc g u f f o g , Thackeray humorousl y
notes, had puffed his hookah ' in the hope of conver t i ng
Hi s Highness' , t i l l he was as ' black i n the face as the
i nt erest i ng I ndi an' . R ummun L o l l keeps betel leaves i n a
silver box. He i s l i oni zed by Engl i shmen and E ngl i sh-
women who, cr owdi ng r ound h i m and ' snuggl i ng' up t o
his Indi a-rubber face, listen to h i m 'as eagerly as Desde-
mona listened t o Ot hel l o' . Col onel Newcome, the beau
ideal of a gentleman, cannot conceal his contempt f or the
so-called prince and treats h i m wi t h scant courtesy. To
h i m, he i s ' a f el l ow wh o woul dn' t sit d o wn i n an officer's
presence' i n I ndi a, t hough later on the gallant Col onel i s
prepared t o become a Di r ect or of the Bundel cund Bank,
and invest t herei n the greater part of his fort une.
These port rai t s are dr awn by Thackeray in the exuber
ance of his creative power. They are in most cases mere
caricatures, but they show what he coul d have done f or
I ndi a had he, l i ke Ki p l i n g , ret urned t o the l and of his b i r t h
in his yout h. Thackeray left I ndi a as a chi l d, and whatever
he learnt later about I ndi a was f r om his relations or f r om
books. Hi s genius uses this deri ved knowl edge f or pur -
poses of art, but second-hand i nf or mat i on cannot take the
place of real experience, part i cul arl y i n dealing wi t h an
Eastern count ry l i ke I ndi a.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 41
A v i v i d picture of I ndi a about the begi nni ng of the
eighteenth century can be formed even f r om scattered
passages in The Newcomes and Vanity Fair. The voyage
f r om I ndi a t o Engl and, whi ch t ook eight months when
Gi ve Ne w come's mot her went t o Bengal, t ook onl y ' four
months and eleven days' when Cl i ve Newcome returned
t o Engl and.
1
Col onel Newcome i s l oved by his poor
relations for his generosity and his presents whi ch com
prise 'shawls, i vor y chessmen, scented sandalwood wor k-
boxes and ki ncob scarfs'. He is very r i ch and has ' fifty
servants'.
2
But he hi msel f lives 'as frugally as a Hi ndoo' .
Thackeray is familiar wi t h an I ndi an Brahmin' s house and
recollects ' the punkahs and the purdahs and tattys, and the
pret t y br own maidens wi t h great eyes, and great nose-
rings, and painted foreheads, and sl i m waists cased in
cashmere shawls, ki ncob scarfs, curl y slippers, gi l t trousers,
precious anklets and bangles',
3
and reveals the mystery of
Eastern existence (as understood by hi m) in the early part
of the nineteenth century. He has not onl y t r i ed t o catch
the magic of eastern existence, but he is ful l y conscious of
the pathos that lies bel ow the story of the Br i t i sh conquest
of I ndi a. 'Besides the splendour and conquest, the weal t h
and gl or y, the crowned ambi t i on, the conquered danger'
that fill official history, ' shoul d not ' , asks Thackeray, ' one
remember the tears t oo ?'
'Besides the lives of myriads of British men, conquering on
a hundred fields, from Plassy to Meeanee, and bathing them
cruore nostro: think of the women, and the tribute which they
perforce must pay to those victorious achievements. Scarce
a soldier goes to yonder shores but leaves a home and grief
in it behind hi m. The lords of the subject province find wives
there: but their children cannot live on the soil. The parents
bring their children to the shore, and part from them. The
family must be broken up. Keep the flowers of your home
beyond a certain time, and the sickening buds wither and die.
In America it is from the breast of a poor slave that a child
1
The NewcomeS, ch. i i i .
2
Ibid. , ch. v.
3
Ibid., ch. xxviii.
42 MEADOWS TAYLOR AND OTHER
is taken; in India it is from the wife, and from under the palace,
of a splendid proconsul.' (The Newcomes, ch. v.)
In passages l i ke the f ol l owi ng Thackeray also gives us a
glimpse of the humorous side of Angl o- I ndi an life. He
knows that there is no part of the wo r l d where ladies are
more fascinating than i n Br i t i sh Indi a.
'Perhaps the warmth of the sun kindles flames in the hearts
of both sexes which woul d probably beat quite coolly in their
native air; else why should Miss Brown be engaged ten days
after landing at Calcutta? or why should Miss Smith have half
a dozen proposals before she has been a week at the Station.
A nd it is not only bachelors on whom the young ladies confer
their affections; they wi l l take widowers without any difficulty.'
(The Newcomes, ch. v.)
In Vanity Fair we are t ol d that Gl or vi na had flirted al l the
way t o Madras wi t h the captain and chief mate of the
Ramchunder East Indi aman and, undismayed by fort y or
fifty previous defeats, she l ai d siege to the heart of Maj or
D obbi n. 'She sang I r i s h melodies at hi m unceasingly.'
She asked h i m frequently and pathetically, ' W i l l ye come
t o the bower?' Of course D o b b i n di d not go t o the bower,
but ' he went on r i di ng wi t h her and copyi ng music and
pl ayi ng at chess wi t h her submissively' . ' For ' , adds
Thackeray, ' i t is wi t h these simple amusements that some
officers in I ndi a are accustomed to whi l e away their
leisure moment s; whi l e others of a less domestic t ur n hunt
hogs, and shoot snipes, or gamble and smoke cheroots,
and betake themselves to brandy-and-water.'
13. Meadows Taylor.
Thackeray i s not an Angl o- I ndi an novelist of any out -
standing meri t . The most i mpor t ant wr i t er of the pre-
K i p l i n g peri od i n the hi st ory of Angl o- I ndi an f i ct i on i s
undoubt edl y Col onel Meadows Tayl or . Hi ms el f a r oman
t i c fi gure, he had ample opport uni t i es of comi ng i nt o close
contact wi t h native life and manners at the impressionable
age of fifteen. He was a di l i gent student of the Persian,
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 43
Mahr at t i , and Hi ndust ani languages. Hi ndust ani he
coul d speak, he says in the Story of My Life, ' l i ke a gentle
man' . Ver y few Engl i shmen i n I ndi a wo u l d understand
this remark, as the Hi ndust ani they learn to speak is often
the vul gar Hi ndust ani of i l l i t erat e servants or low-class
people. De l hi , Luc know, and Hyderabad (Deccan) are
the three centres where Hi ndust ani as gentlemen are sup-
posed to speak i t , may be learnt, and Tayl or was fortunate
enough t o secure a commi ssi on i n the army of the Ni zam
at Hyderabad t hr ough the agency of Sir Charles Metcalfe.
Th o u g h his romances are wr i t t en i n Engl i sh, he often
reproduces i n t hem the f l avour of cul t ured I ndi an con-
versation by usi ng proper forms of address and ori ent al
modes of expression. He enjoyed his life i n Hyderabad
and was f ond of mi xi ng wi t h the local gent ry. ' I was
often asked' , he says in his aut obi ography, ' t o sit d o wn
wi t h t hem, whi l e t hei r carpets were spread and t hei r
attendants br ought hookahs. ' The result of this free inter-
course wi t h I ndi an gentlemen was that he got an i nsi ght
i nt o I ndi an life such as is shown by few other wr i t er s.
Meadows Tayl or vi si t ed Engl and in 1838, just after his
recovery f r om a severe illness i n I ndi a. The whol e j ourney
t hr ough Persia, Ar abi a, and other countries t ook about
nine mont hs. Thi s vi s i t i s i mpor t ant because i t was i n
Engl and that he publ i shed his first famous book, Confessions
of a Thug (1839), whi c h l ai d the foundat i on of his l i t erary
career and br ought h i m i nt o publ i c notice. The suggestion
t o wr i t e the Confessions came f r om Sir Edwa r d Bul wer .
'He sent me wor d, ' says Taylor in his autobiography,
'that had he possessed any local knowledge of India or its
people, he woul d wri t e a romance on the subject; why di d
I not do so? I pondered over this advice, and hence my novel,
"Confessions of a Thug". ' (The Story of My Life, p. 73.)
The subject of Thuggee had always fascinated h i m. He
had gi ven much t i me t o its study and speaks of i t as ' the
offspring of fatalism and superstition, cherished and
perfected by the wi l dest excitement that ever ur ged human
44 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
beings to deeds at whi ch humani t y shudders'.
1
He had
assisted Col onel Sleeman in his investigations and the
disclosures of Col onel Sleeman in 1832 had startled the
whol e ci vi l i zed wo r l d . The Confessions appeared at an
opport une moment and Meadows Tayl or suddenly f ound
hi msel f famous.
Thi s book stands apart f r om the rest of his wo r k , not
onl y i n the nature of its subject, but also i n the manner
of its narrat i on. It s art is the result of its apparent artless-
ness. It is a simple tale of what actually happened as t ol d
by one of the exponents of Thuggee himself, vi t al i zed by
great force of i magi nat i on and vividness of description.
Ameer A l i , the central fi gure of the book, was a real T h u g
examined by Meadows Tayl or. Hi s Confessions were
st art l i ng, ' a strange and hor r i bl e page in the varied record
of humani t y' .
2
Tayl or lets h i m speak, apparently fasci
nated by the remarkable man, the perpetrator of hundreds
of murders, wh o t hi nks of his past deeds wi t h pleasure
and satisfaction; who glories i n describing the minutest
particulars of his vi ct i ms and his share in t hei r destruction.
Ameer A l i is a 'Bhula Admee', a ' most devout man in his
l i fe and conduct ' , who has said nimaz five times a day f r om
his yout h. Wi t ha l he is a murderer, one
'before whom every murderer of the known worl d, in times
past or present, except perhaps some of his own profession
the free bands of Germany, the Lanzknechts, the Banditti, the
Condottieri of Italy, the Buccaneers and Pirates, and in our own
time the fraternity of Burkes and Hares (a degenerate system of
Thuggee, by the by, at which Ameer A l i . . . laughed heartily,
and said they were sad bunglers)must be counted men of
small account.' (Confessions, p. 264.)
Ameer A l i is essentially human. He loves fine dresses and
good f ood, the excitement of war, and adventure. He i s
a passionate l over, a devoted son and a l ovi ng father,
whose onl y regret is that havi ng some seven hundred
and nineteen murders to his credit he di d not reach four
1
Confessions of a Thug, p. 264.
2
Ibid. , p. 262.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 45
figures. He admires Cheetoo, ' a fine l ooki ng man and a
gallant leader'. He i s pr oud of havi ng been received by
h i m as a sirdar. He praises his justice and his horseman-
ship and knows h o w t o f l at t er hi m.
The Confessions is a book by i t sel f and has no connexi on
wi t h the several novels that f ol l owed i t . In the Confessions
Meadows Tayl or showed hi msel f as a great realistic painter
of Thuggee; i n the novels that f ol l ow he i s the chronicler of
the romance of I ndi an hi st ory. Hi s Tippoo Sultan, publ i shed
i n 1840, i s the fi rst of the hi st ori cal romances that have
made his name famous as the Scott of I ndi a. Hi s romances
show the influence of the great master. He learnt the art of
re-creating the past in the school of Scott who, as we have
seen, has hi msel f described the pageantry and picturesque-
ness of the gorgeous East in The Surgeon's Daughter. Tippoo
Sultan may be said to be a cont i nuat i on of The Surgeon's
Daughter, not onl y hi st ori cal l y but artistically. The met hod
i s the samethe mi ngl i ng of the real wi t h the ideal human
type against a hi ghl y romant i c backgr ound. The difference
i s due t o Scott's unfami l i ari t y wi t h I ndi a and Indians.
Meadows Tayl or knows his I ndi a as very few wri t ers had
k n o wn her before h i m. Nat ur al l y there i s more of I ndi a
in Tippoo Sultan t han in The Surgeon's Daughter. Scott
selects that per i od of the hi st ory of Mysor e when Hai dar
A l i was st i l l l i v i n g ; Meadows Tayl or deals wi t h the per i od
subsequent t o Hai dar Al i ' s death. Scott knows the
president of the counci l at Madras, ' an able and active but
unconscientious man' , who carried on mysterious i n -
trigues wi t h the natives t hr ough his Dubash, the not ori ous
Paupiah; he also knows the beautiful adventuress, the
Begum Mont r evi l l s . But he does not know any I ndi an
except Barak-el-Hadij, wh o is sl i ght l y dr awn. Scott' s
i magi nat i on can help h i m t o conjure up I ndi an scenes but
not I ndi an characters. Scott has no character to show l i ke
Ab d u l Rhyman Kha n, the kni ght l y Mussul man nobl e wh o ,
havi ng t wo wives l i v i n g , marries a t h i r d , the beautiful
Ameena. No r has Scott any such scenes, peculiarly I ndi an,
46 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
l i ke the crossing of the Toombuddr a at ni ght or the
reception of Ameena by the t wo wives of the Kha n,
Kummoobee and Hurmut bee. Scott easily surpasses
Tayl or i n the description of scenes l i ke the Sultan's
Dur bar , or the movement of armies and the clash of
arms, but the intimate knowl edge of the zenankhana of
a Mohammedan nobleman of the eighteenth century is
obvi ousl y the result of experience gained on the spot.
The ol d Kha n i s thus greeted by his t wo wives when they
learn that he has got a t h i r d :
' " I l l - condi t i oned! " cried Kummoobee, " Al l a, Alla, a man
who has no shamea man who is perjureda man, who is
less than a man, a poor, pi t i ful , unblest coward! Yes," she
exclaimed, her voice rising wi t h her passion as she proceeded,
"a namurd ! a fellow who has not the spirit of a flea, to dare to
come into the presence of women who, Inshalla! are daughters
of men of family ! to dare to approach us, and tell us that he
has come, and brought wi t h hi m a vile womanan unchaste."'
( vol . i , p. 295.)
Herbert Compt on and Casim A l i are idealized types of
Engl i sh and I ndi an heroes. Jaffur is the typical scoundrel
of romance and has his counterpart in Paupiah.
I n the imaginative representation of historical events
Meadows Tayl or i s an i mi t at or of Scott. Hi s description
of the attack on Travancore by T i ppoo is a masterpiece.
The port rai t of the ' Ti ger of Mysore' i s on convent i onal
lines. He is represented as a 'savage and merciless' man,
wh o delights i n spearing bul l s, and i n smearing the face
of the Brahmins wi t h bul l ' s bl ood.
1
'Sometimes he uttered the noblest and loftiest sentiments of
honouragain some frivolous or ridiculous idea woul d get
possession of his imagination and drive hi m into the commis-
sion of a thousand absurdities and terrible cruelties. It was
no uncommon thing to see beyond the precincts of the camp
a row of miserable Hindoos hanging upon trees, who had
defied the Sultan's efforts at conversion, and had preferred
death rather than change the religion of their fathers.'
2
1
Ch. xiv.
2
Ch. xxx.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 47
Tara is the most ambitious of Meadows Tayl or' s wor ks
and the f i r st of that gr oup of historical novels whi ch con-
stitute his famous t r i l ogy. It is his greatest book excepting
the Confessions. Ho w it was begun and planned is described
by the author hi msel f in The Story of My "Life.
' The incidents and actions of the story had been planned
for nearly twenty years; and I knew all the scenes and locali-
ties described, as I had the story in my mind during my visit
toBeejapoor and had noted the details accurately; while my long
residence in an entirely native State, and my intimate acquain-
tance wi t h the people, their manners, habits, and social organiza-
t i on, gave me opportunities, which I think few Englishmen
have ever enjoyed, of thoroughly understanding native life.'
(vol . i i , pp. 358-9.)
Tara was published in 1863, t hough planned t went y years
before. The result of this careful pl anni ng is seen in
the symmetry of its plot-structure. Tara, the wi dowed
daughter of Vyas Shastri and his wi fe Anunda, is dedicated
t o the goddess Ka l i . She i s carried off by Mo r o Tr i mmu l
and rescued by Fazi l , the gallant son of chivalrous Af z ool
Kha n, at the desecration of the temple at Tul j apoor. Af t er
the treacherous murder of Af z ool Kha n by Shivaji, Tara
again falls i nt o the clutches of Mo r o Tr i mmu l . I n order t o
save her honour she declares herself sati, but is saved in
the ni ck of t i me by Fazi l and his followers who carry her
off, slaying Mo r o Tr i mmu l . Tara i s then marri ed t o Fazi l .
Thi s i s the bare out l i ne of the mai n pl ot . But the book
is f ul l o f fascinating scenes, idealized men and women
and romant i c situations. Meadows Tayl or displays a
wonder f ul knowl edge of the domestic life of Hi ndus and
Mohammedans. Anunda i s a noble type of Hi n d u lady,
as Lurl ee Kha num is a nobl e type of Mosl em lady. Zyna,
the sister of Fazi l , i s beautifully dr awn. The vari et y of
characters is amazing. The sleek, avaricious Tul s i Dass
is an unscrupulous scribe at the Mo g u l cour t ; Pahar
Si ngh represents the independent freebooters of the t i me,
combi ni ng i n his person qualities of extreme dar i ng and
48 MEADOWS T AYL OR A N D OTHER
cruel t y; M o r o T r i mmu l combines the functions of a priest
and spy. He i s the vi l l a i n of the piece, A l i A d i l Shah, the
chivalrous K i n g of Bijapur, Shivaji, regarded wi t h super-
stitious awe by his fol l owers, and Af z ool Kha n are the chi ef
hi st ori cal fi gures of the novel . Bot h as gi vi ng the pol i t i cal
hi st ory of the t i me and as a pi ct ure of the life of the peri od
Tara wi l l l ong hol d a hi gh posi t i on among I ndi an hi st or i -
cal romances.
Ralph Darnell deals wi t h the rise of Br i t i sh power in
I ndi a and Clive' s famous vi ct or y of Plassey. The pl ot ,
whi c h i s part l y l ai d i n Engl and and part l y i n I ndi a, i s
simple. A gambl i ng, dr i nki ng nephew of an Engl i sh
baronet, wi t h the suspicion of i l l egi t i macy hangi ng around
h i m and disappointed i n l ove, i s abducted t o I ndi at he
happy hunt i ng- gr ound of pol i t i cal adventurers and a
dumpi ng- gr ound for al l undesirable relations. Ral ph
Dar nel l not onl y distinguishes hi msel f i n the accepted
style of Engl i sh heroes, but l i ke Esmond succeeds i n
clearing the mystery of his bi r t h and obt ai ni ng the cert i -
f i cat e of his mother' s marriage. I n this novel Meadows
Tayl or shows the influence of Thackeray to a marked
degree. Ral ph Dar nel l is a combi nat i on of the characters
of Esmond, Pendennis, and Col onel Newcome. Shuja-ud-
D owl a , ' a weak, sensual yout h' , is the wi cked nawab of
hi st ory. I n the career of the Af ghan orphan, Sozun, the
novel i st provides some elements of romance. The book
t hr ows some l i ght on the life of Engl i shmen i n I ndi a i n
the eighteenth century when ' the sudden transmission of
an obnoxious relative t o Hi s Majesty's plantations i n
Vi r gi ni a, or t o a fri end i n Calcutta, Madras, or Bombay
was by no means uncommon' .
1
Ral ph, wh o was not
squeamish, f ound i n the Engl i sh society of Calcutta ' harder
dr i nki ng, coarser swearing and deeper play t han he had
been accustomed t o, and a general tone of profligacy,
whi ch belonged to a l ower grade of society as it were' .
2
Seeta i s the t hi r d novel of the famous t r i l ogy. Behi nd
1
Ralph Darnell, p. 187.
2
Ibi d. , p. 219.
PREDECESSORS OF K I P L I N G 4 9
the romant i c marriage of the beautiful Hi n d u wi d o w t o
Cyr i l Brandon, the Collector of Noor poor , we listen t o
the distant rumbl i ngs of the Mu t i n y of 1857. Seeta is a
creation of romance; her very faithfulness and devot i on
t o the r el i gi on of her forefathers wo u l d make her marriage
t o Br andon i mprobabl e i n real l i fe. Furt her, Au n t El l a,
a hi de-bound Hi n d u wi d o w, not onl y tolerates but actually
helps i n the l ove-i nt ri gue. Aunt s of her type wo u l d
rather see their daughters or nieces dead t han marri ed
t o a Christian. Al l o wi n g for this fundamental error, the
character of Seeta is that of an idealized Hi n d u wi f e, a copy
of the character of her namesake of the Ramayana whi c h
i t i s the ambi t i on of every Hi n d u lady t o i mi t at e. She
dies saving her l o r d and husband, and she dies a Hi n d u in
spite of her marriage to a Christian and the ' good seed'
that Mr s . Pratt, the missionary, had sown i n her soul .
' There is good seed sown, my dear,' says Mr s . Pratt to
Grace one day, ' and it must germinate and g r o w: and I
shall be much mistaken i f i t does not . I am no mat ch f or
her i n metaphysics.'
1
Meadows Tayl or i s much t oo anxious
to see the ' good seed' germinate, and he regards Seeta as
onl y a type of thousands and thousands of her count r y-
men and count ry women wh o feel the t r ut h of Chri st i ani t y
and are afraid of t aki ng the ' fi nal pl unge' . The real interest
of the book does not l i e i n characterization ( t hough
Azarael Pande is a notable character) or in the pi ct ure
of the Mu t i n y , but i n the attitude of Engl i sh men and
women towards this marriage
2
and i n the ' spicy detail of
male and female doings and sayings' of this per i od.
1
Seeta, p. 295.
2
Seeta on its publ i cat i on seems to have gi ven serious offence to An g l o -
I ndi a. Meadows Tayl or , wh o belonged t o the genial Angl o- I ndi ans of
pr e- Mut i ny days, coul d not imagine that there was anyt hi ng wr o n g i n an
Engl i shman mar r yi ng an I ndi an g i r l . So many Engl i shmen i n the ei gh-
teenth century and the begi nni ng of the nineteenth century had mar r i ed
I ndi an gi rl s that such marriages, t hough not qui t e approved, were n o t
condemned. The marriage of a Resident at Hyderabad t o one of t he
princesses, whose daughter has been i mmor t al i zed by Carlyle in his Sartor
Resartus i n the person of Bl umi ne, must have been k n o wn t o Meadows
E
5 0 M E A D O W S T A Y L O R A N D O T H E R
Seeta is inferior to Tara in breadth of canvas as wel l as
i n general consistency and vi gour of conception. But i t
contains many passages of singular power and beauty.
The first chapter describing the ' wei r d conclave of dakaits
wi t h al l its eerie surroundings' i s wr i t t en i n the author' s
best style. Obvi ousl y Meadows Tayl or knows his robbers
and their haunts as wel l as he knows himself. The account
of a robbery commi t t ed in the house of Haree Dass, and
Seeta's vi si t to the Cow' s Mout h, are good examples of his
descriptive power.
In Tara Meadows Tayl or is at the height of his powers.
Ralph Darnell and Seeta show signs of exhaustion.
A Noble Queen is the last of the historical novels of
Meadows Tayl or. It describes the court-life and heroic
career of the noble queen, Chand Bi bi , who reigned in the
Taylor. The subject is discussed in the book itself. L ord Hyl ton writes
to Cyril Brandon:
'The person who lives with you under the form of marriage you have
patched up may be as beautiful and accomplished as Noormahal; but . . .
from my heart I wish you had never seen her. She could never take her
place as your wife here and the idea of recognising such a person as Seeta
as a member of our old family is, as you must see yourself on reflection,
perfectly absurd and impossible.'
L ord Hyl ton, who sees in his brother a successor to the title, naturally
regards this marriage as 'absurd and impossible'. He cannot imagine
a H i ndu widow occupying the seat of Lady Hylton. He objects to
it on the ground of the prestige of the ancient family. The attitude
of Anglo-India after the Muti ny is different. T he reviewer of Seeta
in the Calcutta Review (1873) regards such marriages as 'doubtful
and dangerous'. He cannot understand why English civilians and
military officers should marry natives, when the 'maids of merry England
and the lassies of Bonnie Scotland are willing to share wi th us our joys
and sorrows in the East'. Another writer in the Calcutta Review for 1879,
discussing the probability of Meadows Taylor's characters, says 'Taras and
Seetas, it need scarcely be mentioned, are absolutely never to be met with in
Anglo-Indian drawing-rooms or boudoirs, and it dear interesting A unt
Ella herself, wi th her wearyful beads, short petticoats, and long staff, were
to apply for an ayah's place in one of the nurseries of Chowringhee, her
merits would have small chance of being recognised'. What has A unt
Ella's inability to find employment in Chowringhee to do wi th the
probability of Meadows Taylor's characters ? T he writer is obviously
offended with him because he not only marries Cyril Brandon to an Indian
woman, but makes her so beautiful and good!
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 51
sixteenth century. The character of Do n Di ego, the
Portuguese priest and adventurer, is carefully dr awn, and
the same idealism t hat characterizes Tayl or ' s other books
fi nds expression i n this also.
Meadows Tayl or i s one of those few wri t ers wh o have
t r i ed to depict I ndi a as she is. Before h i m the European
concept i on of the East i n general and of I ndi a i n part i cul ar,
as i l l ust rat ed in l i t erat ure, was extremely vague and oft en
extravagantly l udi crous. Beckford' s Vathek, Southey's
Love of Kama, Moor e' s Lalla Rookh are instances in poi nt .
' The ori ent of these wr i t er s' , as Professor Du n n has said,
'was no more eastern, t han was Horace Wal pol e' s residence
at St rawbury H i l l a Got hi c st ruct ure. ' I Before Meadows
Tayl or , as we have seen, W. B. Hockl ey t r i ed t o gi ve a
realistic pi ct ure of I ndi a i n his t wo novels Pandurang Hari
and Tales of the Zenana. Meadows Tayl or in his preface
t o the Confessions acknowledges the merits of Hockl ey' s
wo r k . He belongs t o the school of Hockl ey and Mor i e r
i n his f i r st book. I n his later books the tendency t o idealism
and romance is mor e pr omi nent . The realism t hat is such
a pr omi nent feature of the Confessions is confined to mi nor
characters and presentation of I ndi an manners and customs
i n his hi st ori cal romances.
I t w i l l always be a matter of controversy as t o whi c h of
the t wo classes of storiesthe realistic Confessions, or the
idealistic romancesis better. It i s oft en a matter of taste.
Some l i ke realism, others romance. Ac c or di ng to Professor
Oat en the fame of Meadows Tayl or rests ' not on the
Confessions of a Thug, whi c h, t hough it first br ought h i m
fame, stands ent i rel y apart f r om the rest of his wo r k , but
upon the series of splendid hi st ori cal tales whi c h he
subsequently wr ot e' .
2
Mr . Sencourt, on the other hand,
preferri ng the Confessions, says: ' A certain convent i onal i t y
of romant i c style, a tendency to false effects, and an
incapacity t o make adventure really exci t i ng or absorbi ng,
1
Dunn, Calcutta Review, 1918, p. 27.
2
Oaten, Anglo-Indian Literature, p. 146.
52 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
prevent these wor ks f r om reaching the level of the
Confessions of a Thug, whi c h is si mpl y a record of fact filled
i n by i magi nat i on and description t i l l i t attains the v i v i d -
ness o f l i f e. '
1
I t wi l l be clear even t o a casual student that
artistically Tayl or' s hi st ori cal romances are i nferi or to the
Confessions. The pl ot of the romances is generally loose
and leisurely and characterization is idealized at the cost
of t r ut h. Such beautiful and vi r t uous women as Tara and
Seeta have always existed in I ndi a, but they woul d not have
behaved as they di d, particularly in the age to whi c h they
belonged. Tara, who i s dedicated t o Ka l i and who offers
to become sati, may wed a Mohammedan gallant who saves
her. But such marriages are not common. The effect is as
bad as i t wo u l d be i f Scott were t o marry Rebecca t o
Ivanhoe. The marriage of Seeta t o Cyr i l Brandon i s st i l l
more i mprobabl e. Seeta is a H i n d u wi d o w and very
religious. If Tara' s marriage is i mprobabl e, Seeta's is
almost impossible. O ur objection to this marriage is not
l i ke that of the Engl i sh reviewers who object t o mi xed
marriages on grounds of prestige. Our obj ect i on i s on
the gr ound of i mpr obabi l i t y.
14. Other novelists, 1 834-53.
The novels of Angl o- I ndi an life wr i t t en dur i ng 1834-53
generally ai m at depi ct i ng not so much I ndi an as A n g l o -
I ndi an society. A novel published anonymously in 1834,
and ent i t l ed The Baboo and Other Tales combines a satire
on the baboo wi t h a v i v i d description of the society
and manners of Engl i shmen i n Calcutta. A wr i t er i n
the Calcutta Review, 1908, attributes it to M r . August us
Prinsep. The Baboo, Br i j mohun Bonurjea, wh o i s the
vi l l ai n of the piece, i s not so i mpor t ant , nor i s the pl ot
remarkable; the story revolves r ound the l ove of the
orphaned Eva El dr i dge for Captain Forester, who i s mar-
ri ed to a beautiful Mohammedan Begum, Di l af r oz. As a
picture of Calcutta society, of its scandals and dissipations,
1
Robert Sencourt, India in English Literature, p. 396.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 53
the book i s praiseworthy. One of the fi nest chapters i n
the book i s ' T h e Baboo At Home' . The t wo other mi nor
tales, Calebs the Younger and A Man of Sentiment in the
Mofussil, describe the life of assistants in Calcutta and the
Muffasil, and are meant to show ' the contrasts society in
I ndi a presents, and the effects of local posi t i on on t wo
similar characters'.
1
Anglo-India (1840) is a col l ect i on of papers, tales and
fiction. The Scribbleton Papers is an amusing record of
Miss Scribbleton' s experiences i n I ndi a, i n the f or m
of letters t o a friend i n Engl and. Mor e interesting t han
the mai n theme is a letter of Mr s . Scribbleton, whose
ingenuous comments t hr ow a fl ood of l i ght on the I ndi a
of those days.
' And though they call the place a settlement. . . . I never
was so unsettled in all my life.' (p. 133.)
She has a ' f r i t e' to see so many blacks and al l almost
naked. She finds the Engl i shmen in Madras very pr oud
and ' mi ght y genteel' .
' But l ord, ma'am,' she writes, 'what fine dinners they give
here! and such quality hours ! they never sit down to dinner
before eight.' (p. 135.)
She feels disgusted at the waste of things at dinners where
not hal f nor a quarter of the things were touched, and her
heart seems to break when she finds that a ' sur l yn' of
beef'a matter of fourteen l bs. ' was
' al l eat up by the parry-ahssome veracious wi l d animals I
suppose, for they devoured all that was left, though it would
have served for a dozen people', (p. 135.)
She coul d not eat anyt hi ng f or several days because of the
black hands of her servants, bakers, and cooks :
'yet my husband says, the hands of the natives are as clean if
not cleaner than ours; now how can that be, for they are black
as sut?' (p. 136.)
1
The Baboo and Other Tales, Preface.
54 MEADOWS T AYL OR A N D OTHER
L i ke many Engl i shwomen even of to-day she feels aghast at
the number of servants everybody keeps here, and she
refers t o M r . Singleton, who had nearly fi ft y of t hem. One
t hi ng, however, that gives her pleasure is that it is not
necessary
'to lock up tea and sugar here, for the black servants never
eat any thing we do. Their religion wi l l not permit them' .
Mr s . Scribbleton is a dear creature.
The Indigo Planters is an i l l umi nat i ng record of the days
when i ndi go plantations were a coveted possession. The
t wo Hyssop brothers, ' t i nct ured wi t h the hate so often
i ndul ged by the vul gar classes of Europeans against the
Hi ndoo' , legally r ob Rutnab of the large paddy tract on
whi ch he had spent considerable sums, and p u l l down a
temple dedicated to a goddess. E ven the passive Hi ndus,
'those creatures of endurance',
1
are roused, and the Hys-
sops save themselves wi t h di ffi cul t y.
Confessions of An Eurasian is sad reading. In these
confessions M r . Middlerace, ' the chi l d of a casual congress
Between a major in the Honourabl e Company' s service
and a decent Pariah fami l y, named Lat chmy Ubby' seeks
temporary rel i ef f r om the pangs of humbl ed pri de and
disappointed ambi t i on. H o w he i s treated by Engl i shmen
i n I ndi a and Engl and i s the result part l y of his o wn fool i sh
pretensions and part l y of the lack of sympathy on the part
of Engl i shmen for a class whi ch they have been respon-
sible for br i ngi ng i nt o existence.
Anot her interesting and human book is The Lady of the
Manor (1844) by Mr s . Sherwood. Mr s . Sherwood was
bor n in 1775 and di ed in 1851. She is the celebrated
authoress of the famous story Little Henry and his Bearer
(1844). A n d she occupies an honoured place as the author
of several del i ght ful books for chi l dren. Ol i vi a, the
heroine of one of the stories, tells her o wn tale. She lost
her mot her as a chi l d. At the age of ten she was sent to E ng-
1
p. 163.
PREDECESSORS OF KIPLING 55
l and, attended by her ayah, for education. She appeared
before the school mistress' in paunjammabs, shawl, cap,
and labardour, and ringlets wel l saturated wi t h cocoanut
o i l . Af t er eight years of education, she returned t o I ndi a
and f ound her father dead. Her uncle, who had marri ed
a Mussulmaunnee, t ook charge of her. She gives a glimpse
of her uncle's strange household, f ul l of ill-mannered, wi l d
boys and gi rl s. At a dinner party Ol i vi a meets the c i vi l
surgeon's wi f e, who is described as havi ng become hal f
an I ndi an f r om l ong residence i n I ndi a; 'she had acquired
a haughty indifference of manner, was devoted to finery,
drank a great quant i t y of beer, was excessively stout and
smoked her hookah i n publ i c. ' Ol i vi a saw an I ndi an
Bazaar wi t h its
'streets filled wi t h Pariah dogs, miserable children, praying
or rather howling devotees, scolding women, wi t h j i ngl i ng
bangles on their ankles, and other abominations'.
Ol i vi a marri ed one Mr . Mi l bour ne, t hough she di d not
l ove hi m, and settled down ' t o a l i fe of such l uxur y and
splendour as does not now often fal l t o the l ot of poor
Angl o- I ndi ans' .
1
She became ' semi-orientalized' after a
few years of this l uxuri ous and i ndol ent existence.
Ol i vi a describes her o wn l i fe. She rose early and ' t ook
the ai r' on an elephant, after whi ch she retired for a nap; at
t en o' cl ock breakfast was served. She entertained guests,
whi l e her husband was deeply engaged wi t h the hookah.
Thi s was f ol l owed by the reading of l i ght literature, whi l e
she supervised the wo r k of four dirgeestailors. At tiffin
there were more vi si t or s; then a doze, and an evening ri de.
' I t was one of the pleasures of my l i fe' , she writes, ' t o
see the variety of equipages, horses, and elephants, which were
paraded every evening in the front of our house; among which
was a handsome phaeton, a ton-jon, an elephant wi t h his superb
howdah, a gi g or buggy, as we called i t , other carriages of
inferior note, and several saddle-horses; and it was not sel-
dom, in the cold season, that after having surveyed all these,
56 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
I have dismissed t hem, every one, and preferred a wa l k in t he
ornament ed pleasure-grounds wh i c h sur r ounded the house.'
A splendid dinner, f ol l owed by cards, played up to a late
hour , concluded the day.
A mo n g other books we may ment i on a novel by Sir J . W.
Kaye, hong Engagements (I 846), whi ch is meant to show that
there is very l i t t l e real difference between society in I ndi a
and society in Engl and. We are presented here wi t h a
pi ct ure of a lady i dl y fl i rt i ng i n Calcutta whi l st her husband
i s fi ght i ng the battles of his count ry i n Afghanistan.
15. W.D.Arnold.
In 1853 there appeared t wo novels, The Wetherbys by
J ohn Lang, and Oakfield or Fellowship in the East by W. D.
A r n o l d . Bot h of t hem show the vices of Angl o- I ndi an
society i n the ugliest colours. M r . L ang i s bi t t er, and
f ul l of caustic satire and 'caricatures of bygone types of
Engl i sh and half-castes',
1
whi l e M r . A r n o l d , the cul t ured
and sensitive son of D r . A r n o l d of Rugby and a brot her
of Mat t hew A r n o l d , i s disgusted wi t h his life i n I ndi a.
I n Oakfield M r . A r n o l d has gi ven a por t r ai t of himself.
Oakfi el d, a clergyman' s son, revol t ed by the convent i on-
al i t y of Engl i sh social and religious fife goes to I ndi a as
an ensign i n the service of the East I ndi a Company,
t hi nki ng that a less sophisticated and purer atmosphere
existed i n England' s dependency t han at home. On his
ar r i val in I ndi a he became a member of a regimental mess,
the members of whi ch never spoke wi t hout an oath, were
gi ven t o gambl i ng, and were al l i n debt, fought duels,
and never spoke of I ndi a or its people wi t hout disgust
and contempt. He calls t hem ' mere animals wi t h no single
idea on" any subject in the wo r l d beyond t hei r carcasses'.
T hi s is how he records his impressions:
'Courtesy to inferiors (Heaven save the mark in this
1
Oaten, Sketch, p. 152.
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 57
count r y ! fancy t a l ki ng t o an officer of court esy t o a nat i ve!)
. . . I had always t hought of a mess as t he abode of l uxur i ous
refi nement , even i t mi g h t be t o effeminacy. I f i nd i t a bad
t aver n. ' (Oakfield, v o l . i , p . 40.)
He was struck wi t h the ' ext raordi nary fact of Br i t i s h
domi ni on, so manifest everywhere, apparently so firmly
planted in the soi l and yet so manifestly separable f r om
i t ' . He begins t o doubt the mor al value of Br i t i s h power
i n I ndi a. Oakfi el d almost openly despairs of the whol e
race of Indi ans. Stanton, an Angl o- I ndi an of ten years'
standing, is made to say:
' Of course I did not like India, nobody does. People who
ship their sons off to India every day, little t hi nk to what a
blighted life they are sending them.' (vol . i, p. 80.)
Revol t ed by every phase of Angl o- I ndi an l i f e, di sl i ki ng
I ndi a, its climate, its people bot h Engl i sh and I ndi an,
f ai l i ng t o notice any nobl e aims i n the admi ni st rat i on, yet
cl i ngi ng to his ideals, sad, depressed, and di si l l usi oned,
he returns t o Engl and wi t h shattered health onl y t o die
there. Mr . W. D. Ar nol d' s book i s a t erri bl e denuncia-
t i o n of Angl o- I ndi an l i fe i n the nineteenth century. That
he coul d not f i nd anyt hi ng t o interest h i m i n I ndi a was
the result of his peculiar temperament and up- br i ngi ng.
But that Angl o- I ndi an society was far f r om good is also
clear.
16. Post-Mutiny novels, 1859-69.
The decade f ol l owi ng the Mu t i n y is strangely silent
about the crisis t hr ough whi c h Br i t i s h rul e had just passed.
The novels published i n this per i od, i f we omi t Meadows
Tayl or and Wi l k i e Collins' s The Moonstone, are not wo r t h
much. Mr . Edwar d Money' s The Wife and the Ward; or,
A Life's Error was publ i shed in 1859, and, as the t i t l e
indicates, i t i s a tale of an unhappy marriage. It was
republished in 1881 under the t i t l e Woman's Fortitude
A Tale of Cawnpore. The last chapter, whi c h describes the
58 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
tragedy of Cawnpore, has l i t t l e t o do wi t h the mai n story.
T he change i n the t i t l e of the book i s significant. No other
novelist of this decade refers t o the Mut i ny. T wo other
books, published i n 1859, are by M r . John Lang, who i s a
pr e- Mut i ny novelist. So was Meadows Tayl or , whose
Tara was published in 1863, and Ralph Darnell in 1865.
Maj or Charles Ki r by' s The Adventures of an Arcot Rupee,
t hough published i n 1867, 'attempts t o gi ve some account
of the Br i t i sh rule i n I ndi a when Wellesley and T i p u
Sultan were the confl i ct i ng heads'. Wi l k i e Collins' s famous
mystery novel The Moonstone (1868) is not an Angl o- I ndi an
novel , t hough he introduces i n i t devoted H i n d u priests
and dark mysterious Brahmins. Florence Marryat ( Mr s .
Ross Church), the daughter of the famous nautical romancer
and author of 'some ninety novels' ,
1
published Gup i n
1868. It contains vivacious sketches of Angl o- I ndi an l i fe
and character, but i t i s not a novel . It consists of reprints
f r om the Temple Bar magazine. Her Angl o- I ndi an novel
Veronique (1869) takes the reader to Oot y and describes
the life at a Southern hi l l -st at i on. It is after 1870 t hat
Angl o- I ndi an novels of a fairly hi gh standard were again
wr i t t en.
17. Precursors of KiplingPhil Robinson, Prichard, Cunning-
ham, and Alexander Allardyce.
A mo n g the wri t ers of the early 'seventies, Phi l Robi nson
occupies a respected place. Hi s first book, Nugae Indicae,
published at Allahabad, at the Pioneer Press, is dated 1873.
But , as it is dedicated to the ' critics who by their reception
of the Fi rst E di t i on have br ought the present vol ume upon
themselves', the date of its publ i cat i on must have been
earlier. It purport s t o be a selection f r om Zech. Ori el ' s
Not e ' Book. Phi l Robi nson i s not so much a wr i t er of
fiction as an essayist. Hi s books are at best sketches of
I ndi an bi rds, places, scenes, and persons. Nugae Indicae
appeared under the t i t l e In My Indian Garden (1871). It
1
Baker, Guide,
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 59
has a preface by Sir Ed wi n Ar n o l d , who sees in these
sketches ' the beginnings of a new fi el d of Angl o- I ndi an
literature' . Sir Ed wi n justly remarks:
'They are only sketches, no doubt, which fill this little
portfolio, but their outlines are often drawn wi t h so true a
hand, that nothing can be more suggestive to the memory of
any one who has lived the same life. India may be hot, dusty,
distant, and whatever else the weary exile alleges when his
liver goes wrong, but she is never for one moment or in any
spot, as regards her people, her scenery, her cities, towns,
villages, or country-places, vulgar. There is nothing in her
not wort h study and regard; for the stamp of a vast past is over
all the land, and the very pariah-dogs are classic to those who
know Indian fables and how to be entertained by them. Our
Author is one of the happy few in whom familiarity wi t h
Indian sights and objects has not bred indifference.' (p. ix.)
In his ' Prefatory Index' and 'Preface to the Reader' the
author gives an i ndi cat i on of his interest i n Indi a and
things I ndi an.
' On my arrival in India,' says he, 'a new worl d to me, I
sprouted all over wi t h green ideas. And I doubt if any one
was so strangely affected by India as was I, for after landing
I laughed three days almost without intermission. Since then
the circumstances that moved my mi r t h stir only my com-
passion, and I have ceased to laugh at India or its people,'
The book i s di vi ded i nt o four parts, ' I n an I ndi an
garden' , ' The I ndi an seasons', ' Amo n g the crops' , and
' Miscellaneous' . A l l the sketches are wr i t t en i n a l i ght ,
humorous style and do justice to the author' s accurate
observation, learning, and humani t y. Sense of humour is
his most noticeable gi f t , and redeems the most common-
place subject f r om the charge of vul gar i t y. Hi s obser-
vations on the I ndi an mallie, the punkah-coolie, and the chaukidar are interesting and wi t t y. They show that Phi l
Robi nson belongs t o the famous gr oup of seventeenth-
century 'character' wri t ers. Oft en, as in his description of
Christmas i n Indi a wi t hout ' bells, beef, hol l y, mistletoe,
6o MEADOWS TAYLOR AND OTHER
wi t hout a dance, wi t hout a single Me r r y Christmas wi s h' ,
he strikes the deepest note of tender feeling and anticipates
a host of later Angl o- I ndi an wri t ers who have gi ven
melancholy accounts of the art i fi ci al i t y and insincerity of
the Christmas of the exiles i n I ndi a. Hi s beautiful sketch
of Sudhoo, wh o l i ved i n a cottage whose ' walls are not so
st rong as the ant-hills of Pero' , is the nearest appr oxi mat i on
t o a story i n the best vei n of Ki p l i n g . Buggoo, the
chaukidar or ni ght -wat chman, wh o sleeps al l day because
he is supposed to have kept awake al l ni ght , is t ypi cal of
chaukidars. The Gnome of the Hillock is a story describing
the simple and superstitious I ndi an vi l l age f ol k. The
eleventh essay, ent i t l ed From the Raw to the Rotten, omi t t ed
f r om In My Indian Garden, is a wi t t y sketch of the charac-
teristics of a gr i f f or a newcomer, and a Qui Hai or an ol d
resident i n I ndi a. The one i s raw, the other i s r ot t en.
Mr . Phi l Robinson' s place i n the hi st ory of Angl o- I ndi a n
l i t erat ure, apart f r om the merits of his wo r k , acquires
interest f r om the remarkable resemblance between his
sketches and Ki pl i ng' s Plain Tales from the Hills. It is not
i mprobabl e that Ki p l i n g i n his yout h read Nugae Indicae,
and i mbi bed much of its spi ri t . Under the Punkah, the
author' s second book, shows the same characteristics.
A l l its sketches, however, are not I ndi an. Some of t hem
are merely a r epr oduct i on, wi t h some changes, of his essays
in In My Indian Garden or Nugae Indicae. For example, the
beautiful descri pt i on of his ' Quasi-sentimental j ourney'
f r om Al l ahabad to Nyneet al is reproduced as ' Sight-seeing'
i n this book, wi t h whi c h i s amalgamated another essay of
the earlier book ent i t l ed ' Rai l way Tr avel l i ng' . The new
essay contains an i nt erest i ng passage on the ' obstinate
contrariety of the nat i ve' .
' Even in small things we are antipodes. Whatever an
Englishman wi l l do standing, a native wi l l do sitting. The
former beckons by movi ng his finger upwards, the latter by
pawing the air downwards. We chirrup to a horse to make it
go, a native chirrups to make it stop. When an Englishman
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 6 1
has been using an umbrella, he rests it against the wal l handle
upwards; but a native puts it handle downwards. We blow
our noses wi t h our right hand, wi pi ng them downwards; they
wi t h their left hand, and rub their noses upwards. If we wish
to put a thing down, we do so on the nearest table; a native
if undisturbed, puts a t hi ng downon the ground. We write
from left to right, they (most of them) from right to left: the
leaves of our books t ur n to the left, but when we read in
native books they t urn to the right. In civilized places the
shepherd drives his flock before hi m; here he makes one of
the flock, or goes in front. Even the birds are contrary to
Western nature.' (p. 78.)
The Chronicles of Budgepore in t wo volumes (1871) or
Sketches of Life in Upper India, by I l t udus Pri chard, is
another remarkable book of the pr e - Ki pl i ng per i od. The
aut hor i nforms the reader in the first chronicle that Budge-
pore is a t ypi cal place and that the Budgeporeans are bot h
natives and Engl i sh. Mos t of the characters have funny
names showi ng the official posi t i on of the person named.
For example, the Collector of Budgepore i s called Mr .
Da k h i l Daftar, that is, one who pigeon-holes the cases that
come before hi m. The c i vi l surgeon i s Mr . Golee or Pi l l ,
the j udge i s called Mr . Basil Mool t awee, one wh o i s f ond
of post poni ng cases. Budgepore and Budgeporeans shoul d
be taken as representative of the official l i fe of An g l o -
Indians and Indians i n Upper I ndi a. The character of this
life according to the aut hor is ' red tape and whi t ewash'
and these ' much resemble the same articles in Lo n d o n and
Paris' . The sketches are readable, wr i t t e n in a clear, simple,
j ournal i st i c style, and show t hat Mr . Pri chard, l i ke ' Ol d
Mor t a l i t y' , possesses great aptitude for st udyi ng men and
manners, an unt i r i ng perseverance i n si ft i ng mysteries, and
a most acute sense of the ri di cul ous. He mercilessly exposes
the foibles of the official Angl o- I ndi an, bot h c i v i l and mi l i -
tary. Hi s knowl edge of l aw and its practice i n I ndi an courts
enable h i m t o br i ng pr omi nent l y i nt o notice the r i di cu-
lous side of Angl o- I ndi an admi ni st rat i on of justice, and he
62 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
misses no oppor t uni t y of poki ng fun at the expense of
judges who administered the l aw wi t hout knowi ng i t .
A l l the sketches are vivacious and wi t t y, satiric i n i nt ent ,
condemning ' law' s delays' and incidentally showi ng the
influence of Scott and Di ckens. The Chronicles constitute
a remarkable addi t i on t o Angl o- I ndi an literature of the
nineteenth century. Mr . Prichard looks upon life cri t i cal l y
and no character or i nst i t ut i on escapes his castigation.
I f the European administrators are i gnorant slaves of red
tape wi t hout i ni t i at i ve or ori gi nal i t y, the natives are al l
liars and unt r ust wor t hy, but clever i n maki ng fools of
their European masters.
M r . Prichard' s shrewdness may be j udged f r om an
interesting passage in the second vol ume :
'One very curious effect of the Indian climate has never
received the attention it deserves. Elsewhere, so long as a
man or woman gives no colour to a scandalous report, the
thing dies out generally, and people cease to believe i l l of one
whose outward conduct is irreproachable. But in India there
seems to be some evil principle at work, or some noxious
moral disease that infests the whole tone of society, such a
proneness to speak i l l of your neighbour, to encourage i l l -
natured tittle-tattle, such a shameless indifference to t rut h,
such a pitiful eagerness to take advantage of another, as if in
every walk in life, in the social as well as the official circle,
every man and every woman was a rival to every other man
and woman, that society seems to catch at the idea of a
scandalous report, however infamously unjust, as if it had
found a prize. It is a wonder that the blistered tongue has
never been set down in the list of Indian diseases.' (p. 27.)
L i ke The Chronicles of Budgepore, Sir Henr y Stuart Cun-
ningham' s Chronicles of Dustypore is wr i t t en in a l i ght ,
ai ry, satiric vei n. It i s a clever and refreshing book wi t h
a hot and dusty count ry as its subject, where, as the aut hor
tells us, there is sand everywhere and a good deal of it in
the heads of the officials. But the satire on official life is
not so pronounced as in The Chronicles of Budgepore. The
Salt Board wi t h the mysterious Rumbl e Chander Gr ant
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 63
provides a good subject for f un and satire, but the book has
for its mai n pl ot the usual story of Angl o- I ndi an domestic
life wherei n the wi fe fl i rt s on the hills whi l e the husband
i s dr udgi ng i n the scorching plains. The fl i rt at i ons of
Ma ud verge on tragedy, but she is ul t i mat el y saved by her
l ove for her husband. The book is remarkable for the
brilliance and ease of its conversations, naturalness of
characterization, and vividness of description. It i s st i l l
more interesting for another reason. Cunni ngham is
Ki p l i n g i n the maki ng. No t onl y i s the ger m of what i s
to be f ound in the Plain Tales from the Hills contained in
the Chronicles of Dustypore, but something more besides.
Rumbl e Chander Grant reminds one of ' the ravel of the
i nt er-t ri bal complications across the Border' on whi ch
Wressley of the Forei gn Office wr ot e his magnum opus.
Anot her noticeable feature of the book is that the
characters are taken f r om contemporary society. Mr .
Dhar , in an article in the Calcutta Review (1908)
1
on the
aut hori t y of a 'recent issue of Bengal: Past and Present,
the organ of the Calcutta Hi st or i cal Society' , points out
that ' Dust ypore is Lahore and El ysi um Simla; Felicia is
Mr s . Wat er f i el d( ' R. H. W. ' ) t o w hom the book i s dedicated,
whi l e Desvoeux i s Sir Lepel H. Gr i f f i n, formerl y Chi ef
Secretary to the Government of the Punjab; Fot heri ngham
is Mr . Lindsay and Sutton is Brigadier Keayes and t w o
other Punjab heroes rol l ed i nt o one.' Accor di ng to the
Athenaeum, however, Col onel , afterwards General, Sut t on
i s no other than Lo r d Napier of Magdala.
Cunningham' s second novel , The Coeruleans (1887), is
a w o r k of hi gh meri t . In i t he gives sketch after sketch
of Angl o- I ndi an charactersthe middle-aged and phi l o-
sophic Chichele,
2
who was convinced that an official day
ought t o end w i t h ' a good dinner, and that good dinners
are most enjoyed when partaken of i n the company
1
Kiran Nath Dhar, 'Some Indian Novels', p. 560.
2
Mr. Chichele 'is intended for the late Sir M. E. Grant Duff, Governor
of Madras in the 'eighties', Calcutta Review, p. 576.
64 MEADOWS T AYL OR A N D OTHER
of agreeable and i nt el l i gent women' , and wh o knew
as much about Br i t i s h I ndi a as the ' i nt er nal economy
of Kamschat ka' ; Sir Theophi l us Prance, who annoyed
Chichele by maki ng his head-quarters the rendezvous of al l
sorts of objectionable t ouri st s; Phi l i p Ambr ose, the good-
l ooki ng but i mpr ovi dent collector wi t hout any wi l l of his
o wn or pri nci pl es; Mr s . Paragon, who had great powers
of satirical comment ; the Miss Scratchlys, who, ' under the
embi t t er i ng effects of neglect and years, had hardened i nt o
a mood i ncompat i bl e wi t h g o o d wi l l either t owards man
or woma n' ; Miss Florence Rashleigh, the Engl i s h beauty
fresh f r om home, who lent lustre t o Coerulea and ' i nspi red
each mar t i al bosom wi t h chivalrous devot i on' ; the wi t t y
M r . Mont e m, externally i r r i t abl e, and unconci l i at ory l i ke
a porcupi ne, but i nt ernal l y f ul l of the mi l k of human ki nd-
ness ; the silent, st rong Sinclair, who regards existence as
' a grave, rather a g r i m affair, where each one has his l oad
of dut y t o car r y' ; and lastly Camilla, wh o i n mor al and
intellectual f i br e, i n taste and tone, i n earnestness of pur -
pose, i n pur i t y of character, and above al l , i n the delicacy of
conscience, is wor l ds above her easy-going husband. T hen
we have i n Lady Mi r anda the shallow t our i st wh o i s
disappointed because she finds everyt hi ng in I ndi a 'less un-
ci vi l i zed, characteristic and picturesque t han she had hoped
that I ndi a wo u l d prove t o be' . That a g i r l l i ke Camilla
marri ed t o a man l i ke Phi l i p Ambr ose was bound t o be
unhappy i s obvi ous f r om the begi nni ng. Hi s sudden
death sends her back t o Engl and. Thi s story of unhappy
marriage is different f r om other similar stories in that the
tragedy i s not due t o the interference of a t h i r d part y.
The book is not so remarkable for the simple l ove story
that runs t hr ough i t , as for the masterly descriptions of
persons and places, ski l f ul analysis of character, a constant
play of wi t and humour , and an easy, pol i shed style.
Inci dent al l y, several theories of government are discussed
i n this book.
Al exander Al l ar dyce, who later on wr ot e the Hi ghl a nd
PREDECESSORS OF KI PLI NG 65
nove l Balmoral (189 3) s howi ng a wonder f ul knowl edge of
Hi g h l a n d genealogy and l ocal hi st or y, wr o t e i n 1877 The
City of Sunshine, a nove l deal i ng w i t h the romance and
hi s t or y of a Bengal vi l l age, Dhupnagar i n the Ganges
Basin. I t i s a n I ndi a n novel deal i ng w i t h I ndi a n l i f e. Mr .
Eversl ey, t he magistrate of the o l d school wh o expresses
hi msel f better i n col l oqui al Hi ndus t ani t han i n Engl i s h, and
wh o i s i n the habi t of cl osi ng his cour t whenever he gets a
chance of hunt i ng a t i ger , i s the onl y Engl i shman i n t hi s
l o n g novel . The rest of the characters, wi t h the exception
of t hat ' h y b r i d popi nj ay' , Mr . Roy, t he Br ahmo barrister,
bel ong t o Dhupnagar . I n his knowl edge of I ndi a n l i fe
and character, b o t h Hi n d u and Mohammedan, i n his
i ns i ght i nt o the wo r k i n g of the forces t hat make an I ndi a n
vi l l age what i t i s, the aut hor i s the equal of Meadows
Tayl or . I n the var i et y and range of characterization, he
i s perhaps Meadows Tayl or ' s superior. Bu t whi l e Ta yl or
i s i ncl i ned t owards romance and i deal i sm, Al l ar dyce i s
on the whol e a realist. The wi de acquaintance t hat he
shows w i t h I ndi a n condi t i ons and the l i t t l e cr owded
wo r l d of the I ndi a n vi l l age i s remarkable. The p l o t
centres r o u n d Radha, the syl ph-l i ke daughter of Baboo
Kr i s t o Doss La ha r y:
' I t was as if the head and neck of Artemis Diana had been
planted upon the body and limbs of Venus Anadyomene.'
( vol . i i , p. 157-)
She i s l oved by Kr i s hna , the young Br a hmi n wh o rebels
against t he f ai t h of his fathers, by t he cavalier son of t he
o l d Subedar Shamsusdeen Kh a n , and by the unscrupul ous
son of an o i l seller, ' the Di p t y ' Preonath. Eve n the v i l l a i n
of the novel , T i n Co wr y or ' Thr ee Shells' , the mi serl y
Mahajan of Dhupnagar , aspires t o her hand. That Af z u l
wi ns her is obvi ous ; whet her he deserves her is doubt f ul .
Mr . Al l ar dyce has t r i e d t o gi ve us a peep i nt o the zenana.
He shows us Cha kwi , the neglected wi f e of Kr i s hna , and
takes us i n t o Radha's boudoi r . Th o u g h his i magi nat i on
F
66 MEADOWS TAYLOR A N D OTHER
is power f ul and the purdah is no barrier for hi m, yet, as the
I ndi an reader may judge f r om Radha's conversation wi t h
her maid-servant Sukheena, Radha is an abnormal g i r l ,
much t oo bol d and forward for a Hi ndu gi r l . Even before
her marriage she is represented as saying l i ke a modern
mi ss:
' "I should wrinkle my brows and ruffle my hair if I were to
get angry wi t h you just now, Sukheena; so go away, and do not
irritate me. Away and watch for the approach of my brave
bridegroom, and give me timely notice that I may put on my
holiday smiles, and heat up a kiss or t wo to regale him wi t h. " '
( vol . i i , p . 159.)
Chakwi i s truer t o l i fe, t hough Mr . Allardyce forgets that
H i n d u girls never address their husbands by name. These
are mi nor defects whi ch may be i gnored, and it gives us
real pleasure to find that Mr . Allardyce has succeeded in
doi ng what very few Angl o- I ndi an writers have been able
t o dore-creating a Bengal village and peopl i ng i t wi t h
men and women of fl esh and bl ood. Of the many creations
of Mr . Al l ardyce the t wo who deserve a special ment i on
are Bejoy the Ghatak, and Subedar Shamsusdeen Khan,
who is good enough to take his place by the side of
Rol and Caxton and may be named in the same breath even
wi t h Uncle Toby. The author loves Agha and Af zul and
has not hi ng but contempt for Bengalees; st i l l the hero of
the book is Kr i shna Chandra Gosain, whose religious
struggles teach h i m that
'There is no creed so bad but it may serve to comfort some
poor soul; and before you root out a plant you should always
make sure that there is sufficient soil left to nurture another.'
( vol . i i i , p. 284.)
Mr . Allardyce' s power of delineation i s wel l illustrated
by the f ol l owi ng passage describing the person of
Preonath, the Deput y Magi st rat e:
' His skin was almost as black as a negro's, and his round
face, narrow brow, and irregular features contrasted strongly
PREDECESSORS OF KIPLING 67
wi t h the aristocratic countenance of the master of the house.
He was dressed in a l ong chapkan or coat, cut in a fashion half
oriental half European, which is much affected by the Angl i -
cised natives: he wore a pair of white duck trousers, wi t h patent-
leather English boots; a heavy gold chain attached to his watch
was wound in t wo or three folds about his neck; and a little
gold-laced cap was perched jauntily upon his crisp black curls.
In short, his whole appearance was such as may any day be
seen loitering about the Presidency College gate, or Wellesley
Square, or any of the other haunts of " Young Bengal" in
Calcutta.' ( vol . i , pp. 29-30.)
There i s a vei n of l i ght humour r unni ng t hr oughout
the three vol umes, and the questions of caste, marriage,
religious customs and practices, and education are touched
upon i n passing.
The humour , satire, exquisite wor kmanshi p, and
i nt i mat e knowl edge of official life and of Angl o- I ndi an
society, whether i n the plains or on the hi l l - t op, whi c h
characterize the novels of Phi l Robi nson, I l t udus Pr i -
chard, and Sir Henr y Cunni ngham mar k t hem out as
wor t hy predecessors of Ki p l i n g .
C HAP T E R I I I
RU D Y ARD K I PL I N G
A SURVEY OF HI S I N D I AN STORIES
18. Kipling's Anglo-Indian stories.
K
IPL IN G ' S w o r k r elating t o Indi a was mainly done be-
tween 1888 and 1891 and is embodied in Plain Tales
from the Hi l l s, Soldiers Three and other Stories', Wee Willie
Winkie and other Stories', and Life's Handicap. These fo ur
volumes cover ninety-six stories, t ak i ng the eight scenes
of the story of the Gadsbys as a single stor y. Al l these
stories have a genuine Ind i an atmosphere about t hem,
and deal w i t h K i pl i ng' s o w n time and ' o w n people' . They
are the pr oduct of a vi vi d l y realized personal experience,
shr ewd obser vation and sympat hy. In most of the stories,
remarkable for their var iety bo t h of tr eatment and subject-
matter, K i p l i n g celebrates and perpetuates a certain type
o f Angl o - Ind i an character w i t h whi ch he was t ho r o ughl y
familiar , that is, the har d - wo r k i ng and self-sacrificing ci vi l
servant, or the subaltern d o i ng his dut y under difficult
conditions. In some stories he shows a sympathetic under -
standing o f the Br i t i sh soldier i n Indi a, f ul l o f humo ur and
tolerance. A large gr o up gives a pictur e of Angl o - Ind i an
society i n holiday mo o d , its mai n occupation bei ng
' pl ayi ng tennis w i t h the seventh commandment' . A
smaller gr o up deals w i t h Indians i n their contact w i t h the
Engl i sh.
Eno ugh has been wr i t t en about K i pl i ng' s tr eatment of
Angl o - Ind i an society by Engl i sh and Amer i can critics of
note. The clever, wi t t y , and br i l l i ant Mr s . Hauksbee
o f Simla, the wi ck ed her oine o f K i p l i n g w ho combines
generosity w i t h malice in an exquisite manner, the mi s-
chievous Mr s . Reiver who makes a business of wickedness,
the Thr ee Musketeers o f Indi a, w i t h the i ni mi t abl e Mu l -
vaney as their leader, who regards a parade on Thur sday
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G 69
as ' f l y i n ' in the face, firstly av Nat ur e, secon' av the
Ri g' l at i ons, and t h i r d the w i l l av Terence Mul vaney' ;
his fri end Ort heri s ' a bl oomi n' , ei ght anna, dog-stealing
To mmy , wi t h a number, instead of a decent name' , who i n
a fi t of home-sickness longs f or ' the sounds of L o n d o n an'
the sights of 'er, and the stinks of ' er' , the Est reeki n Sahib
of the I ndi an Police wh o i s di sl i ked by A ngl o- I ndi a because
of his ' out l andi sh cust om of pr yi ng i nt o native l i f e' , t he
l i t t l e Tods wh o opens the eyes of the L a w Member of the
Vi ceroy' s Counci l , and many other A ngl o- I ndi a n char-
acters are already we l l k n o wn t o readers of Engl i sh fi ct i on
al l over the wo r l d .
19. Kipling's Indian stories.
I t wo u l d not , however, be out of place t o examine i n
some detail another aspect of K i pl i ng' s wo r k i n whi c h the
Angl o- I ndi ans do not fi gure so pr omi nent l y. These I ndi an
stories of K i p l i n g have not been pr oper l y underst ood or
appraised. They have escaped cr i t i ci sm. To European
and Amer i can critics possessing l i t t l e or no personal
knowl edge of I ndi a, K i pl i ng' s I ndi an stories revealed a
wo r l d of mystery and romance, the very strangeness of
whi c h paralysed t hei r cri t i cal acumen. Even an excellent
cr i t i c l i ke Mr . Wal t er Har t , who, i n his scholarly wo r k ,
Kipling, The Short Story Writer, attempts to observe and
analyse K i pl i ng' s short stories ' obj ect i vel y and dispassion
ately' , does not show much better j udgement t han his
count r yman, the bus t l i ng Mr . Ni chol as Ta r vi n, of Topaz,
wh o had no measures and standards f or a new wo r l d so
unl i ke his o wn and whi c h lacked the ' real, old-fashioned
downr i ght rustle and razzle-dazzle and " g i t up and g i t " '
of Amer i ca. Mr . Ha r t t hi nks that K i p l i n g
'can put himself in their [the natives'] places, see the wor l d
t hrough their eyes, realize for himself their emotions, to a degree
possible only for one who had spoken, like Tods or Wee
1
The Naulahka, p. 107.
70 RUDYARD KIPLING
Wi l l i e Wi nki e, many of their dialects, delighted in their society
and regarded them as brothers.'
D i d K i p l i n g do so ? D i d he understand us ? D i d he regard
us as brothers? These are i nt erest i ng questions whi c h
may be re-examined i n the l i ght of evidence whi c h has
hi t her t o been generally i gnor ed.
Ou t of the ninety-six stories ment i oned above onl y
t went y-ei ght may be said to be I ndi an as distinguished
f r om K i pl i ng' s A ngl o- I ndi an stories. These stories may
again be di vi ded i nt o t wo groups, one consisting of
anecdotes, sketches and stories in whi c h I ndians alone
play the chief part, and the second compr i si ng those in
whi c h I ndians are mi nor characters: a khansaman, a
khi t mat gar, a sais, or a subordinate. I n many of the A n g l o -
I ndi an stories, I ndi an characters who are i nt r oduced are
members of an A ngl o- I ndi an household (menials); they
do not cont ri but e anyt hi ng of i mport ance t o the develop-
ment of t he pl ot or its denouement. To the purel y
I ndi an gr oup of K i pl i ng' s stories bel ong, In the House of
Suddhoo, The Gate of a Hundred Sorrows, The Story of
Muhammad Din, and To be Filed for Reference f r om the
Plain Tales from the Hills; the ei ght stories that make up
In Black and White; and The Head of the District, Through
the Fire, Finance of the Gods, Bubbling Well Road, and The
City of Dreadful Night, f r om Life's Handicap. Eve n t he
most ardent admirer of K i p l i n g w i l l not claim any extra-
or di nar y mer i t f or these stories (possibly excepting t wo) .
They neither show much knowl edge of, nor sympathy
l o r , I ndi an life and character. They at best t ouch the
out ski rt s of I ndi an l i f e, often i n its abnormal , crude and
Uni mport ant aspects. I n these stories K i p l i n g does not
wr i t e ' o f L i f e and Deat h, and men and women, and
L ove and Fate accordi ng t o the measure of his abi l i t y' .
2
Some of t hem are not stories at al l . The City of Dreadful
Night is an exquisite descri pt i on of a mi dsummer v i g i l
1
Kiplmg, the Short Story Writer, p. 17.
2
Lafe's Handicap, Preface, p. ix.
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G 71
that the author was forced to keep on account of the
'dense wet heat' that hung over Lahore, and prevented
al l hope of sleep. It i s a masterpiece of wor d- pai nt i ng.
There are no characters and no incidents, but there are
passing references to 'a stubble-bearded, weary-eyed'
trader balancing his account books and upl i f t i ng his hand
wi t h the precision of cl ock- wor k t o wi pe his streaming
forehead, to a policeman l yi ng across the road, turbanless
and fast asleep, to the j ani t or of the Mosque of Wazi r
Kha n, and a Hi n d u woman who di ed of heat-stroke i n
the mi ddl e of the ni ght . Ki p l i n g here gives us a pi ct ure
wor t hy of Gustave Dor e. The summer of Lahore has
been i mmort al i zed in words that may creditably bear
comparison wi t h the most v i v i d descriptions of Zol a,
but The City of Dreadful Night is not a story. Moti Guj
Mutineer is a parable and anticipates the stories of The
Jungle Books. The Amir's Homily is a homi l y and the Ami r
is not an I ndi an; Dray Wara Yow Dee also is a story of
Pathan vendetta beyond the I ndi an Border. The i nj ured
husband is maddened by the desire for revenge. He
wanders t hr ough the plains of Hi ndust an, hopi ng t o get
his enemy, Daoud Shah, i nt o his power, when he pr o-
poses t o k i l l h i m ' qui ck and whol e wi t h the knife st i cki ng
f i r m i n his body' . ' Let i t be i n the day t i me, ' says he,
' t hat I may see his face and my del i ght may be crowned, '
Ki p l i n g ski l ful l y avoids the borders of melodrama and
gives a presentation of revenge as in Poe's Cask of
Amontillado. But , l i ke Poe, he is dealing wi t h an abnormal
situation and sometimes lays on the colours t oo t hi ckl y.
That the head of the unfai t hful wi fe is severed at the
neckbone is bad enough; to hack off her breasts is savagery.
The same remarks apply to the I ndi an tale, entitled Beyond
the Vale. The setting is I ndi an, but the situation is ab-
nor mal . Trejago' s br i ef amour wi t h the Hi n d u wi d o w
of fi ft een ends much t oo hor r i bl y. Bisesa's punishment
wi l l be accepted onl y by those who regard Indians as hal f
savages. The Return of Imray is based upon a belief in the
72 R UDYAR D K I P L I N G
evi l eye. Bahadur K ha n again is a Pathan who murders
his master because he believes that I mray had bewitched
his chi l d. The story is more i mport ant as displaying the
detective powers of Strickland than the author' s know-
ledge of I ndi a or I ndians. L o n g before the days of K i p l i n g i t
was customary to associate wi t h orientals al l that is bizarre,
wei r d, savage, or uncommon. The life of an ordinary
I ndi an is as l i t t l e mysterious as that of an ordinary Eur o-
pean, whi ch K i p l i n g , havi ng l i ved i n I ndi a, must have
known. Y et it is the abnormal and the mysterious element
in our life whi ch K i p l i n g constantly emphasizes. The Return
of Imray is not convi nci ng. The mot i ve is not adequate.
A servant may k i l l his Engl i sh master, but onl y f r om a
stronger mot i ve than that mentioned i n the story. Similarly
l i t t l e Tobr ah, who pushes his helpless bl i nd sister i nt o the
water to save her f r om starvation, is not a representative
character. I t is a cynical treatment of a heart-rending
situation. Tobr ah is not a nor mal I ndi an chi l d, nor Bisesa a
normal Hi n d u wi dow, nor Bahadur K ha n a typical servant.
In the House of Suddhoo is a story showi ng how the belief
of I ndians of the l ower classes i n magic and witchcraft
is exploited to fleece the i gnorant and the credulous.
The description of the supposed possession of the seal-
cutter is a powerful piece of realistic prose on the same
hi gh level as The City of Dreadful Night. In The Finance of
the Gods the vi c t i m of superstition is a miserly Hi n d u who
is robbed of a lac of rupees. Thi s story is simpler in
construction and more unified, but it is not so power f ul
in its effect as In the House of Suddhoo. In some of these
stories the omniscience of the author, whi ch is unneces-
sarily forced on the reader's attention, causes a feeling of
i r r i t at i on. At the end of the story, the author, l i ke a clever
juggler, seems to wai t for the approbation of the audience.
Four stories, The judgment of Dungara, At Howli Thana,
Gemini, and The Sending of Dara Da, are satirical in i nt ent .
Satire, as distinguished f r om humour , skims the surface of
l i f e; it never goes deep enough. The Judgment of Dungara
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G 73
is a satire on missionaries l abouri ng to wi n the mi l l i ons
of I ndi a for Christ. But they do not know the clever native
priests they have to deal wi t h . Just as in The Nau/ahka all
the wo r k of Ameri can doctors i s rendered futile i n a day,
si mi l arl y i n this story the leading converts of the Tubi ngen
Mi ssi on revert t o the wor shi p of the great Go d Dungara,
' the Go d of Thi ngs as They Ar e ' . The Reverend Justus
Kr e nk and his wi fe are heart-broken. ' Alas,' remarks the
author, ' man cannot l i ve by grace alone i f meat be want i ng! '
The same cynical attitude of Ki p l i n g towards missionaries
i s illustrated i n the r et ur n of the heart-broken Li spet h t o
her ancestral gods. The satire, however, spoils this story,
whi ch is essentially tragic. At Howli Thana is a satire on
native police who are i n col l usi on wi t h the dacoits against
wh o m they are supposed to operate. Gemini is meant to
illustrate the native proverb quot ed by Ki p l i n g at the
begi nni ng of the st or y: ' Great i s the justice of the Whi t e
Mangreater the power of a l i e. ' The Mar war i brothers,
Ram Dass and Dur ga Dass, cheating, abusing, and cursing
each other, are not an edi fyi ng spectacle. To add to the
wickedness of this melodrama Ki p l i n g introduces their
aunt as an accomplice of Ram Dass. It is not often that
Ki p l i n g travels beyond the borders of the I ndi a that he
knew, the I ndi a of Pathan servants and orderlies, of scamps
and cut-throats, of superstitious Suddhoos and fanatical
lepers; but whenever he attempts to do so, as in this story,
the result is di sappoi nt i ng. The common bel i ef among
Engl i shmen that Indians t hi nk very l i ght l y of perjury i s
thus expressed in The Bronckhorst Divorce Case:
'No jury, we knew, woul d convict a man on the criminal
count on native evidence in a land where you can buy a murder
charge, including the corpse, all complete for fifty-four
rupees.'
There is no justification for sweeping statements of this
character. The Head of the District propagates the vi ew
that the mart i al races of I ndi a woul d most st rongl y object
t o Indi ani zat i on of the admi ni st rat i on, that they woul d
74 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G
sooner accept sweepers as t hei r rulers t han, f or example,
Bengalees. Mr . Gr i s h Chunder De , M. A . , wh o m the
' Ve r y Greatest of A l l the Vi cer oys' selects as the successor
t o Mr . Yar dl ey- Or de, had wo n his place i n the Bengal Ci v i l
Service i n open compet i t i on. He i s cul t ur ed, and had
wisely and sympathetically r ul ed a cr owded di st r i ct i n
south-eastern Bengal. He possesses a remarkable k n o w-
ledge of l aw, is not inefficient so far as r out i ne and desk-
wo r k go, and i s pleasant t o t al k t o. As the r ul er of a
di st r i ct i n the sout h of Dacca he ' d i d no mor e t han t u r n
the place i nt o a pleasant f ami l y preserve, al l owed his
subordinates t o do what they l i ke d, and l et everybody
have a chance at the shekels'. Thus he became popul ar.
He fails i n the Bor der Di s t r i c t of Kumar sen, because he
was ' bor n i n a hot-house, of stock br ed i n a hot -house' ,
and feared ' physical pai n as some men fear si n' . Kh u d a
Da d Kh a n i s made t o say:
' He is a Ka/a Admia black manunfit to r un at the tail
of a potter's donkey. A l l the peoples of the earth have harried
Bengal. It is wri t t en. Thou knowest when we of the Nor t h
wanted women or plunder whither went we ? To Bengal
where else ?'
The real Kh u d a Da d Kh a n may or may not t h i n k so.
Angl o- I ndi a certainly does. Such stories leave a ver y un-
pleasant i mpressi on on the mi n d . They encourage racial
pri de and engender racial i l l - wi l l .
There i s a gr oup of short stories deal i ng w i t h Eurasian
and Chri st i an l i f e, and mi xed marriages. Thi s gr oup con-
tains some of the best of Ki p l i n g ' s pur el y I ndi a n stories.
His Chance in Life and To be Filed for Reference deal wi t h what
Ki p l i n g calls t he ' Bor der l i ne where the last dr op of whi t e
bl ood ends and the f u l l t i de o f black sets i n ' . Mi ss Vezzis
in His Chance in Life comes f r o m the Bor der l i ne. She
i s black and hideous but i nor di nat el y pr oud. Mi chel e
D' Cr uze, a poor , si ckl y weed and also of ver y dar k com-
pl exi on, makes l ove t o Mi ss Vezzis after the fashion of the
Bor der l i ne, whi c h i s hedged r ound wi t h much ceremony.
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G 75
But poor Mi chel e coul d not hope t o marry her u n t i l he
was able to earn at least fifty rupees a mont h to start
mar r i ed l i fe wi t h . Mi chel e D' Cr uze gets his pr omot i on
by doi ng good wo r k out of al l pr opor t i on t o his pay
because of the ' whi t e dr op' i n his veins. Si mi l arl y
Mc i nt os h Jel l al udi n, a scholar and a gentleman when
sober, is a sketch of a sahib of l o w caste wh o has t ur ned
Mussul man. He goes f r om bad t o worse dur i ng his seven
years of degradation and dr i nk. He i s marri ed t o a g i r l
f r om Jul l undur . She excels in the cul i nary art and loves
her dr unken loafer of a husband. L i spet h is also a
Chri st i an convert . She has the mi sfort une t o fal l i n l ove
wi t h an Engl i shman who, accordi ng t o the chaplain' s
wi f e, i s made of ' a superior cl ay' ; f or L i spet h t o fal l i n l ove
wi t h h i m was an act of ' barbarous and most indelicate
f ol l y' . The theme i s tragic and the satiric treatment of
chaplains and chaplains' wi ves does not f i t i n wi t h t he
tragic not e. K i p l i n g had real sympathy f or h i l l gi r l s. He
had been impressed by t hei r beauty and humani t y.
Lispeth' s di sappoi nt ment i s keen and i t i s we l l port rayed.
Yoked with an Unbeliever is another story of a h i l l g i r l
mar r i ed t o an Engl i s h planter, P hi l G ar r on of D a r j i l i ng,
accordi ng t o the forms of the Engl i s h Church. P hi l i s
considered a f ool by his f el l ow planters. He is also admi red
by an Engl i s h g i r l . Wha t i s ' manifestly unfai r' i s that an
I ndi an g i r l shoul d make h i m happy and 'save h i m f r om
per di t i on' . The st ory i s sketchy, but Dunmaya' s l ove
lends i t beauty. The t ri angul ar si t uat i on, wi t h some
differences, arises in Georgie-Porgie. U nl i ke the f ool i sh
tea-planter of the ot her story, Georgi e-Porgi e does not
mar r y the beautiful Bur man but pays f or her. She makes
h i m comfortable and happy, whi c h suggests t o h i m t he
t hought t hat he mi ght be s t i l l mor e comfort abl e and happy
w i t h a g i r l of his o wn race. Fi nal l y he marries an Engl i s h
g i r l . There i s not hi ng mor e pathetic i n K i p l i n g t han the
hopeless wanderings of ' Geor gi na' i n search of her faithless
l over . Georgi e-Porgi e never t hought t hat the Burmese
76 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G
g i r l wh o m he had bought , according t o the custom of her
count ry, woul d learn t o l ove hi m. As he looks across the
cloud-filled valley wi t h his Engl i sh wi fe leaning against
his shoulder, contented and happy, Georgi na, suffering
f r om ' a queer l i t t l e cough' is cr yi ng al l by herself, ' down
the hi l l si de, on the stones of the water-course where
washermen wash the clothes' .
I n passages l i ke these K i p l i n g appears as a true successor
to Thackeray. He possesses the same cynicism, the same
pathos, and the same gi f t of great wr i t i ng. Thackeray and
K i p l i n g , bot h sons of A ngl o- I ndi an parents, and bor n
i n I ndi a, show a st r i ki ng resemblance i n their art.
A not her passage i l l ust rat i ve of K i pl i ng' s pathos is
f ound in The Story of Muhammad Dinone of the best
stories of the I ndi an group. I t i s good because K i p l i n g
l oved I mam D i n , his khi t mat gar, and chi l dren. He daily
saw the l i t t l e chi l d, Muhammad D i n , who played i n the
back por t i on of his bungal ow, and ki ndl y responded t o
his daily greeting. He had become so used to this daily
greeting that the absence of Muhammad D i n wor r i ed
him:
'A week later, though I would have given much to have
avoided i t , I met on the road to the Mussalman burying-
ground I mam D i n, accompanied by one other friend, carrying
in his arms, wrapped in a white cloth, all that was left of little
Muhammad Di n. '
A not her good story is Without Benefit of Clergy. I t is a
l onger tale. John Hol den loves a Mussalman's daughter,
Ameera. He bought her f r om her mother, ' who woul d
have sold Ameera shri eki ng t o the Prince of Darkness i f
the price had been sufficient'. A sordi d business, but
Ameera soon became the centre of John Hol den' s l i fe,
and it is wi t h fear for Ameera that he looks f or war d to the
bi r t h of his baby. Whe n the l i t t l e baby-hand for the fi rst
t i me closed feebly on his finger, ' the cl ut ch ran t hr ough
his body t i l l i t settled about his heart' . The l i t t l e mot her
is devoted to Hol den and to her baby, in whom she sees
R UDYAR D K I P L I N G 77
an indissoluble bond of affection between herself and
her l or d. Thei r happiness, however, does not last l ong;
Tot a, the baby, dies and then comes cholera. Ameera,
f ol l owi ng the example of mem-log, mi ght have consented
to go to the hi l l s, had Tot a l i ved, but after his death she
sees her dut y by the side of the man who is not onl y her
husband, but ' the desire of my soul t o me' .
' " My lord, and my love, " she says, "let there be no more
foolish talk of going away. Where thou art, I am. It is
enough."'
Ameera dies of cholera. K i pl i ng' s description of the
ravages of the epidemic is masterly.
'Nature began to audit her accounts wi t h a red pencil, and
it was a red and heavy audit.'
The story idealizes a romantic episode of love between
East and West and one wishes that the cheap journalistic
satire (at the expense of the Member for Toot i ng) had been
left out of i t . Satire and cynicism are out of place i n such
a perfect i dyl l of love and death. Ameera was sold for
money, but her love for Hol den transmutes the sordi d
transaction i nt o something noble. The sight of the ugl y
ol d hag maki ng an i nvent ory of the furni t ure that wi l l fal l
to her l ot , whi l e her daughter's corpse is cryi ng for bur i al ,
is as shocking as the scene of the death of Sir P i t t Crawley.
20. ' Kim' and 'The Nau/ahka'.
No treatment of K i p l i n g as a wr i t er of I ndi an stories
woul d be complete wi t hout an examination of Kim and
The Naulahka. These novels may be so called because
each covers more than four hundred pages. Mr . Edwa r d,
Farley Oaten woul d even go so far as to say that to ' call
it kim a work of fiction is a l i t t l e misleading' .
1
He
regards I t as the greatest mastepiece of j ournal i sm by
the greatest l i vi ng j ournal i st ' . On the other hand, Mr . |
Thur st on Hopki ns speaks of Kim as a 'tremendous I ndiani
1
Anglo-Indian Literature, p. 185.
78 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G
N ovel ' ,
1
tremendous because it is ' surcharged wi t h magic
and fetichism of the East', and bristles wi t h ' native
erudi t i on and fol k-l ore' . Kim cannot be dismissed as
j ournalism. I t is a wor k of hi gh art. But so far as the
' magic of the East' i s concerned, there i s not more of i t i n
Kim than i n K i pl i ng' s other stories dealing wi t h I ndi a, i f the
magic of the East is taken to mean real and normal I ndi a.
Bot h K i m and the L ama, the chief characters i n the story,
are not I ndians at al l . K i m' s father was an I r i sh soldier,
perhaps of the same stock to whi ch Mul vaney belonged.
Hi s mother was a nurse-maid in a Colonel' s family, wi t h
whom the half-caste opium-eating woman, who had
br ought hi m up, claimed the pri vi l ege of a sister. As an
orphaned half-caste, K i m wanders i n the streets of Lahore,
and has special opportunities of learning the native language
and of becoming familiar wi t h scenes and places unknown
to Engl i shmen in I ndi a. I n his precocious sharpness he is
the half-brother of Becky Sharp; moreover he was br ought
up in the same school of povert y as Becky. But in spite
of his stealthy prowl s t hr ough the dark gullies and lanes
of Lahore, his knowledge of I ndi a i s confined t o the ' A j ai b
G hur ' , the serais, the scenes and sights on the roads,
cantonments of Br i t i sh soldiers, a Eurasian school, the
house of Huneefa i n L ucknow, a curio-dealer's shop i n
Simla, and the hills where he wandered in the Secret
Service. Such experiences are not enough to gi ve hi m a
knowledge of real I ndi a. K i m' s I ndi a, i n spite of its
picturesqueness, is the superficial I ndi a as an outsider
sees i t .
A n examination of K i pl i ng' s other characters discloses
the range of K i pl i ng. I n Kim we see the clever but
unscrupulous border Pathan, Mahbub A l i of the Secret
Service, who drinks brandy against the l aw of the P rophet
and pursues ' the Fl ower of D el i ght wi t h the feet of
i nt oxi cat i on' i n the gate of Harpies; the ol d Si kh Rissaldar,
who had been in nineteen pitched battles and who is f ond
1
Rudyard Kipling, A Survey of His Art, p. 107.
RUDYARD KI PLI NG 79
of si ngi ng the song of Ni k a l Seyn before De l h i ; the
spruce scribe, the young Kayet h l et t er-wri t er of Umbal l a,
wh o writes a letter t o Mahbub A l i on a promise of double
payment ; Col onel Crei ght on of the Survey Depart ment ,
wh o takes a keen interest i n the education of K i m ; the
wonder f ul Lur gan Sahib of Simla, who heals sick pearls;
the talkative Babu Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, heavy-
haunched, bull-necked, and an M. A. of Calcutta Uni ver -
sity, whose life' s ambi t i on was to be able to wr i t e F.R.S.
after his name; the simple Jat f r om Jandiala; the bruised
Mahratta E 23 of the Secret Service wh o m K i m helps to
become a sadhu; and many other persons who do not
play any part either in the Game or the Quest but appear
and disappear l i ke figures on the screen.
21. Kipling's limitations.
In spite of the variety and range of Ki pl i ng' s characters
and scenes, in spite of his great descriptive power, keen
observation, and v i v i d i magi nat i on, the soul of I ndi a
remains hi dden f r om his eyes. What Ki p l i n g saw and
understood, he has reproduced cl everl y; what he l oved
he has recreated wi t h the ski l l and vi gour of an imagina-
t i ve artist. But Ki pl i ng' s range of observation, l i ke that
of most other Angl o- I ndi an wri t ers, was l i mi t ed t o what
coul d be seen on the surface. The heat of the plains
in summer, scenes on a rai l way pl at f or m, l i fe in a Roman
Catholic School, or people j ost l i ng one another i n crowded
bazaars of a ci t y l i ke Benares, do not , however, make the
whol e of I ndi a.
Ki p l i n g has caught and reproduced the picturesqueness
of I ndi a, but he i s more conscious of her ' inherent rot t en-
ness'. I ndi a has ' the mer i t of bei ng t wo- t hi r ds sham;
l ooki ng pret t y on paper onl y' .
1
He i s painfully conscious
of ' the want of atmosphere i n the painter' s sense'. There
are no hal f tints wo r t h not i ci ng. Me n stand out al l crude
and raw, ' wi t h not hi ng t o tone t hem down and not hi ng t o
1
The Broken-Lank Handicap,
80 K U D Y A R D K l P L I I N G
scale t hem against'.
1
I ndi a is a place beyond al l others
where one must not take things t oo seriousl ythe mi d-
day sun al ways excepted.
2
K i p l i n g hi msel f di d not take
I ndi a seriousl y. I n By Word of Mouth he says that it is
best t o know not hi ng. U nl i ke the L aw Member of the
Vi ceroy' s Counci l , he knows that no one can t el l what
the natives t hi nk unless one mixes wi t h t hem ' wi t h the
varni sh off' .
3
K i p l i n g seems to have made some efforts to
understand I ndi a wi t h the varni sh off. He vi si t ed the
house of Suddhoo near Taxal i Gate, he tal ked wi t h Janoo
and A zi zun, the ladies of the ci t y, i n the recess of carved
bow wi ndows ; he vi si t ed the chandoo-khanas between
the Coppersmith' s gul l y and the pipe-stem seller's
quarters; he cul t i vat ed the society of G obi nd i n the
Chubara of D hunni Bhagat, and of faquirs, sadhus, sunnyasis,
byragis, nihangs, and mullahs; he t ook interest in the intrigues
of the sleek and shiny young men of fashion f or wh o m
K i m executed commissions. But al l this i s not enough t o
understand I ndi a. I t i s l i ke t r yi ng t o understand Europe
f r om its ni ght cl ubs, music hal l s, and L at i n or Chinese
quarters.
22. Kipling's knowledge of Indian women.
K i pl i ng' s fail ure t o l i f t the vei l that hides real I ndi a
f r om the eye of the foreigner is evident f r om his treatment
of the women of I ndi a. Wi t h the exception of the ol d
woman f r om K u l u , there i s no respectable I ndi an woman
in any of his stories or novel s. I n The Naulahka he has
gi ven us a convent i onal account of the palace of the
Maharajah of G okr al Seetarun'a vast warren wi t h its
l onel y chambers where the wi n d sighed al one under the
gl i t t er i ng ceil ings' , where ' the t erri bl e fierce-eyed girl s
l eapt out of the dark' . Sitabhai is a gipsy g i r l , sentenced to
death, wh o is pardoned by the Maharajah, and made one
of his three hundred queens. She l ul l s the opi um-eat i ng
1
On the Strength of a Likeness.
2
Thrown Away.
3
Tods' Amendment.
R UDYAR D K I P L I N G 81
Maharajah to sleep wi t h songs and endearments whi l e she
is hat chi ng a pl ot to poi son his son, the Maharaj K unwa r .
Wi t h remarkable frankness she tells Ta r v i n Sahib that
she had attempted t o k i l l h i m t hough she likes h i m, and
t hat as a g i r l she had danced on the slack-rope before the
mess tents of mi l i t ar y officers. Ta r v i n admires her ' pi c-
turesque and systematic devi l t r y' and unconsciously slips
an ar m ar ound her waist and possibly shares her l ongi ng
f or the ol d times when Engl i shmen of no b i r t h stole
the hearts of begums and l ed t hei r armies. I n al l this
we see an ambi t i ous, unscrupulous gipsy g i r l , but no
genuine I ndi an Queen. The onl y other I ndi an woma n i n
The Naulahka is a woma n of the desert and a nonent i t y
wh o remains fai t hful t o the ' whi t e f ai r y' , Miss Kat e Sherif,
after her hospi t al i s br oken up. K i p l i n g apparently knew
very l i t t l e about the place of a woman i n a respectable
I ndi an home; he knows and emphasizes peculiar types,
whi c h are more fictitious t han real. Ameer awho is sold
t o Hol de n; Unda, the unf ai t hf ul wi f e of Janki Meah i n
At Twenty-Two; A z i z un and Janoo of Taxal i gate, ladies
of the ci t y and members of ' the ancient profession, mor e
or less honour abl e' ; the Bazaar woma n havi ng pl ent y of
money wh o visits the opi um den i n the gate of the
Hundr e d Sor r ows; the bi g, bl i nd ol d Huneefa wh o knows
Jadoo; the Fl ower of D el i ght who robs Mahbub A l i ;
L a l un, also referred to as bel ongi ng to ' the most ancient
profession i n the wo r l d ' ; her mai d Nasabi n; Bisesa, the
yout hf ul Hi n d u wi d o w wh o listens t o the l ove songs of
Trej ago and encourages his advances; the ' A mr i t zar ' g i r l
wh o laughs at the money-lender and fl i rt s wi t h the D ogr a
soldier i n the t r a i n; the Hi n d u wi d o w for whose l ove t he
ford-keeper on the Ba r hwi swims across the r i ve r ; t he
Wo ma n of Shamlegh wi t h t wo husbands, wh o makes l ove
t o K i m ; and lastly, the ol d lady of K u l u wh o i s a pr i nci pal
character i n Kim and the onl y woma n wh o rises a l i t t l e
above ladies of questionable honour or low-caste i nt r i gui ng
wi dows . The ol d lady of K u l u i s a woman of the hi l l s
G
82 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G
who smokes and is not representative of her sisters of the
plains. I n spite of her weal th and position, she is no better
than a bazaar woman in her tastes. She is supposed to
travel in purdah, but at the jokes of the ' nut- cut' pol ice-
wal l ah she discards her vei l and is pleased to be addressed
as ' a Moon of Paradise, a Disturber of I nt egri t y' . Does
she represent I ndi an womanhood ?
K i pl i ng' s merits as an artist are great. He occupies an
i mmort al place in the history of Engl i sh l iterature, bot h
as a poet and a story-teller. Hi s portraiture of Engl i sh
and A ngl o- I ndi an l ife and character has won universal
approbation. But our examination of his I ndi an stories
does not show that he has been more successful in comi ng
nearer the soul of I ndi a than most of his countrymen.
CHAPTER IV
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G A N D HI S S CHO O L
23. Influence of Kipling on short-story writers.
R
U D Y ARD K I P L I N G has been a force i n the hi st ory o f
- Angl o- I ndi an fi ct i on. Mu c h of what has been wr i t t en
since the publ i cat i on of his I ndi an stories, and especially
Kim (1901), has directly and i ndi rect l y been influenced
by K i p l i n g . Before K i p l i n g Angl o- I ndi an f i ct i on was
amorphous. I t had no di st i nct i ve place i n the hi st ory of
Engl i sh literature. It s recogni t i on i s due t o K i p l i n g . K i p -
l i n g disclosed to the European wo r l d a vast field for the
cxercise of creative art. Hi s genius, art, and popul ari t y
produced a host of admirers and i mi t at ors. Stories soon
appeared i n large numbers of I ndi an life and customs, of
Engl i sh life i n I ndi a, of the clash of East and West , and of
the mystery of an ancient count r y teeming wi t h mi l l i ons
of inhabitants, f ul l of variety, picturesqueness, and a curious
bl endi ng of the highest traits of ci vi l i zat i on wi t h i nst i t u-
tions and practices whi ch can scarcely be called ci vi l i zed.
The mere fact of a handful of Engl i shmen r ul i ng over the
destinies of mi l l i ons was staggering. That Engl i shmen
and Engl i shwomen wh o came out t o I ndi a t hought hi ghl y
of themselves and of the natives wi t h contempt, can be
easily comprehended. They made money in I ndi a, enjoyed
themselves mi ght i l y, and abused I ndi a heartily. At the
same t i me they never ceased to regard themselves as exiles
wh o had made enormous sacrifices for the good of the
nat i ves:
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
These feelings of racial arrogance, of contempt f or I ndi a
and Indians, and of melancholy engendered by separation
f r om home are the common subjects of K i pl i ng' s poems
and stories and of those wh o f ol l owed hi m.
84 RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HIS SCHOOL
24. Mrs. Flora Annie Steel.
A mo n g the many writers who came under the spell of
K i p l i n g , Mr s . Fl ora Anni e Steel i s the earliest. Whe n i n
the 'nineties her stories began to appear it was a common-
place of cri t i ci sm t o compare her wi t h K i p l i n g . L i ke
his, her romances mai nl y deal wi t h Angl o- I ndi an l i fe,
but I ndi an life i s not i gnored. I n her out l ook and met hod
of treatment she resembles K i p l i n g . But her range is
greater. Whi l e K i p l i n g wr ot e his stories t o fill a few
Columns of an Angl o- I ndi an daily, she planned t hem more
deliberately and on a larger scale. But her acquaintance
wi t h Angl o- I ndi an life and the life of official Simla i s poor
i n comparison wi t h the i nt i mat e knowl edge of K i p l i n g .
Her onl y Angl o- I ndi an character that compares favour-
ably wi t h Ki pl i ng' s creations i s Mr s . Boynt on of The
Potter's Thumb (1894), the evi l woman par excellence. The
rest are mere types. But she has more sympathy for the
men and women of the Punjab. Her novels are l ong and
heavy. They move sl owl y and are encumbered wi t h
matters extraneous to the story. Voices in the Night (1900)
and the Hosts of the Lord (1900) are bul ky volumes wi t h very
simple plots. I t is in her short stories that Mr s . Steel is to be
seen at her best and recalls K i p l i n g . The Permanent Way
and Other Stories (1897) is a valuable cont r i but i on to A n g l o -
I ndi an literature. At the Grand Durbar and The Blue-
throated God are specially interesting. They do not show
much mastery over character, but exhi bi t a knowl edge of
H i n d u and Mohammedan l i fe and t hought more i nt i mat e
t han that of K i p l i n g . I t i s curious t o note that according
to Mr s . Steel some of these stories, The Permanent Way,
'The King's Well, and the Most Nai l i n' Bad Shot, have a
spiritist or i gi n. They are supposed to have been dictated
to her by ' Nat hani el James Craddock' , a guard on the
Great Peninsular Railway, of wh o m Mr s . Steel has no
recollection.
1
From the Five Rivers (1893), an earlier
1
The Garden of Fidelity.
RUDYARD K I P L I N G A N D HIS SCHOOL 85
vol ume of eight stories, i s wr i t t en i n a cynical vei n, Ganesh
Chund is a tragic story i l l ust rat i ng the ignorance, super-
st i t i on, and misery of the Panjab villagers. As a wo r k of
art it is crude. Ganesh Chund is painted wi t h feeling, but
his mot her and his wi fe Ver u are not pleasing creations.
(The Blue Monkey is a burlesque of a cowardly money-
l endi ng H i n d u and his educated son. In the Guardianship
of God (1903) contains seventeen studies, f ul l of pathos,
of H i n d u character. Mr s. Steel, l i ke K i p l i n g , cannot under-
stand educated I ndi a or even rural I ndi a. Bot h of t hem,
however, can understand the devot i on and fidelity of the
servants and menials who serve t hem and l i ve wi t hi n their
compounds. ' Little Henry and His Bearer is reminiscent of
Mr s . Sherwood' s story of the same name, i f not a copy,
and depicts the devot i on of a t hug for an Engl i sh chi l d.
"The Perfume of the Rose is also a story of a l oyal I ndi an in
the days of the Mut i ny. The Reformer's Wife, whi ch gives
a sketch of the westernized H i ndu, is not so convi nci ng
and betrays the author' s bias. The more promi nent note
of Mr s . Steel's books is the feeling of sadness evoked by
the recollections of the Mut i ny. She has visualized that
crisis in her novel On the Face of the Waters (1896), and its
echoes are heard also in her other books. An extract
taken f r om Voices in the Night is gi ven bel ow:
'As they did so a plaintive woman's voice rose close to
her. "I shall send baby home, as we've been transferred to
Cawnpore."
' "I sn' t she rather young ?" said some one in answer.
' " O h ! it isn't that", replied the first voice. "I mean that
I couldn't take a child to Cawnpore. I should always be
thinking of the we l l . " '
'Always thinking of the well!
' The words brought home to Lesley Drummond in an
instanta never-to-be-forgotten instantthat something which
so often chills the golden glory of the Eastern sunshine, that
vision of the sentinel of memory which, for both races, bars
the door of reconciliation that might otherwise stand open
for comradeship.' (p. 10.)
8 6 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G A N D H I S S C H O O L
25. Mrs. Alice Perrin.
Anot her wr i t er wh o shows the influence of Ki p l i n g i s
Mr s . Al i ce Perri n. She has wr i t t en many novels of An g l o -
I ndi an life and three volumes of short stories. She does
not show the same knowl edge of native l i fe as Mr s . Steel,
but what l i t t l e she knows of I ndi an l i fe, she utilizes wi t h
considerable s ki l l as a background f or novels of An g l o -
I ndi an l i fe. Bei ng the wi f e of an engineer, she knows the
mofussil more t han the gay life of a pr ovi nci al capital or
of a h i l l station. Her fi rst vol ume of short stories, East of
Suez, was published i n 1901, the year of the publ i cat i on of
Kim. Li ke Ki p l i n g , Mr s . Perri n i s quite familiar wi t h the
life of Engl i shmen east of Suez and her presentation of i t ,
at least i n her fi rst book, i s similar t o that of Ki p l i n g .
Her observation is accurate and her understanding clear.
But she does not possess Ki pl i ng' s gi f t of l i t erary craftman-
ship. She lacks the satire, f un, and i r ony whi c h di st i ngui sh
Ki pl i ng' s tales. East of Suez is mor e in the style of Ki p l i n g
t han 'Rough Passages (1926) and Red Records (1928). These
latter were published recently, but they describe the days
when motor-cars were unknown and Engl i sh officials
moved f r om place t o place i n ekkas and bullock-carts. The
very title-page of East of Suez is a t r i but e to Ki p l i n g and
bears his famous lines :
Ship me somewhere East of Suez
Where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments
An ' a man can raise a thirst.
is
Out of the fourteen stories of this vol ume, Beynon, of the
Irrigation Department, The Tiger Charm, and Perverted
Punishment are stories of unhappy marri ed life in I ndi a.
the Fakir of the Forest, A Planter's Wife, and The Spell, in
Rough Passages, deal wi t h the same subject. Mr s . Perrin' s
men and women go wr o n g but wi t h t repi dat i on. They
do not f l out the Te n Commandments l i ke Ki pl i ng' s
characters. Her tragedies are enacted in out-of-the-way
RUDYARD KI P L I N G A N D HI S SCHOOL 87
places, i n remote camps, jungles, or on l onel y r i ver banks,
and do not gi ve rise to scandals. Mr s . Perrin' s women are
weak, but not deliberately wi cked. She has no Mr s .
Hauksbee or Mr s . Boynt on.
Anot her respect i n whi c h Mr s . Perri n resembles Ki p l i n g
is her interest in the occul t and the mysterious. She
records its influence on the l i fe of her count rymen i n the
East. A l l the three volumes contain stories based on
native beliefs in the evi l eye, ghosts, and superstitions.
In The Summoning of Arnold she describes wi t h pathos the
tragic death of a l ovi ng husband i n I ndi a, just at the
moment when his wi f e di ed on the operat i ng table i n
Engl and. Caulfield's Crime and The Fakir's Island relate
the t erri bl e consequences of i nsul t i ng I ndi an sadhus and
fakirs. Red Records contains as many as seven stories of
the same type. The Momiai-Walla Sahib has for its theme
the strange belief that Engl i shmen k i l l wel l -fed native lads
to manufacture ' momi ai ' . The Evil Eye is a t erri bl e story
wor ke d r ound the superstition that a leper father or mot her
must be buri ed alive if the childen are to escape the
disease. Moore, The Packet of Letters, and The Footsteps in
the Dust are stories based on a bel i ef in spirits. The
Brahminy Bull in Rough Passages is set in the eerie atmosphere
of re-incarnation. The Belief of Bhagwan, Bearer; Chuniah,
Ayah and The Biscobra, are tragic stories of superstition,
vindictiveness, and devot i on of I ndi an servants. The Spell
narrates how Ganga, a servant, serves his master by
saving his mistress f r om f al l i ng i nt o t empt at i on. Rough
Passages has a few other stories suggestive of Ki p l i n g .
For India describes the di si l l usi onment of a r i ch Engl i sh
lady t our i st wh o , l i ke Paget, M. P. , had come out t o
investigate the wrongs of t he Br i t i s h admi ni st rat i on i n
I ndi a but f ound the much-mal i gned officials devot ed t o
the welfare of the masses. Mr s . Perrin' s powers are seen
at t hei r best in some of these stories. Between the publ i ca-
t i o n of East of Suez in 1901, and Red Records in 1928, Mr s .
Perri n wr ot e a number of novels dealing wi t h vari ous
88 RUDYARD KI P L I N G A N D HI S SCHOOL
phases of Angl o- I ndi an l i f e, whi c h show the same sym-
pat hy, the same power of observation, and v i v i d des-
cr i pt i on as her shorter stories.
26. Otto Rothfeld and 'Andrul'..
Indian Dust (1909) by Mr . Ot t o Rot hfel d and The Way
side (1911) by ' An d r u l ' are t wo other volumes of short
stories r emi ndi ng us of Ki p l i n g . Mr . Rot hfel d takes us t o
Rajputana, a provi nce left unexpl ored by Ki p l i n g , i f we
except The Naulahka. He narrates some extraordinary
tales of Rajput customs, character, and l i fe of older days.
The Crime of Narsingji describes the fidelity and devot i on
of a Rajput servant t o his master, his pri de of bi r t h,
si mpl i ci t y and courage. A Rajput Lady is a spirited story
of a Rajput woman who wi ns her husband l i ke a moder n
European g i r l , and takes one back to the days of Rajput
chi val ry. On Thy Head recounts how a Rajput Bhat br ought
back a Rajput prince to his ancestral home by threatening
t o k i l l hi msel f; and he wo u l d have sacrificed hi msel f t oo
accordi ng t o the ancient custom i f the prince had refused
to ret urn, behind the Purdah is a tragic but crude tale of the
unhappy marriage of a Rajput Pr i nces , and her ambi t i on
whi c h l ed to di shonour and murder. In the Twilight traces
the effects of Oxf or d education on a young Mohammedan
student and the discontent that overtakes hi m. Mr . Ro t h
fel d has l i t t l e technique. He is at his best when describing
Raj put l i fe or Bh i l customs. Mos t of these stories fi rst
appeared in The Times of India.
' An d r u l ' reminds the reader f or ci bl y of Ki p l i n g and his
tales. Hi s stories also first appeared in The Times of India
and The Pioneer. In the I nt r oduct i on t o the book, whi c h
bears a close resemblance to Ki pl i ng' s Preface to Life's
Handicaps ' An d r u l ' tells us how he came to wr i t e these
stories. The stories are f ul l o f real affection f or the masses
of I ndi a, t o wh o m t he book i s dedicated. Hi s object i s t o
gai n f or t hem a l i t t l e sympathy. The masses of I ndi a, he
tells us,
RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS SCHOOL 89
'are happy in their own simple way, but their happinesses
are so t ri vi al , their joys so primitive, that they would be of
little interest for the contemplation of Western folk. On the
other hand, their sadnesses are greater to the more civilised
mi nd than to themselves, who are unaccustomed to perceive
the pathos of life. Hence these sketches are mostly sad.' (p. 4.)
K i p l i n g wr ot e the tales of his ' o wn people' and wr ot e
for the amusement of his o wn people. What pictures
of humbl e I ndi an life he gives are often spoilt by the i n -
difference, even contempt, whi ch characterizes his study of
I ndians. ' Andr ul ' s ' object, as we have seen, was different.
Hi s stories are for that reason more fai t hful pictures of
humble I ndi an life.
Hi s first story;The Toys of Ghulam Muhiyuddin, is an echo
of Ki pl i ng' s famous story of Muhammad Din.
'I wanted to see the little body before it was taken away.
I wish I had not.' (' Andrul ' , p. 10.)
'A week later, though I woul d have given much to have
avoided i t , I met on the road to the Mussalman burying
ground I mam D i n, accompanied by one other friend, carrying
in his arms, wrapped in a white cloth, all that was left of little
Muhammad D i n. ' (Kipling' s Tales, p. 301.)
The same note is struck by bot h wri t ers, there is the same
tragedy and the same effect. Bot h writers refer to the
l i t t l e resistance whi ch I ndians offer to the inroads of
disease and their stoical indifference in the face of death.
But ' A n d r u l ' lacks the art of K i p l i n g . K i pl i ng' s love for
the private i n Engl i sh regiments i n I ndi a shows i t sel f i n
many stories. ' A n d r u l ' loves the native soldier quite as
much and has reproduced the pathos of his humbl e life
in several simple tales. The Izzat of Hira Singh, The Debts
of Harkaru Singh, The Madness of Kwaja Muhammad Khan,
'The Ignominy of Chandka Singh, The Loved of Godand
Incidentally of Women, evince a remarkable grasp of the
I ndi an soldier's character, especially the Si kh soldier and
the Pathan. ' A n d r u l ' is very sensitive to the tragedy of
their humbl e lives, knows the peculiarities of t hei r character
9 0 RUDYARD KI P L I N G A N D HI S SCHOOL
and realizes t hei r essential humani t y. He is not at his best
when dealing wi t h characters l i ke Gul zar i La i Mi s r , M. A .
He belongs t o the type of Engl i shmen who, a generation
ago, coul d not tolerate t he idea of swadeshi and even
' cover t ' talks about swaraj. Li k e Ki p l i n g , he understands
his servants and has recorded t hei r i nfi ni t e patience, t hei r
devot i on t o t hei r master, t hei r affection f or wi fe and
chi l dren and their l ove for t hei r regiments. The Abandon-
ment of Tashi relates the sacrifice of a poor shi kari to save
his wi fe and chi l d f r om death by starvation. The Patience
of Pitamber is a t ouchi ng record of the tender devot i on of
a servant to his paralytic wi f e and to his master who
returns f r om f ur l ough onl y when it is t oo late. The Passing
of Janki and Reprieved show how these humbl e Indians
t ouch the heart of t hei r masters. Reprieved is one of the
best stories i n the vol ume and narrates how the wi f e of a
sweeper, br ut al l y treated by her husband, s t i l l interceded
for her man when he got i nt o t r oubl e, and was transported
wi t h del i ght when he was reprieved by the commandant.
The aut hor thus describes the happy end of this i nci dent :
' ' I looked at the Colonel, and saw a suspicious moisture in
his eye. I looked at the second-in-command, who was scowling
heavily and clearing his throat wi t h unnecessary violence, and
somehow I reckoned them none the less men for their weakness.
'I tried to say that the man who had used the phrase
"passing even the love of woman" knew how to express the
superlative, but my voice behaved so funnily over the first
wor d that I kept silence.' (The Wayside, pp. 76-7.)
' An d r u l ' had promi sed the dyi ng Ah i r ( i n the Preface)
t hat he wo u l d t el l his count r ymen what he had heard and
seen by the wayside. The book shows how we l l and
fai t hful l y he has ful fi l l ed his promise. Our onl y regret is
that he di d not wr i t e more.
27. Edmund Candler.
Anot her wr i t er of mer i t but i n marked contrast t o
' An d r u l ' bot h i n temper and style i s Mr . Edmund Candler.
RUDYARD K I P L I N G A N D HI S SCHOOL 91
The General Plan (1911) is a book of nine wel l - wr i t t en
short stories. I n his contempt for I ndians and things
I ndi an, his admi rat i on of the courage and character of
Engl i sh officials in I ndi a, and his literary style, he is a
f ol l ower of K i p l i n g . I n Probationary', L o r d Masfield gives
a characteristic piece of advice to D i c k before his departure
f or I ndi a :
' Keep the natives in their place, my boy. They wi l l think
all the more of you for i t . And never trust any of them further
than you can help.' (p. 18.)
There is an echo of the Head of the District in the f ol l owi ng
passage i n M r . Candler' s best v e i n:
' The assistant magistrate was a young Bengali of the hybrid
Cambridge type, wi t h the veneer fast wearing off,a pr i g
preternaturally fat, and a bundle of touchiness. He welcomed
Di ck wi t h disconcerting familiarity, adopting the spurious,
pseudo-jolly-good-fellow-well-met air which sits as well on
men of his type as clothes on a scarecrow. Di ck drew back
dismayed, and the Bengali's pose veered instantly into one of
injured aloofness. His lounge became a strut; his exaggerated
contours seemed to be tortured into angles; the nape of his
neck stiffened wi t h an awkward dignity which his shifty eyes
could not support, as he waved a fat palm at Di ck, addressing
hi m wi t h insinuating patronage.' (p. 24.)
The story is meant to show the contrast in the character
of an I ndi an and an Engl i sh official. M r . Candler' s
language is part i cul arl y vi gorous and incisive when he is
describing anyt hi ng I ndi a n:
' The accident of Dick' s presence alone had disturbed the
black ooze of undredged wickedness and intrigue that had
collected in the stagnant backwater of Kordinghee.' (p. 58.)
A Break i n the Rains, wi t h its description of Gerard' s
encounter wi t h an A g h o r i breathing cor r upt i on, i s a
v ari at i on of Ki pl i ng' s The Mark of the Beast, and shows
M r . Candler' s l ove f or the eerie and mysterious i n I ndi an
l i fe. 'The Testimony of Bhagwan Singh, based upon the tragic
92 RUDYARD K I P L I N G A N D HIS SCHOOL
l ove of a Si kh yout h for Parbati, the beautiful wi fe of a
gol dsmi t h, shows the author' s l ove for the supernatural.
I n his appreciation of the natural scenery of the Himalayas,
and of Lamas l i vi ng i n their lonely monasteries there, Mr .
Candler resembles K i p l i n g . At Galdang Tso is aut obi o-
graphical in some respects. Mr. Candler has put something
of himself i n H ugh.
'He left the University wi t h nothing to fall back upon except
a Thi r d in the Classical Tripos, some vague literary leanings,
and a great love for the poetry of Browning and Keats, gifts
which were tempered wi t h a longing to be away, to dwell in
tents under the shadow of Lebanon, to cross Africa, or camp
on the roof of the worl d. Instead, he became a school-master.'
(P. 226.)
' His longing for the East was a passion.' (p. 227.)
' The fragrance of a pine wood fire and the smell of his pony's
warm coat stirred vague longings in Hugh. ' (p. 227.)
Hi s description of the j ourney f r om Kal ka t o Simla, f r om
Simla t o Kot gar h, Nachar, War yt u, Chi ni , Dankar and
thence to Galdang Tso is one of the best pieces of A n g l o -
I ndi an prose, recalling Ki pl i ng' s description of the Gr and
Tr u n k Road. Hugh' s impressions of Simla, whi ch he
regarded as a mere caravanserai on his way to Galdang
Tso, deserve reproduct i on.
' He made Simla on the t hi rd day in a march of twenty-four
miles through bleak hills. The lamps were l i t on the mall
when he pressed his tired pony up from Jutogh, and he passed
officialdom spinning home in their rickshaws, lofty, remote,
imperturbable, as he had read of them, and their scarlet-
coated chaprassies wi t h files and folios, brown paper, and
red tape.'
' The place depressed hi m as it had his brother, who had
found the migratory society there the most artificial in the
wor l d. He described it as made up of "burra-crats" and birds of
passage waiting on the doorstep for appointments and flying
off wi t h crumbs. He felt as if he were moving through invisible
steel hinges. Many new faces passed every day, faces that
resented other faces, and seemed to shrink from the obliga-
RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS SCHOOL 93
tions involved in any new tie. The people in the hotel greeted
one another at meals as who should say "Good morning, damn
y o u . " ' (p. 229.)
28. Sir Edmund Cox, Herbert Sherring, 'Richard Dehan',
Ethel M. Dell, A. T. Harris, and John Eyton.
Wi t h a very few exceptions, f or other story-tellers a
passing notice is sufficient. Sir Edmund Cox in his three
books, John Carruthers (1905), The Achievements of John
Carruthers (1911), The Exploits of Kesho Naik, Dacoit (1912),
has gi ven a l i t erary shape to his l ong experience of the
I ndi an Police Service and has t urned his knowl edge i nt o
del i ght f ul and power f ul stories. Hi s delineation of I ndi an
Police methods i n every detail of their crooked intricacy
i s t i nged wi t h gentle satire and characterized by humour .
Mr . Her ber t Sherring in Gopi (1911) takes the readers to
many places and periods for his themes. Gopi is the first
and longest story i n the book dealing wi t h moder n I ndi a.
' Ri chard Dehan' s Earth to Earth (1916) is a vol ume of
mi xed stories of L o n d o n and I ndi a. The best of al l i n con-
cept i on and art is A Nursery Tea. Of the five stories whi c h
make up The Safety Curtain, and other Stories (1917) by Miss
Et hel M. D e l l , t wo deal mai nl y wi t h I ndi an scenes. They
show mi nut e knowl edge of mi l i t ar y l i fe i n I ndi a and are
superior to the other three. The Safety Curtain is remarkable
f or the sketch of fascinating and irresponsible T u c k ' who
i s saved by Maj or Me r yon f r om certain death. Maj or
Me r yon belongs to the class of st rong st ol i d male heroes
of woman novelists. Through Eastern Windows (1919) by
Mr . A. T. Mar r i s i s a Religious Tr act Society publ i cat i on.
Mr . Mar r i s undertakes t o ' expl ai n' i n these stories not
onl y the joys and anxieties of I ndi an daily l i fe, but
'Something also of the struggles and failures, the victories
and the ideals of that underlying thought-life, which is the
most real t hi ng in each one of us, whether I ndian or English' .
(Dedication.)
I n spite of natural missionary bias and propagandist ai m
94 RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL
wi t h whi ch al l of t hem are col oured, the stories evince a
real understanding of the l i fe of Indians i n the bazaars and
the zenana. Major-General T. P. Pilcher possesses some
gifts of literary style and uses t hem in his book East is
East (1921). Hi s delineation of I ndi an life and character is
prejudiced, his ai m bei ng merely to show that East is East.
Similar i s the ai m of Mr . Leonard Wo o l f i n his Stories of
the East (1921); one of his three stories is a variant of the
failure of mi xed marriages. The scene i s l ai d i n Col ombo.
Mr . John Eyt on i s a more i mpor t ant wr i t er of short
stories dealing wi t h recent times. Hi s object may be
judged f r om the last stanza of a poem of his o wn , i n his
book, The Dancing Fakir (1922):
If you woul d gather pictures of a land that never changes
Where Brahmans, though three thousand years have
passed, are Brahmans still
From sunny Coromandel coast unto the Northern ranges
Then come as I woul d guide you, and see history from a
hi l l .
Mr . Eyt on i s a much travelled man and knows his I ndi a
f r om Sunny Coromandel t o the Nor t he r n Ranges. Hi s
first story, The Dancing Fakir, takes us to the Raml i l a fair
at Bi japur where Babu Go pi Na t h, the fri end of ' Mahat ma
Gandhi J i ' of wh o m the Sirdar is afraid, makes a speech
i nci t i ng the mob t o proceed t o the ' Hot el -Cl ub' t o shed
the ' bl ood of the Engl i s h dogs' . The Danci ng Faki r , wh o
is none else t han the loafing, dr i nki ng j ai l -bi r d, Jackson
of the Calcutta racecourse and music-halls, saves the
Gover nment Treasury and the small col ony of Engl i sh-
men and women at Bijapur by a heroic deed of self-
sacrifice. The story i s t ypi cal of the Angl o-I ndi an at t i t ude
towards the Non-Co-operat i on Movement . The second
st oryi The Heart of Tek Chand, takes us to Roht ak Di s t r i ct ,
near De l hi , and t hen t o the West ern Fr ont . I t deals wi t h
the romance of Te k Chand wi t h the sl i m daughter of
Perbhoo Di ya l , but it is specially not ewor t hy as recordi ng
the impressions of an I ndi an soldier of his f i r st sight of
RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HI S SCHOOL 95
the sea, of ships and of French t owns and villages. As the
I ndi an troops marched up f r om the docks t hr ough the
t o wn of Marseilles, Tek Chand t hought that the wo r l d
was marvellously f ul l of sahibs.
' Girlssmiling and speaking in a strange tonguewaved at
them, walked along beside them, kissed their hands to them,
actually shook the hand of one or t wo. This was very strange to
Tek Chand, in whose eyes a handshake from a saheb was an
honour reserved for the great.
5
(p. 18.)
The Moods of Saleem takes us to the border of Dera
I smai l K han and describes the deeds of Saleem, a not ori ous
leader of a band of raiders, who combined the qualities
of the kni ght errant, the fanatic, the humori st , and the
idealist. Some of the stories, such as The Ugly Calf A
Philosopher Stag, The Pale One, are reminiscent of Ki pl i ng' s
Jungle Books.
Mr . C. A. Ki ncai d has wo n some reputation as a wr i t er
of stories of H i n d u life and rel i gi on. Shri Krishna of
Dwarka and other stories, Tales of Tulsi Plant and other studies
(1922), illustrate Mr . Ki ncai d' s intimate and sympathetic
delineation of Hi ndus of southern I ndi a.
29. 'Afghan'.
' Af ghan' , whose knowl edge of Pathan life i s f ul l of
sympathy and acute observation, turns his attention to
I ndi a in his vol ume of short stories,/ The Best Indian
Chutney (1925). ' Af ghan' tells us that he has sweetened
the Chutney, b ut it must be confessed that it s t i l l leaves a
bi t t er taste in the mout h. ' Af ghan' has a sense of
humour , and the gi f t of character pai nt i ng. But i n this
b ook his humour often degenerates i nt o vul gar i t y and his
character sketches i nt o caricatures. Hi s knowl edge of
I ndians, wh o m he misrepresents, seems meagre. Wha t
he sees he can transcribe, b ut when it comes to i nt er-
pr et i ng actions he flounders. The story ' There' s Many
a Slip* is a good i l l ust rat i on. It is based upon his assump-
96 RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HIS* SCHOOL
t i on that a H i n d u cannot have more than one wi fe at a
t i me, and therefore it is necessary for A r j u n Dass, the fat,
greasy, and amorous buniah, to become a Mussulman.
Hukam Chand is a comedy of the jealousy and amours of a
H i n d u clerk. Ki shan Singh, the hero of the story of the
same name, is described as t aki ng no interest in dancing
gi rl s 'because he had a nice taste and tainted game di d not
appeal t o hi m. He preferred t o bag his o wn shikar.'
1
Bertie's Sister is a dark picture of Eurasian snobbishness
and degradation. The Holy Pir is a travesty of Moham-
medan l i fe. The Non-Co-operator is a pol i t i cal skit. Prem
Chand is described as a l yi ng, cowardl y fol l ower of
Gandhi . He has t wo mistresses in a bazaar where ladies
of easy vi r t ue reside,
2
and many more friends. He wears
khaddar, but secretly despises i t . He is a ' positive genius'
i n i nfl ami ng the passions of the i gnorant f ol k. He enlists
followers by threatening t o l oot the houses of those who
refuse and by al l owi ng his followers to take liberties wi t h
pret t y gi rl s. When he has to invest his i l l - got t en weal t h,
he puts it in an Engl i sh bank because I ndi an banks had
a 'disagreeable habi t ' of fai l i ng unexpectedly. Af t er the
resignation by Mr . Mont agu of the office of Secretary
of State for I ndi a and the arrest of Gandhi , he gives up
Non-Co-operat i on and saves his ski n by disclosing the
name of every man i n his gang and al l the robberies
commi t t ed by t hem. The sketch of Prem Chand i s onl y
wor t hy of notice as enabling the reader t o know how
' Af ghan' wants his count rymen to visualize a Non- Co-
operator. His English Wife is a shorter versi on of Mr .
John Eyt on' s novel ent i t l ed Mr. Ram, whi c h appeared
later. The t wo stories whi ch are free f r om bitterness and
bias, and show that ' Af ghan' can wr i t e feelingly when he
wishes, are The Old Rest House and The Sadu's Gift. The
first is a pathetic tale of an Engl i sh chi l d br ought up
among wol ves; the second describes the horri bl e end
of an Engl i shman who had offended an I ndi an sadhu, a
1
p. 67.
2
p. 91.
RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL 97
st ory similar to The Mark of the Beast in substance, but
endi ng tragically.
30. The Ranee of Sarawak, Maud Diver, and Mrs. Savi.
He r Highness t he Ranee of Sarawak endeavours t o
por t r ay i n her Cauldron the degenerating influence of t he
Far East on whi t e men and women. The stories are not
I ndi an but depict Mal ay l i fe and take the readers to a ' l and
of gorgeous green, and fr ui t and large lazy fl owers be-
neath whi c h the damp r ot is eating its destructive way' .
1
The aut hor fi nds i n the ' native legends, loneliness, and t he
power of suggestion' some of the weapons of dest ruct i on
t hat the Far East uses against Europeans.
2
Five Indian
Tales by Mr . F. F. Shearwood consists of 'artless' stories
wr i t t e n by a zealous missionary i n I ndi a, who di ed at t he
early age of t hi rt y-seven. De Profundis, a tale descri bi ng
ho w a missionary ri sked his life to nurse an I ndi an leper
despised and i gnor ed by his o wn communi t y, i s t ypi cal of
t he col l ect i on. Mr s . Ma ud Di ver ' s Siege Perilous (1924)
and Mr s . Savi's t wo volumes of short stories, Back o'
Beyond and The Saving of a Scandal, are by-products of t hei r
l i t erary i ndust r y as novelists. Mr s . Ma u d Di ver ' s book
contains some qui t e good stories. Siege Perilous is the
longest story in the col l ect i on and bears a certain cousi n-
ship wi t h the pr i nci pal characters of her last novel , Ships
of Youth. The habi t of Mr s . Di ve r of r ei nt r oduci ng t he
same fami l y characters is i l l ust rat ed even in Ships of Youth
publ i shed i n 1931. Readers who are not fami l i ar wi t h her
previ ous novels may find her later product i ons less enjoy-
able for that reason. The scene o f the story is the hi l l
st at i on of Dal housi e, and the pl ot i s the t ri angul ar clash
of l ove. Light Marching Order is a humorous story of the
Second Afghan Wa r and narrates ho w a soda-water
machine was smuggl ed i nt o t he camp against orders.
Laksmi, The Gods of the East, and Escape are I ndi an stories
t aken f r o m l i fe, as Mr s . Di ve r herself tells us i n t he
1
Foreword.
2
I bi d.
H
98 RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HIS SCHOOL
Aut hor ' s Not e. Lakshmi closely resembles Mr . Rothfeld' s
A Rajput Princess, onl y Lakshmi belongs to a later peri od.
The Gods of the 'East is i nt roduced wi t h a quot at i on f r om
K i p l i n g and i s based on the ancient H i n d u practice of
enforcing the payment of a debt by si t t i ng Dharna, now
punishable by law. Ram Si ngh, however, defies the l aw
and stoically accepts the sentence of transportation for
l i fe. Thi s story also resembles Mr . Rothfeld' s story
ent i t l ed On Thy Head. Sunia irresistibly reminds one of
Ki pl i ng' s Lispeth; even some of the sentences are echoes
o f K i p l i n g :
' When a H i l l gi r l is beautiful you wi l l scarce find her match
in the five continents; and Sunia was beautiful past question.'
(Siege Perilous, p. 152.)
' When a Hi l l - gi r l grows lovely, she is wort h travelling fifty
miles over bad ground to l ook upon. Lispeth had a Greek
faceone of those faces people paint so often, and see so
seldom.' (Plain Tales, p. 2.)
Escape is a simple romance of a pret t y gi r l - wi dow of
Lul i ana and Gopal u, her l over. Mr s . Di ver , however,
does not know that gi rl s, much less wi dows , i n the
Panjab villages have no pan-dan.
Mr s . Savi's stories, l i ke her novels, have no marked
features. I n Back o' Beyond, the stories are of A ngl o-
I ndi an l i fe, based upon the bel i ef i n the unl ucky t hi rt een
and tragedies of misplaced affection. Worse Than Death
tells us how the beautiful Flossie went mad after bei ng
confined for five days in a dr y wel l . The Saving of a Scandal
contains a few stories wi t h I ndi an characters. The Orderly
relates how a Pathan orderl y atones for his projected
treachery. Brute Force shows the regenerating influence
of l ove for an Engl i sh marri ed g i r l on a Pathan Prince.
The Prince starts wi t h the det ermi nat i on t o murder her
husband and ki dnap her, but returns after presenting a
garland of priceless pearls to her baby. A Legend of
Hindustan ( i n verse) is a homi l y on marriages of innocent
Engl i sh girls to degenerate nawabs and rajahs. White
RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL 99
Lies i s a mystery novel cent r i ng r ound the death of
Compt on- Low, whose body, l i ke t hat of I mr ay, i s f ound
exposed f r om the cei l i ng. Eve n the karai t i s not mi ssi ng.
31. Hilton Brown.
Mr . Hi l t o n Br o wn , i n Potter's Clay (1927), has collected
some stories of Sout h I ndi a. The Pot t er bears t est i mony
to the richness and abundance of the clay, and leaves his
readers t o j udge the Pot t er f or themselves. The Sout h
I ndi an clay i n the hands of a practised artist l i ke Mr . Hi l t o n
Br o wn has t aken beaut i ful forms, t i nged wi t h his delicate
satire and i r ony. These tales, as he says, are ' passing
comments on one of the most puzzl i ng peoples and one of
the least classable countries f or wh i c h Creat i on has ever
been responsible' . Mr . Br o wn bows before this ununder-
standable I ndi a, its i nf i ni t e cont radi ct i ons and cont rari e-
ties, and closes the vol ume w i t h a poem on Mot he r I ndi a,
called Envoi. T w o stanzas are reproduced b e l o w:
Take the worst conundrums known
Since this wor l d began revol vi ng,
Ad d whate'er hath Science shown
Hopeless and beyond all solving.
Mul t i pl y the mass by three,
Mi x their heads and tails and middles
We shall have a glimpse of Thee,
Mother India asking riddles;
Riddles, riddles, riddles, riddles,
Quite unanswerable riddles
Unt o all eternity.
I n his style Mr . Br o wn seems t o i mi t at e Ki p l i n g of the
Plain Tales. Genius is a ski t on the I ndi ans' fondness f or l aw,
and i t i s meant t o endorse Professor Pi ckl i ng' s vi ew t hat i t i s
pract i cal l y impossible f or a genius t o arise i n this count r y.
32. Miss Mayo, Mrs. Beck, and Mr. Humfrey Jordan.
I t i s this i nabi l i t y t o understand the many-sidedness of
I ndi a n l i fe and t hought , so puzzl i ng t o the West er n mi n d ,
RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL
t hat has t ur ned a wr i t er of Mi ss Mayo' s undoubt ed
l i t erary gifts i nt o a propagandist. Miss Kat her i ne Mayo
showed in Maggot to Man that if she chose she coul d wr i t e
i n a spi ri t of detachment. But her habi t of ma ki ng
sweeping generalizations and her propagandist tendencies
disfigure her stories of Hi n d u wi dows and gi r l - wi ves
i ncl uded in the Slaves of Gods (1929). Mr s . L. Adams Beck
understands I ndi a better t han Miss Mayo, for she loves
I ndi a, t hough i t may be for India' s mystery and myst i ci sm.
She often soars among the clouds, but the stories i ncl uded
in The Ninth Vibration and Other Stories (1928) are di st i nct l y
superior t o Miss Mayo' s product i ons, not onl y because
of her greater l i t erary gifts, but by broader sympathies. Mr .
Humf r ey Jordan in his White Masters (1929) takes the
reader to the jungles, swamps, and creeks of Bur ma, and
shows, l i ke the Ranee of Sarawak, ' t he sinister influence
of the East' on the lives of whi t e men and women*. He
tells us h o w i n the l onel y bungal ows and clubs of Sin By u
l i ve s are constricted, nerves exasperated: the pettiness of
human nature intensified' . (T.L.S., Dec. 5, 1929.)
33. Kipling and his imitators,
Ki pl i ng' s influence i s shown not onl y by the mor e
i mpor t ant short-story wri t ers but by several novelists of
not e. Some i mi t at e h i m slavishly; others copy h i m wi t h
di scret i on. A few mar k a reaction against h i m.
Amo n g the i mi t at or s of Ki p l i n g are Tal bot Mu n d y ,
' Ganpat ' , and Al i ce Eustace.
Tal bot Mu n d y shows the influence of Ki p l i n g bot h i n
t he substance of his stories and style. King, of the Khyber
Rifles (1927) is a mi ngl i ng of the pl ot s of Kim and The
Naulahka. It is a complicated romance of secret service
and German-organized jehad on the Fr ont i er . At hel st an
K i n g i s pi t ched against the beaut i ful but mysterious
i nt r i guer Yas mi ni and undergoes great physical and
mental trials i n di scoveri ng the secret of the Khi ni j a n
caves. The verse headings and somet hi ng of the di ct i on
RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL
of Ki p l i n g , combi ned wi t h a l i t t l e of Ri der Haggard' s She
and the asides of ' Seton Me r r i ma n' , have gone t o the
maki ng of this tale. The influence of Ki pl i ng' s di ct i on
may be seen in the f o l l o wi n g :
' Who was he that he should suspect new outrage, or guess
he was about to be used in a game he did not understand?'
(p. 16.)
' The teerain goes when it goes.' (p. 17.)
' The question sounded like politeness welling from the
lips of unsuspicion.' (p. 20.)
The game is the game f or whi c h Kim was bei ng prepared.
' Teerai n' is a var i at i on of the ' Red Lama' s t e-rai n' and the
last sentence i s i n the style of Mahbub A l i . Hira Singh's
Tale (1918) is a war story narrat i ng how a detachment
of Si kh Li g h t Cavalry operat i ng i n Flanders suddenly
appeared at the mout h of the Khyber Pass. It i s wr i t t e n
in ' Ki pl i ng- I ndi a n Engl i s h' . Guns of the Gods (1921) is a
story of r api d act i on and bewi l der i ng i nt r i gue. As i n
Ki pl i ng' s Naulahka there is an Amer i can mi ni ng engineer
searching for gol d near the palace of the Maharajah. There
is a Rajput pri nce, a copy of the Maharajah of Goka r l
Sitarun, but more i ni qui t ous and more cruel, wh o poisons,
t ort ures, and stabs his opponents. Yas mi ni is his beautiful
cousin, the daughter of a Russian princess. In cleverness
and i nt r i gue, as in beauty, she excels the Gi psy Queen of
The Naulahka. Anot her novel of Tal bot Mu n d y , 0m, is a
l ong story, somewhat complicated, about the search f or
a l ong-l ost sister and her husband among the savage
Ab o r t ri be, and a piece of the jade of Ab o r possessing
supernatural qualities that has f ound its way i nt o I ndi a.
Chut t er Chand's cur i o shop in Chandni Chowk is a vari a-
t i o n of Mr . Lurgan' s shop i n Simla. Though there i s not
much i n common between Om and K i m , the presence of
the hol y ol d Lama i n 0m, wh o strove t o tread the mi ddl e
way, is not a mere coincidence. Ki pl i ng' s Lama is a gr and
f i gur e, gr and i n his chi l d- l i ke si mpl i ci t y and n o b i l i t y ; Mr .
Mundy' s Lama is not so unsophisticated. He is mysterious,
102 RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HIS SCHOOL
sphinx-like and silent, suggesting more an officer of the
I ntelligence Depart ment t han the head of a religious
brot herhood. Cot t swol d Ommony, ' O m' of the story,
and the Lama are at cross purposes. Om wants to know
the whereabouts of his sister, the Lama wants to get back
the jade. Disguised as a Br ahmi n bhat in the play-acting
company of the Lama and wi t h his connivance, Om travels
wi t h h i m t hr ough the Central Provinces t o Dar j i l i ng.
Thence they proceed to Ti l gaun, where he learns f r om
Hannah Sanburn of the Marmaduke Mi ssi on that the
mysterious chela of the Lama, Samding, is in reality his
sister's daughter. Fr om Ti l gaun, he accompanies Sirdar
Sirohe Singh t hr ough dark ravines and gorges under the
mi ght y Bramaputra up t o the ' Templ e of Stars', and
reaches the home of the Lama who had parted f r om h i m
at Dar j i l i ng. Thi s journey reads l i ke a dul l rendering of a
voyage i n one of Sir Rider Haggard' s romances. There
we listen t o the story of the Lama, a phi l osophi cal r i g-
marole, something i n the vei n of the mystical teaching of
Madame Blavatsky inspired by mahatmas or 'masters'
of the valley of A bor . The upshot of the story i s that the
Lama was ordained to br i ng up and educate Om' s sister
' San-funho' and entrust Om wi t h a mission for the East
and the West.
' Ganpat' , in his Mirror of Dreams (1928), shows hi msel f
t o be a wor t hy chela of K i p l i n g . He writes of Ti bet an
monks, plotters against the peace of I ndi a, Hi mal ayan
glaciers and Secret Service agentsstage properties used
by K i p l i n g i n Kim. ' Ganpat' s' crude handl i ng of t hem calls
up a memory of the master's craftsmanship.
1
Al i ce Eustace, in A Girl from the Jungle (1928), is also a
close i mi t at or of K i p l i n g . K a r i n Braden, the motherless
daughter of the chi ef engineer in a native state, is left to the
care of I ndi an servants after the death of her father. She
is a female edi t i on of K i m. She marries a Mohammedan
labourer and subsequently enters the zenana of the Rajah
1
The Times Literary Supplement, 1928.
RUDYARD K I P L I N G A N D HIS SCHOOL 103
of Bezwada. She manages to escape f r om the zenana in
nearly the same way as K i m does f r om the school, wi t h
a wanderi ng mendicant who accepts her as a chela. The
resemblance does not stop here. She also carries a paper
on her person, l i ke K i m, as a charm. I n the case of K i m
it was his baptismal certificate and his father's marriage
certificate, i n the case of K a r i n i t i s her father's vi si t i ng
card. Colonel Mar t yn of the I ntelligence Depart ment
reminds the reader of Col onel Crei ght on. As the daughter
of a chief engineer, K a r i n finds herself heiress to a great
fortune. Wi t h her weal t h she acquires the manners of a
pukka mem-sahib and lives i n European style, unl i ke K i m
who was not at al l comfortable in a sahib's out fi t . At a
residency bal l she comes across an I ndi an gentleman,
Di l awar Roy, i n wh o m she recognizes her H ol y One, but
who is also E 15 of the Secret Service, recalling to one's
memory H ar i Babu and Mahbub A l i of Kim. K i pl i ng' s
H ol y Lama is a masterpiece of characterization, the ' H ol y
One' of Miss Eustace i s a fraud. The marriage of K a r i n
wi t h Di l awar, t hough improbable, has elements of romance.
34. Foran, Somers, and Craig.
Some writers do not i mi t at e K i p l i n g closely, but show
traces of his influence. Captain Bedford Foran, in The
Border of the Blades (1916), a st i r r i ng tale of Front i er
intrigues, has gi ven, in the character of Maj or Maxwel l , a
Strickland of the army. I n his fami l i ari t y wi t h the ways
of the natives he bears a close resemblance to K i pl i ng' s
Strickland of the police. The House of Lal l aj i , the beauti-
f ul dancer, famous f r om Kandahar t o the plains of I ndi a,
recalls the House of Suddhoo. Lal l aj i is moreover repre-
sented as a player in the 'great Game' . Mr . Ma r k Somers
in pi t chi ng Pete against Ramji' s mesmeric powers has also
created a Strickland, but wi t hout the latter' s omniscience.
1
Mr . A. E. R. Craig, i n The Beloved Rajah (1927), shows
unmistakable traces of K i p l i n g . The Falak Nama before
1
As It Happened (1928).
04 RUDYARD KI PLI NG AND HIS SCHOOL
its al t erat i on is a copy of the palace in the Naulahka and
resembles a ' r abbi t war r en' ; the Queen Mot her , wh o comes
f r o m the hi l l s and swears by I ndur , reminds one of the
Gi psy Queen. The Rajah of Nul r awar , l i ke the Rajah of
Gokr a l Si t arun, is stated to have exactly three hundr ed
wi ves. A phrase l i ke the ' Di st ur ber of Heart s' calls up t o
memor y the Fl ower of De l i ght of Kim and the ladies of the
most ancient profession i n the wo r l d i n the House of
Suddhoo by Taxal i Gate.
35. Kim's cousins.
K i m , the wonder f ul chi l d of Ki p l i n g ' s i magi nat i on, has
fascinated many Angl o- I ndi a n wr i t er s. Mr . R. J. Mi nney' s
Mo t i h a r i i s a cousin of K i m . Li k e K i m he i s an orphan
left t o fend f or hi msel f i n a small vi l l age. He possesses the
same curi osi t y, i f not the same intelligence. To h i m also
the Gr and Tr u n k Road or the Road t o De l h i on wh i c h
t ravel l ed ' t he s t r ol l i ng minstrels, the wander i ng enter-
tainers and the fakirs and yogi s, who l ed a nomadi c
existence' is a source of endless del i ght , ' the wondr ous
sights of Ind fi ri ng his i magi nat i on' . Li ke K i m he i s taken
care of by a whi t e man. I n the ol d I ndi an doct or t o whose
care Mo t i h a r i is assigned, we have a suggestion of Babu
Hur r ee Chunder Mookerj ee. Of course the o l d doct or has
l i t t l e i n common wi t h the i ni mi t abl e Bengali of Kim. But
Mi nne y is not Ki p l i n g , and the story takes a different course
f r om this poi nt . The difference i s due not onl y t o the
difference between the i ndi vi dual i t y of the authors, but
also t o the different periods at whi c h they wr ot e. Ki p l i n g
wr ot e when I ndi a was exposed t o the machinations of
Russian spies, Mi nney dur i ng the hey-day of the non-
co-operation movement .
Mr . J ohn Ey t o n , i n Tot a of The Dancing Fakir, i n J i mmy
Vai ne, i n K u l l u and Dr e w Bartle, has gi ven us a few boys
wh o bel ong t o the f ami l y o f K i m . Li k e K i m , Tot a i s
del i ght ed wi t h ever yt hi ng new t hat meets his eye on the
Mysore r oa d:
RUDYARD KI P L I NG A N D HIS SCHOOL 105
' He was seeing new things at the rate of one in five
minutes on that straight and stately road between the twisted
ol d banyan trees. It was never empty, there were files of carts,
wi t h their smug little white bullocks, and in them sat women
and children in their brightest array, apple green and red and
gold, wi t h bracelets that jingled; by their side walked country
men, wi t h gay turbans of pink and yellow; there were droves
of donkeys and of sheep; here and there a shaven priest, clad
in bright orange . . . a continuous procession all making for
Mysore along the cool and shady road. (The Dancing Fakir,
p. 89.)
I n Expectancy Mr . John Eyt on gives a study of an imagina-
t i ve, sensitive, motherless chi l d, and records how I ndi a
affects h i m after his unhappy days in Engl and. East of
Suez his i magi nat i on gets exci t ed:
'There began to bloom in hi m a quality of mi nd definitely
newan expectancya wondereven a confidence in the
unlikely.' (p. 85.)
As a record of the fi rst impressions of an Engl i sh chi l d
in I ndi a Expectancy is not surpassed even by Kim, I n
Kullu of the Carts Mr . John Eyt on draws the portraits of
wo boys, one a Eurasian, the other an I ndi an. D r e w
Bartle, the br owni sh brot her of three Eurasian girls who
are ashamed of t hei r mi xed or i gi n and especially of their
brot her, has a close resemblance to K i m. He has K i m' s
wanderlust and the desire to see new scenes; finally he
runs away wi t h K u l l u of the Carts. The best scene i n this
book is the serai where D r e w Bartle' s attempts to show
that he is a sahib are applauded as successful mi mi cr y.
Hi s experiences in the school at Brailley meant for 'Sons
of European gentlemen' , when confronted wi t h his 'less-
unusually-coloured companions' , are f ul l of a maddeni ng
bitterness. I t is not surpri si ng that he soon leaves that
st r onghol d of col our prejudice, the Godel i n College,
Brailley. Hi s friend K u l l u i s ver y intelligent and resource-
f ul . Hi s l ove for ' D ur oo' is sincere. But he is not as
convi nci ng as J i mmy Vai ne or D r e w Bartle. He i s al l
106 R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G A N D H I S S C H O O L
r i ght on the carts and i n the serai, t u t his rescue of D r e w
Bartle f r om Godel i n College, their pursui t by the police,
the way in whi ch he steals the police elephant, t hei r
encounter wi t h Bhagat the robber, and their adventures
in the Bul bul l a Fen, an impassable and dangerous tangle
of rushes and quicksand, whi l e t hr i l l i ng enough, are not
true to l i fe. I n Bulbulla one is in the realm of unreality and
romance. But for I ndi an names in the book a great effort
of i magi nat i on woul d be necessary to regard Bulbulla as a
novel of I ndi a. L i ke J i mmy, Mr . Eyt on has apparently
enjoyed a ride on an elephant and has wandered t hr ough
the forests of I ndi a. He writes i n a st rai ght forward manner
and wi t h ease and precision.
Mr . H. K. G or don, i n the Shadow of Abdul, gives a pi ct ure
of the Gr and Tr u n k Road and of Simla i n 1928 and notes
the changes that have come over K i pl i ng' s I ndi a dur i ng
the past fifty years.
1
He finds the Gr and Tr u n k Road,
1
H o w Simla has changed since the days of K i p l i n g and in what respects
it is s t i l l the same is discussed by Mr . Robert Bernays, Special Corre-
spondent i n I ndi a of the News-Chronicle i n an article whi ch appeared i n t hat
paper. Simla, where the destinies of 320 mi l l i ons of people ( now 352) are
' guarded and gui ded' , st i l l has about it ' the atmosphere of a rather exclusive
hol i day resort' . He attributes i t t o the presence of Engl i sh chi l dren, and
to the novel means of transport. Even to-day to see the women shoppi ng
f r om the rickshaws on the Ma l l , and men r i di ng t o their offices, i s t o be
transported r i ght back to the eighteenth century ' wi t h its sedan chairs
and its statesmen on horseback' . A ccor di ng t o Mr . Bernays, Simla i s
unchanged i n appearance. Ladies' Mi l e , the Jakho H i l l , and Annandale
racecourse three thousand feet bel ow, are the same. The 'scene of weekl y
gymkhanas where the rank and beauty of Simla play musical chairs on
horseback and perform ot her hair-raising feats of dar i ng' is st i l l the same.
I t is s t i l l the ' whi sper i ng gallery where an i ndi scret i on at a picnic is
repeated i n hal f the di nner parties of Simla the same ni ght ' . I t i s st i l l
a ' marriage market where a g i r l can seldom survi ve single more than a
couple of seasons', because it is a place where ' the men are in pr opor t i on
about five to one to the gi r l s' and where ' there are limitless opport uni t i es
f or romance i n moonl i ght , picnics and l ong rides back f r om a remote
tennis part y wi t h the sun setting in a red aureole behi nd the mountains,
and the l i ght s comi ng out i n the pine-woods l i ke so many Wendy cottages
i n Peter Pan' .
' The beautiful women that once t ook the eveni ng air i n their rickshaws
and the gallant young men wh o escorted t hem on horseback have vanished.
Thei r successors are pl ayi ng tennis or at t endi ng bri dge parties. For when
R U D Y A R D K I P L I N G A N D H I S S C H O O L 107
as grand as it was when Kim gazed wi t h wonder at its
picturesque spectacles of movi ng humani t y, but wr i t es :
'the woman from K ul u no longer travelled in a bullock-rath.
She rattled past them in an antiquated Ford, its hood draped
round wi t h lengths of flapping cotton cloth, to keep her
purdah safe.' (p. 151.)
Present-day Simla life is thus described:
' The triviality of Simla was behind hi m [Hugh]its tennis
and its picnics and its dancing; its grumbling, denationalized
Indians; its parliament which bickers over trifleswhile
the farmer struggles against rui n, and disease preys upon
under-nourished bodies, and the money-lender takes his t ol l
unchecked; its Secretariat, wi t h all the files and pigeon-holes
and desks at which men t oi l , and know it is not they who
govern.' (p. 148.)
36. S. K. Ghosh.
A mo n g I ndi an writers of Engl i sh f i ct i on who have
been pr ovoked i nt o a rejoinder to Ki pl i ng' s aggressive
i mperi al i sm and his belief that East and West can never
meet, Mr . S. K. Ghosh deserves ment i on, His Prince of
Destiny is a plea for the meeting of East and West. I n
Prince Barath the book seeks to present ' a uni on of the
highest ideals of the East and West ' . The Prince is
represented as the i nst rument of England' s destiny in
I ndi a. Mr . Ghosh f i nds i n the abandonment of the pol i cy
of L o r d Beaconsfield the mai n cause of the deplorable
relations o f Engl and and I ndi a. I n K i p l i n g he sees a
wr i t er who has prevented the press of Engl and f r om learn-
i ng the t r ut h about I ndi a i n general and Bengal i n par t i -
cular. Hi s references t o K i p l i n g who 'came out of I ndi a
l i ke a meteor and burst upon the Engl i sh hor i zon' and
K i p l i n g wr ot e bri dge had not been i nvent ed and l awn tennis was barely i n
its infancy.
' Gone, t oo, are the grass-widows wh o used to leave their husbands
in the scorching plains and played havoc wi t h men's hearts t hr ough the
l ong, gay summer nights of a Simla season. They can al l go home now,
f or the j ourney is bot h shorter and cheaper.'
1 0 8 RUDYARD K I P L I N G A N D HIS SCHOOL
who became ' the prophet of Engl and, aye of Eur ope' are
not meant as compl i ment s:
' "The evil woul d have been less", says Mr . Ghosh, "had it
been confined strictly to politics. But an English writer arose,
a mere youth, who wrote stories in the English papers in I ndia
heaping contempt upon the people of Bengal generally, as
being the prime movers in the political agitation. The Bengali
writers retaliated wi t h fiction in another f or m. " ' (p. 139.)
He t hi nks that the evi l effects of Ki pl i ng' s misrepresenta-
t i on of I ndi a can onl y be averted by men l i ke Wi ngat e
and women l i ke El l en.
To r if there were one more Ellen and one more Wingate,
there might also be one more Barath.' (p. 158.)
CHAP T E R V
N O V E L S O F A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E ( I )
I
N this chapter we shall survey the wor ks of some of the
moder n wri t ers of Angl o- I ndi an l i f e.
1
The number of
such wri t ers i s very large, but the qual i t y of t hei r wo r k i s
not very hi gh. I n many respects they keep up the t r adi -
tions of Ki p l i n g . Thei r Angl o- I ndi a is, i n the mai n,
Ki pl i ng' s Angl o- I ndi a but treated more f ul l y. Wh i l e
Ki p l i n g i s a chroni cl er of the official and social l i fe of h i l l
stations l i ke Simla, they take us al l over I ndi a. Many of
t hem are women wri t ers and they ( Mr s . Ma ud D i ve r and
Mr s . G. H. Bel l , f or example) nat ural l y protest against
Ki pl i ng' s f l i ppant treatment of Angl o- I ndi a n women. But
as an unconscious t r i but e to the master, in their descriptions
of Angl o- I ndi a they f ol l ow Ki p l i n g more or less closely.
37. Mrs. 23. M. Croker.
Mr s . Croker, whose l i t erary career extends f r om 1892
t o 1919, has wr i t t e n over t hi r t y novels. Mos t of t hem
1
Amo n g Angl o- I ndi a n wr i t er s of f i ct i on of the ' eighties, Mr . Cur wen
occupies an honour ed place. He came out as edi t or of The Times of India
i n 1877. He pr oved a very successful j ournal i st , but his heart was i n
l i t erat ure. I n 1886 he publ i shed in Bl ackwood' s his tale of Zit and Xoe.
I t i s a st ory f u l l of poet i c fancies, a story of ' Ad a m and Eve f r om a
D ar wi ni an poi nt of vi e w' . The pl ot of the st ory i s developed i n the
l uxur i ant scenery of the t ropi cs, but i t i s not an Angl o- I ndi a n st ory i n the
sense i n whi c h we have used the wo r d i n this book. Lady Bluebeard i s
si mi l arl y a st ory of ' a t ypi cal woman of the nineteenth century, the result
of many centuries of evol ut i on and cul t ur e' , but i t i s not an Angl o- I ndi a n
st ory, either. Thi s st ory is not so remarkable f or i t s characters or pl ot as
f or the descriptions of ori ent al scenery. Hi s last wo r k , Dr. Hermione
(1890), i s s t i l l less connected wi t h I ndi a than his t wo previ ous books. The
beaut i ful descriptions of t r opi cal scenery in Zit and Xoe are evi dent l y based
upon Mr . Curwen' s experience of I ndi a. I n Lady Bluebeard, the heroine
is an Angl o- I ndi a n lady and the reader is taken to Bombay, Baroda, Goa,
and Ceyl on. Bu t the scene of Dr. Hermlone i s l ai d i n Cumberl and and
Egypt -
Mr . Cur wen i s weak i n pl ot . He i s oft en inconsistent. Hi s chi ef mer i t
lies i n his subtle humour , knowl edge of human character, and exquisite
prose style. A reviewer of Mr . Curwen' s wor ks i n the Calcutta Review,
1892, calls h i m appropri at el y ' a nineteenth- century Angl o- I ndi a n Sterne',
110
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
describe A ngl o- I ndi a n l i f e; most of t hem have t hei r pl ot
par t l y l ai d i n the East and part l y i n the Wes t ; most of
t hem have f or t hei r theme the trials and difficulties of
l o v i n g couples wh o are destined t o be happy i n the end.
In Proper Pride (1882), amour propre is the real cause of the
unhappiness of Sir Regi nal d Fairfax and L ady Fairfax.
The latter i s an inexperienced and spi ri t ed g i r l of eighteen,
wh o easily falls i nt o t he traps l ai d by a half-caste, Miss
Mason. Some One Else is a var i at i on of Proper Pride. A
curmudgeon uncle leaves his nephew, Mi l es, not onl y his
fort une but also a wi f e. Bot h Mi l es and his i nt ended
br i de, Haidee, di sl i ke bei ng forced i nt o marriage, but they
mar r y in the end. Pretty Miss Neville (1885) also deals
wi t h cousins estranged i n I r el and but uni t ed i n I ndi a.
I t i s f ul l of sensational incidents. As ' Pret t y Mi ss N e vi l l e ' ,
the heroine leads Mul kapor e a dance. Mr s . Ubes is the
scapegoat of the station, as Mr s . Vane is its ki ndl y gazette.
Mr s . Roper' s advice t o N or a on t he voyage t o I ndi a i s
characteristic.
' But take my advice, and have nothing to say to the mi l i t ary;
they are pleasant but poor. A Bengal or Bombay civilian,
wel l upi f not already a member of councilis your man.
A n d once married, you can flirt away wi t h the redcoats as
much as ever you please.' (p. 128.)
Di ana Bar r i ngt on, the heroine of the novel of the same
name, i s br ought up i n the jungles of Central I ndi a. She
i s a ' beaut i ful r uby i n an ol d r ag' . H o w a j ungl e g i r l
behaves in a small cantonment station and a bi gger t o wn
l i ke Si ndi is the theme of the novel . She marries Captain
F i t zr oy. They quarrel onl y t o kiss again wi t h tears. The
real achievement of Mr s . Croker i s Peggy Magee. Mr s .
Croker knows I r el and and the I r i s h far better t han the
Angl o- I ndi ans. She repeatedly makes use of the hack-
neyed theme of l oat hi ng t ur ned i nt o l ovet hi s i s t he
suggestion hi Quicksands (1915), wh i c h is developed in
Given in Marriage (1916), t hough the latter is not an A n g l o -
I ndi an novel . I n Mr . Jervis (1894) the i nevi t abl e marriage
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E III
is delayed because Mr . Jervis, wh o is exceedingly r i ch,
pretends to be very poor, and is under the impression that
a streak of madness runs in his fami l y. Mr s . Croker' s
I ndi an books take the reader practically al l over I ndi a;
they show great powers of observation, and a vast range
of experience. She knows the small and bi g A ngl o- I ndi an
stations wel l and can hi t off their characteristics in a few
bol d strokes. She has wi t , humour , and i r ony. She loves
the jungle and the open field. A l l her heroes are lovers
of horseflesh, and hunt . They are not mere types, but
possess an i ndi vi dual i t y of their own. The heroines,
however, are al l alike. These novels are amusing and
vivacious, but suffer f r om monot ony of treatment and
themes.
38. Mrs. Maud Diver.
Mr s . Ma ud D i ve r occupies an honoured place among
the novelists of mi l i t ar y and F ront i er life of recent times.
Since 1907 when she made her mar k in Captain Desmond,
V.C., she has been steadily addi ng to her reput at i on.
Captain Desmond, V.C., The Great Amulet (1909), and
Candles in the Wind (1909) are among the earliest of her
novels and constitute a sort of t r i l ogy, havi ng a number
of identical characters, and the identical milieu. Her earlier
novels cloy the reader by a luxuriance of ' romant i c flowers
i n the garden of her prose' . L i ke her favourite Honor
Mer edi t h, later on Honor Desmond, she is ' eternally
interested i n the mani fol d drama of I ndi an and A ngl o-
I ndi an l i f e' , and she has the gi f t of por t r ayi ng this drama
i n charmi ng words. Mos t of her novels are bui l t after the
same pattern. She has an intimate knowl edge of the life
of Engl i shmen i n the mi l i t ar y stations of the Nor t h- West
F ront i er. She has k n o wn the trials and temptations of the
E ngl i shmen stationed there. She has felt for t hem and,
wi t h a sympathy bor n of the experience of t hei r hard l i fe,
she has i mmort al i zed t hem i n her novels. A l l her heroes
are mi l i t ar y men; she seems to have l i t t l e l ove for the
112 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
ci vi l i an. The heroes are of the regul at i on t ype, wi t h
a fami l y likenesstall, stalwart men, not qui t e young,
t ypi cal l y E ngl i s h i n t hei r surface st ol i di t y, and havi ng an
i nfi ni t e capacity for deep feeling bel ow. She l ooks upon
t hem wi t h the eyes of a woman and idealizes t hem, seeing
beauty and heroi sm i n t hei r r ugged and unimpressive
exterior. Whet her i t be Captain Desmond, V . C. , or E l dr ed
L enox or Sir Thomas Forsythe or the Her o of Herat , al l
represent men wi t h perfect self- command and therefore
destined t o command others. They are dar i ng and
i nt r epi d soldiers wh o sum up f or Mr s . D i ve r the ideal of
perfect manhood.
I n The Great Amulet she expresses wi t h a f er vour of
pat r i ot i c pri de the debt that E ngl and owes to such heroes:
' Even in an age given over to the marketable commodity,
England can still breed men of this calibre. N ot perhaps in
her cities . . . but in unconsidered corners of her Empire, in the
vast spaces and comparative isolation, where old-fashioned
patriotism takes the place of parochial party politics. . . .
'It is to the Desmonds and Merediths of an earlier day that
we are indebted for the sturdy loyalty of our Punjab and
Frontier troops, for our hol d upon the fighting races of the
Nor t h. I ndia may have been won by the sword, but it has been
held mainly by attributes of heart and spirit; by individual
strength of purpose, capacity for sympathy and devotion to
the interests of those we govern. When we fail in these, and
not t i l l then, wi l l power pass out of our hands.' (p. 211.)
Her pl ot s are simple and have f or t hei r theme the ' peculiar
delights and dangers of marriages i n I ndi a' . I n Captain
Desmond, V.C., we have the por t r ai t ur e of an unequally
yoked pai rt he tragedy of the marriage of a heroic
soldier wi t h a si l l y woman wh o does not understand h i m,
and wh o is therefore sacrificed to make r o o m f or a better
woman. Captain Desmond and Ho n o r Desmond are
somewhat i r r i t a t i ng because of t hei r ver y perfection. I n
The Great Amulet we are i nt r oduced to a mor e human and
a less perfect pai rMi ss Qui t a Mauri ce and Captain
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 113
Lenox. They separate on the day of t hei r marriage owi ng
t o a misunderstanding, but the great amulet of l ove over-
comes t hei r pri de and prejudice, steadies t hem and makes
t hem ul t i mat el y realize t hat marriage is ' l ove and comrade-
ship on an equal f oot i ng' .
1
Thi s novel i s much i nferi or
to Captain Desmond in pl ot - const ruct i on. Theat ri cal co-
incidences, ' t hr i l l s ' and hairbreadth escapes, of the usual
movi e- st ory type, detract f r om its artistic value. Candles
in the Wind, 'apart f r om the romant i c sentiment' , has the
same general thesis
'the fine ideals of duty and strenuous self-devotion and loyalty
developed under the stress of military service in the midst of
ignorant orientals and constant danger from hostile tribesmen
and disease.' (Baker, Guide to Best Fiction, p. 144.)
I n this connexi on may be ment i oned the f our t h novel of
this series, Desmond's Daughter, t hough it appeared later
(1916). Thea, the daughter of Sir Theo and Ho n o r Des-
mond, l oved by Howa r d, loves the shy poet- soldier
Vi ncent L ei gh, who wi ns her after the usual delay and
t r oubl e whi c h i s needed t o make life romant i c i n ' this
l i vel y and apparently unt hi nki ng wo r l d of Br i t i sh I ndi a,
a wo r l d domi nat ed by officialdom, personalities, and
abbreviations' .
2
Vi ncent L ei gh belongs t o the usual type
of Mr s . Di ver ' s mi l i t ar y heroes, onl y he i s a l i t t l e more shy,
a l i t t l e more handsome and a l i t t l e more i nt el l i gent . We
accompany the hero i n his wanderings t hr ough the beauti-
f ul valley of Kashmi r t o the ancient Hi n d u shrine of
Kedar N at h.
Mr s . D i ver , l i ke so many A ngl o- I ndi an wri t ers, is a
great admirer of the grandeur and gl or y of Nat ure whi c h
fills the gigantic Hi mal ayan valleys. She had been impressed
by her f i r st vi si on of I ndia' s mi ght y snow- linea vi si on
that has left its stamp on so many of her novels. Her pi c-
t ure of the pi l gri mage is sympathetic, and Mr s . D i ve r see*s
i n i t I ndia' s expression of her soul t hr ough an i nst i nct i ve
1
P. 399.
2
Desmond's Daughter, p. 49.
I
1 1 4 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
sense of the beauty of the wo r l d .
1
Vi ncent L ei gh i s the
witness of the vol unt ar y death of a dedicated sanyasin
as she flings herself down i nt o the v o i d in ' an ecstatic
impulse of uni on wi t h the Et ernal Beauty of Thi ngs ' .
2
The same note of self- devotion t o the ideal of dut y that
rings t hr ough her first three novels characterizes this
novel .
' I ndia may truly be said to rank wi t h I taly as a woman-
country, ' loved of male lands' and exercising the same irre-
sistible magnetism, the same dominion over the hearts of men.
But while Italydaughter of the passionate Southis swift
in response, lavish in gi vi ng, herself a lover of lovers, I ndia,
even to her intimates, seems still a veiled mystery, aloof yet
alluring, like one of her own purdah princesses. Li ke them,
also, wherever allegiance has been given, she is faithful even
to death; but her demand is for hard service and a life's
devotion wi t h no sure promise of return. For this cause, her
appeal is irresistible to the chivalrous and the strong. For this
cause, she has numbered among her lovers a Lawrence and a
Broadfoot, a Curzon and a Roberts; not to mention a hundred
stars of lesser magnitude,equal at least in their record of
strenuous service. Of these was Theo Desmond, idealist and
practical soldier, and, as a lover of I ndia, second to none.
Hence his pre-occupied silences and the gathering cloud on
his brow. ' (Desmond's Daughter, pp. 358-9.)
The mettle of our hero i s tested i n the crucible of
F r ont i er warfare and we have a v i v i d port rai t ure of the
Samana and Ti r a h campaigns i n Mr s . Ma ud Di ver ' s
characteristic style, The Hero of Herat and the Judgement of
the Sword are not so much hi st ori cal romances as books
g i v i n g the ' t rue romance of hi st or y' .
3
These t wo books
are front i er biographies in a romant i c f or m. They are the
life- story of Maj or E l dr ed Pot t i nger, di vi ded i nt o t wo
parts. ' I n Herat we had the her oyout h and courage
t r i umphant over desperate odds. At Ka b u l we have the
manhampered, baul ked, and finally traduced. '
4
E l dr ed
1
p. 302.
2
p. 313.
3
Judgement of the Sword, Author's Note.
4
I bi d.
N O V E L S O F A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 115
Pot t i nger, according t o Sir Henr y Lawrence, ' helped t o
establish an ideal of Br i t i sh character'. Mr s . D i ve r has
re-created the times and circumstances of her hero and
marshalled the bare facts of his l i fe wi t h ski l l and delicacy.
The books are replete wi t h word- port rai t s of the heroes
of a past generationStoddart, Burnes, Conol l y, Keane,
Fane, N o t t , Cot t on, and Macnaghten. The Hero of Herat is
we l l described by The British Weekly as a wreat h of dew-
laden flowers at a hal f- forgot t en shrine. The description
of the siege of Herat and the Ka b u l tragedy of 1842 is
masterly. The book, as has been said, is the product of 'a
selective i magi nat i on of a hi gh and unusual order' . As an
example of Mr s . Di ver ' s gi f t of poetic description, the
f i r s t impression of Pot t i nger of Ka bul , the Ci t y of
Orchards, may be quot ed:
' But never, surely, did he forget that first vision of her,
veiled, like some purdah princess, beneath a sari wrought in
green and silver and rose, wi t h all the blossoms of all the fruit
trees in the wor l d. But beneath her silver sari this princess was
a libertine at heart; even as her women behind their latticed
boorkhas were past mistresses in the immemorial art of intrigue;
and her men, beneath her hospitality, courage and rough good-
humour were unequalled in cunning, cruelty and revenge.'
(P. 4.)
Mr s . D i ver ' s
1
next novel , Unconquered, is not a novel of
I ndi a, but a war novel i nt r oduci ng t o us another of her
1
L i k e Mr s . B. M. Croker, Mr s . F . A . Steel, and Mr s . Al i ce Perri n,
Mr s . Ma ud D i ve r i s an i mpor t ant wr i t er of A ngl o- I ndi an f i ct i on. She
was bor n in I ndi a and spent her chi l dhood in I ndi a and Ceylon. She was
educated i n E ngl and but ret urned t o I ndi a. Her l i t erary career began wi t h
articles and short stories whi c h she cont r i but ed to the Pall Mall Magazine.
He r first novel , Captain Desmond, V.C., was published when she was
f or t y. Since its publ i cat i on she has wr i t t e n about fifteen books of fiction
her latest story being the Ships of Youth (1931). The action of the st ory
takes place in 1928-9. She herself tells us that al l ' I ndi an expressions of
opi ni on' are actual, ' al l allusions to Soviet activities' are based on fact.
But the book i s ' pr i mar i l y a study of marriage i n A ngl o- I ndi an condi t i ons' .
She tells us that her ' gui di ng pri nci pl e in every A ngl o- I ndi an novel ' t hat
she has wr i t t e n has been ' t o make even a part i al presentment of its [ I ndi a' s]
people and condi t i ons as true in essence as i magi nary pictures, based on
artistic selection, can cl ai m to be' .
1 1 6 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
usual mi l i t ar y heroes, Sir Ma r k F or syt h, wh o gives up
home, hearth, and l ove ' t o do his bi t ' . Her Lonely Furrow
(1923) deals wi t h the dangers of I ndi an marriages. I an
Challoner i s separated f r om his wi f e, E dyt h, not onl y by
distance, but by soul and temperament. They are an
i l l - mat ched pai r I an, seeking a cure for his soul- hunger
and desperate loneliness i n the mount ai ns, discovers i n
Mr s . Vanessa, a woma n wi t h an ' unmeri t ed r eput at i on' , the
ideal mate f or h i m. However , t i r ed of Edyt h' s ' chr oni c
coquet t i ng wi t h her wi f el y dut y' ,
1
and moved by parental
affection, he insists upon her r et ur n. As mi ght be expected,
he fi nds no j oy i n her company. The onl y blessing that she
bri ngs wi t h her i s t hei r l i t t l e daughter, E ve. There i s
somet hi ng very el evat i ng i n the l ove between father and
daughter. But E dyt h i s t i r ed of I ndi a and Challoner i s t i r ed
of E dyt h. He is attracted towards Mr s . Vanessa as t owards
Nanga Parbat.
' Even Haramukh and Kol ahoi are of the earth beside her.
I have fallen a vi ct i m to many great peaks. But she, more than
any of them, draws one like a magnet.' (p. 431.)
Mr s . D i ve r , anxious t o preserve propri et i es, does not al l ow
I an Challoner t o mar r y Mr s . Vanessa. To Challoner, E dyt h
was inalienably ' his wi f e ' , and not bei ng a l i ber t i ne these
t wo wor ds had almost the potency of a talisman f or h i m.
' A nd there remained the disconcerting paradox that although
his whole relation wi t h Edyt h had become a l i vi ng lie, the
Church and the Law upheld i t . Wi t h Vanessa he could live
true truthpurged of falsifications and suppressions: yet, in
the eye of the Church and the Law, they woul d be outside
the pale. He was modern-minded enough to feel there was
profanity in keeping up the convention of a union no longer
sanctified by l ove; while yet he inherently respected the tenets
of tradition and religion.' (p. 434.)
The help of t yphoi d i s i nvoked t o resolve t hi s discon-
cert i ng tangle, and Challoner dies of i t . Mr s . D i v e r shows
admirable restraint i n the handl i ng of the tragic si t uat i on,
1
Lonely Furrow', p. 307.
N O V E L S O F A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 117
as also in delineating human emotions and passions. Her
characterization is good and her descriptions of Kashmi r
mount ai n scenery are wonderful .
1
Tar and still, a miracle of colour, it gleamed down there;
three miles of turquoise blue water, violet in shadow, flowing
close under the glaciers that gave it bi rt h. ' (p. 185.)
She is, however, not insensible to the consequences of the
eternal strife between dut y and desire whi ch continue to
disturb the peace of frai l humani t y, and has a difficult task
i n reconciling a life of ' true t r ut h' wi t h a life of strict
adherence to social conventions and traditions.
39. 'John Travers' (Mrs. G. H. Be//).
2
Of writers who mark the reaction against Ki p l i n g and
yet are fascinated by hi m, Mr s . G. H. Bel l i s the most
i mport ant . She has so far published nine novels. I n her
first novel , Sahib-log (1909), she protests against the
common vi ew of E ngl i shmen towards A ngl o- I ndi an
women, made popul ar by Ki pl i ng' s stories and novels.
She defends A ngl o- I ndi an women against the charge of
idleness, flirtation, f r i vol i t y, and purposelessness. She
woul d have her readers believe that E ngl i shwomen in
I ndi a have no t i me for f r i vol i t y. Most of t hem, according
to Mr s . Bel l , have to battle against the climate, to struggle
to make bot h ends meet, to endure calmly ' the sheer
fatigue of constant journeyings, the heart-break of constant
separations, the loneliness of cont i nual changes'. They
1
See also Lonely Furrow, p. 11 and p. 125.
2
Mr s . Bel l i s the wi d o w of Captain George Henr y Bel l of the 27 th
Panjabi Regiment. Her sympathy for the wives of I ndi an soldiers is a
marked feature of al l her books. I t was t hr ough the men of her husband's
I ndi an regiment that she came to know their women- f ol k. Hersel f a war-
wi dow, she pleaded before the Secretary of State the cause of these Panjab
wi dows and sor r owi ng mothers wh o were ent i t l ed to a pal t ry five rupees
a mont h as pension, and it was ' t o a great extent owi ng to Mr s . Bell' s
advocacy that the women got increased pensions and the chi l dr en were
pensioned also' . I n Sahib-log, she has gi ven a sketch of herself in the person
of the heroine, Esme" N o r ma n : ' N o w, t hough E ngl i sh t o her finger tips
in her prejudices, her principles and her pri de, she had gi venwhat so
few women gave t o our conquered land of I ndi aher heart.' ( p. 246.)
118 NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE
k n o w f r o m bi t t er experience t hat I ndi a steals t hei r hus-
bands and chi l dr en; t hei r yout h, st rengt h, l ooks, talents,
and energy; destroys t hei r l i t t l e niches i n E ngl and, t hei r
friendships, their circle of acquaintances, and gives not hi ng
save memories. ' O h l uxuri ous East, you are an ut t er
fraud' , so writes Esme N or ma n, the heroine of Sahib-log,
after some experience of I ndiashe who had t hought
I ndi a a place where men had not hi ng t o do but dr aw b i g
salaries, play pol o and shoot tigers, and where wome n had
merely t o wear ' musl i n frocks' and go t o 'heaps of dances'.
A not her object that Mr s . Bel l has i n wr i t i n g this novel
i s t o teach her sisters i n I ndi a the i mpor t ant part they
may play i n creating a feeling of i mper i al sol i dari t y.
'A few pale faces, set on a throne beside authority, wi t hout
power, yet wielding the influence of their position! A few
faces exalted above the peoples! Let them hol d their head
high, let them prove themselves wor t hy: " i n all time of our
t ri bul at i on; in all time of our wealth" for England's sake.'
(p. 89.)
She deplores the at t i t ude of those women wh o l i mi t t hei r
knowl edge of I ndi a t o cantonments, t o ' a suspicion of
prices, a small vocabulary, a l i st of stores and an ut t er
ignorance of the natives' . An E ngl i shwoman, she says, i n
al l t hat she may do, shoul d keep i n vi ew h o w her act i on
wo u l d affect the posi t i on of Sahib- log i n I ndi a ; she
shoul d show herself at her best i n her o wn househol d, f or
they are ' the source t hr ough whi c h we E ngl i s hwomen
are k n o wn ' , and ' i f we f ai l i n our intercourse wi t h native
servants the very foundation- stone of our dealings wi t h
natives is i l l - l a i d' . She considers that ' i t w i l l be a sedative
a safety val ve, a pacification' i f E ngl i s hwomen cul t i vat e
the acquaintance of the wives of nat i ve officers. Of course
even Esme N o r ma n never t hi nks t hat it is possible to be
fri endl y wi t h the natives on terms of equality, but she re-
commends i t because i t w i l l hol d the E mpi r e and be val ued
as conf er r i ng ' izzat' . Sahib-log is wr i t t e n wi t h a definite
purpose. But Mr s . Bel l , when she i s not conscious of i t ,
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 119
curiously imitates Ki p l i n g . Safe-Conduct also is wr i t t en
wi t h the object of presenting the ' human case for the
Br i t i sh i n I nd i a' . I t is, however, f ul l of the tittle- tattle of
Simla tea-tables. Aud r ey F enwi ck, a grass- widow, is
d r awn i n the manner of Ki pl i ng' s Mr s . Hauksbee; she i s
intensely real and raises the book above the commonplace.
The Mortimers (1922) is a remarkable study of t wo st rong
personalities. Mr . Mor t i mer , as Commissioner of a Panjab
d i v i si on, has t o deal wi t h a village ' on the verge of mut i ny
under the influence of a Hi n d u emissary of pol i t i cal r ev ol t ,
Chandar Bose'. Mr s . Mor t i me r is an equally st rong
woman. She rejoins her husband after spending seven
years as the secretary of a not ed Bolshevist in Russia.
She is thus in a posi t i on to contrast the cruelty of B ol -
shevist rule wi t h the justice and humani t y of Br i t i sh rule.
In In the Long Run she breaks new gr ound . ' The ever-
lasting theme of sex jealousy' that constitutes the motif
of the maj ori t y of the books of fi ct i on does not come i nt o
i t at al l . I n this nov el , the breach between G i l l i an and her
husband, Sir A nt hony Nugent , the recently appointed
Gov er nor of the Panjab, is due to their differences on
pol i t i cal questions. She was a Socialist member of Parlia-
ment and Sir A nt hony is an ' ol d Tor y' . Gi l l i an is deeply
interested i n the emancipation of I nd i an women and plays
i nt o the hands of I nd i an agitatorsPrem Kaur , the
educated wife of Nar ai n Singh, and the clever Tot a Ram,
the editor of a seditious paper. She is asked to v i si t
Khalsapur, the st ronghol d of the Akal i s, delivers a speech
whi ch i s misinterpreted and di st ort ed i n translation, and
gets i nt o t roubl e, but saves herself by j umpi ng t hr ough
a wi nd ow. There is a r i ot in whi ch some Akal i s and an
E ngl i sh officer are ki l l ed . She has to pass the whol e ni ght
i n the house of a l oyal S i kh, tended by his wi d owe d
daughter- in- law, A mr i t Kaur . The rest of the nov el deals
wi t h the pol i t i cal consequences of her escapade. She
has to choose between a compulsory ret urn to E ngl and
and discarding her pol i t i cal views. She is wiser for her
1 2 0 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
experience and elects t o be a good wi f e. Mr s . Bel l under-
stands Lady G i l l i a n better t han Sir A nt hony. L ady G i l l i a n
i s f u l l of l i fe and feel i ng; Sir A n t h o n y i s st ol i d. Mr s . Bell' s
sketch of an educated S i kh lady, Prem Ka ur , i n this novel
i s a rare phenomenon i n A ngl o- I ndi a n f i ct i on. He r
sympathies, however, are not wi t h her. She is i nt r oduced
as a contrast t o A mr i t Ka ur , the t ype of wo ma n wh o m
Mr s . Bel l understands, and whose cause she had pleaded
before t he Secretary of State. The same envi ronment s
whi c h enable her t o sympathize wi t h I ndi an soldiers' wi ves
and wi dows , make i t di ffi cul t f or her t o understand p o l i -
t i cal I ndi a. She i s mor e l i ber al t han Mr s . Savi i n her
out l ook, but her pol i t i cal views do not add anyt hi ng t o
t he value of her story. Perhaps the best parts of the book
are the por t r ai t of Sir Said Mahomed, a Panjab mi ni st er,
and the descri pt i on of L ady Gi l l i an' s vi s i t t o his zenana.
Sir Said Mahomed reminds one of Sir Fazl- i- Hussain of
the Panjab.
' He had the grand manner of his race and a very masculine
presence. He was t al l , imposing, well-featured. Not hi ng
could have been less subtle, pliable or elusive than his air. His
speech was blunt and direct and volleyed out in a rough bass
voice. Gi l l i an found herself to be socially at ease wi t h hi m
and interested by his conversation, which was of political
matters.' (p. 45.)
We shall not l i f t the pur dah dr a wn across the "wives'
apartments' of Sir Said Mahomed, and shall leave t he
reader to study Chapter V of In the Long Run f or himself.
Bu t as L ady G i l l i a n came out of the house of t he ' most
power f ul man i n the Punjab' , she shrank before the
'colossus of her o wn ignorance that i n L o n d o n had
passed f or up- to- date i nf or mat i on on al l I ndi an questions' .
L ady G i l l i a n , i n spite of her vari ed experience of East and
West , felt f or the f i r s t t i me, wi t h an i nt ensi t y of pi t y and
wonder , t he 'strangeness of l i fe and its divergence f r om
every pl an declared and every pat h l ai d d o wn ' .
In Jean, a Halo and Some Circles (1926), Mr s . Bel l shows
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 121
some ori gi nal i t y in the choice of her heroine and her
vocat i on. The life of a mi l i t ary station l i k e Quetta, as
affecting the heroine, has been faithfully described. There
are no balls and bazaars, no hu nt i ng expeditions and picnic
parties. The onl y reference to a club occurs when a friend
of Miss Jean Bel l bi t t erl y complains that bei ng a school-
mistress she cannot j oi n the club, whi l e an I ndi an officer
of the I ndi an Medical Service was a member. As a heroine
t oo, Jean Bel l is different f r om the usual type, because
she possesses neither much beauty nor courage nor
character. She is just an ordi nary g i r l wor k i ng for her
l i v i ng i n a mi l i t ary station. The most i mport ant feature
of this novel i s the v i v i d picture that i t gives us of
sergeants' wives i n I ndi a. A par t f r om Ki p l i n g , the private
soldier or the sergeant has had no chronicler. Mr s . Bel l
is impressed by the large-hearted humanity of these
sergeants' wi ves' st rong, mi l d, courageous. Wome n i n
wh o m the tide of race ran true and deep and silent' . As a
representative of these strong, mi l d, courageous women,
Mr s . Bel l has created Ru t h Godsave, one of the few l i v i ng
characters of A ngl o- I ndi an fiction. We see her, as the
regi ment is marchi ng past,
'standing wi t h one hand on her hip, while her right arm moved
a perambulator to and fro in order to l u l l to sleep the infant
daughter of preoccupied Mrs. Law. A man's cap was stuck
without care on to the woman's dark and abundant hair. A
brown woollen jacket barely met across her chest. She had a
glowing skin and her lips and cheeks and eyes held firelight
in them. Standing there alone she was conspicuous, but she
woul d not have been conspicuous in a crowd. She drew eyes.
I n the opinion of many of the marching men Wi l l i am God-
save's lass would have done better to have stayed near the
married quarters and out of sight, for since the War there had
been a great reaction towards decorum, among the soldiers,
as though a burnt child dreaded the fire. But Ruth woul d not
have foregone the sight of that khaki manhood, the sound of
their footsteps, the manifestation of their orderly energy, for
any public opinion. ' (p. 122.)
122 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
Mr s . Bell' s next novel , The Foreigner (1928), l i ke the
Quest and Conquest of Mr . V. E. Bannisdale, deals wi t h
the exploits of George Thomas. I t i s discussed i n Chapter
X. In Hot Water, published recently, she laughs at the
Commi ssi on of Heal t h, Hygi ene, and Welfare as Ki p l i n g
does at the t r avel l i ng M. P. Anne Kni ght l ey, the beautiful
secretary to L o r d Bri erl ey, so controls the Commi ssi on
t hat they come to be called Anne' s Nannies, to the scandal
of A ngl o- I ndi a and t o the del i ght of the I ndi an press. The
most amusing scene i s that i n whi c h the discomfiture of
the Commi ssi on is described in a Panjab vi l l age. The
novel i s f ul l of f un and humour , i s free f r om Mr s . Bell' s
didactic tendency or pol i t i cal bias, and shows her mature
style at its best.
40. Mrs. Alice Perrin.
Mr s . Al i ce Per r i n, whose l i t erary career covers about a
quarter of a century, is a prol i fi c wr i t er of A ngl o- I ndi an
fiction. The common theme of her stories and novels is
t he tragedy of A ngl o- I ndi an marriages i n the mojussil. I n
The Woman in the Bazaar (1915) we have the tragic story of
the pret t y, unsophisticated daughter of a count ry vicar wh o
comes to I ndi a as the wi fe of Captain Covent ry. She
almost falls a prey to the temptations to whi c h mar r i ed
women are exposed i n I ndi a, and the jealous nature of her
husband forces her to become a woman of the bazaar. I t
is a pathetic tale, we l l managed, but borders upon the
sensational. I n Separation (1917) her theme is the same.
G uy Bassett, a keen Publ i c Wor ks engineer (probabl y a
t r i but e t o her husband), devoted t o his wo r k and t o I ndi a,
marries a g i r l who detests I ndi a. He is a good husband,
and for the sake of his wi f e accepts the post of an
engineering cl erk i n L ondon and agrees t o l i ve wi t h his
t erri bl e mot her- i n- l aw. He is a good f el l ow and evi dent l y
Mr s . Perrin' s favouri t e, for she conveniently ki l l s Clara
Bassett t o enable G uy t o marry Rut h Janiver. But i n
spite of Mr s . Per r i n, Clara i s the most s t r i ki ng of her
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 123
characters. I t is she wh o makes the book. She is pr et t y
and affectionate but selfish. Wi t h o u t t el l i ng her husband
she appeals to her mot her to rescue her f r om I ndi a, and
cal ml y anticipates her mot her' s death. She loves her
husband i n her o wn tenacious, selfish way, and the pros-
pect of separation makes her genuinely miserable. She is
wonder f ul because she is so unreasonable and selfish.
Mr s . Perri n understands Claras much better t han G uy
Bassetts, or even Mr s . Partridge. The latter is a most
amazing housewi fe: her devot i on t o wo r k and dut y rises
t o the level of the monst rous. Mr s . Perrin' s next wo r k , Star
of India (1919), is unequal in const ruct i on. I n the first part,
the tragedy of the beautiful Stella Car r i ngt on, a spi ri t ed
g i r l of seventeen, t i r ed of her genteel vi l l age existence,
wi ns our sympathy. Her marriage t o the elderly Col onel
Crayfield evokes hor r or . Her l ove f or the new Assistant
Commissioner i s the nat ural outcome of her si t uat i on.
But the rest of the book, after the discovery of t hei r l ove
by the i nfuri at ed Col onel , i s fl at . The vi s i t of the radical,
i nt er f er i ng young woma n bent on pol i t i cal r ef or m i s a
t i me - wor n feature of A ngl o- I ndi a n f i ct i on, but i s i l l -
harmoni zed wi t h the mai n story. The best achievement
of the book i s Stella Car r i ngt on. The unhappiness of
ill- assorted marriages, behi nd a l i ght l y t ouched I ndi an
backgr ound, forms the subject of her next novel , Govern-
ment House (1925). Sir Templ e Rochf or d, the Lieutenant-
Gover nor of the Central Provinces, wh o behaves more l i ke
a romant i c hero t han a hi ghl y placed official, and Mr .
Cardale, Magistrate of Bi j apur, bot h fal l i n l ove wi t h Miss
Annabl e Heat h, wh o goes out t o I ndi a' t he best place
i n t he wo r l d f or young people and poor people'as a
governess wi t h Mr s . Cardale, a sickly, superstitious and
si l l y woman. Her marriage is a failure, and she is con-
veni ent l y removed by death. Mr . Cardale declares his
l ove f or Mi ss Heat h, but she prefers t o go over t o
Gover nment House as governess to L ady Rochford' s
chi l dr en. There she wi ns the confidence of L ady Roch
1 2 4 N O V E L S O F A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
f or d and the l ove of Sir Templ e. She i s t o l d by L ady
Rochf or d that she was a bi gami st and t hat her first husband
was s t i l l l i v i n g . Mi ss Heat h decides t o leave f or E ngl and.
Sir Templ e Rochf or d suddenly dies of cholera, l eavi ng
the coast clear f or Mr . Cardale t o w i n Annabel Heat h.
Mr s . Per r i n wri t es wi t h si mpl i ci t y and sincerity, but
the story i s not qui t e convi nci ng. The theme i s common-
place and there i s not much of descri pt i on or characteriza-
t i o n . Wi t h the exception of L ady Rochf or d no character,
not even the amiable governess, has anyt hi ng s t r i ki ng.
The story leaves the i mpressi on that i n I ndi a a pr et t y
E ngl i s h g i r l wi t h a l i t t l e c ommon sense has every chance
of a profitable marriage, i f not t o a Li eut enant - Gover nor ,
at least to a di st r i ct magistrate.
41. Mrs. E. W. Savi.
Mr s . E . W. Savi i s a pr ol i f i c wr i t e r of f i ct i on, mai nl y
A ngl o- I ndi a n. F or the last t went y years she has been
wr i t i n g novels at the rate of about t wo a year.
1
Ma ny
1
The f o l l o wi n g account of Mr s . E . W. Savi i s summari zed f r o m an
i nt er vi ew that she recently gave to a correspondent of the Book-Finder,
Mr s . Savi i s the si xt h chi l d of her parents. He r father was ' t oo much of
an idealist and scholar, wi t h somet hi ng of the art i st t h r o wn i n ' . He r
mot her was ' ver y young, ver y pr et t y and amazi ngl y i nnocent whe n she
mar r i ed' . Mr s . Savi tells us h o w she gai ned her ' i nsi ght i nt o nat i ve character
and cust oms' . F or years, at an age ' when gi r l s expect a good t i me socially
and are surfeited w i t h dances and entertainments' , she l i ve d on the banks of
the Ganges, wi t h her husband and smal l f ami l y, ' sur r ounded by I ndi a n
villages and no whi t e nei ghbour wi t h i n reach f or a great many mi l es, w i t h
bad roads and no mot or cars t hen i n existence' . I nci dent al l y she gr ew
f ami l i ar w i t h nat i ve l i fe i n her vi si t s t o the villages and ' was oft en called
upon t o prescribe f or sick babies and treat even serious illnesses i n an
emergency' . She nat ural l y i nspi red a ' t ouc hi ng gr at i t ude and f ai t h i n the
simple flock' . She t hi nks wi t h sadness t hat al l this feel i ng f or the Sahibs
' shoul d have been al l owed t o disappear (or i s disappearing) t hr ough
wi cked -and l y i n g propaganda, wh i c h i s not count ered, but left t o spread
l i ke a festering sore' .
He r f i r st novel was publ i shed i n 1910, whe n she r et i r ed t o L o n d o n and
' possi bl y' , she says, ' my f i f t i et h book is bei ng advert i sed' . She never
' pl anned out ' her stories but keeps ' t he theme somewhere i n mi n d whi l e
t aki ng a free hand i n the devel opment of i t ' . A n d she wr i t es di rect on the
t y p i n g machine.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 125
of her books have gone t hr ough several editions, f r om
whi ch it may be inferred that she enjoys great popul ari t y.
But popul ar fiction is seldom high-class fiction. Mr s . Savi
is interesting enough, and she knows what her publ i c
wants. Her books are f ul l of t hri l l s, complications,
dramatic coincidences, and melodramatic situations. She
has created vampires, self- denying beautiful maidens,
heroic men, and advocates of free unions who hate the
convent i on of or t hodox marriage. She takes her readers
i nt o the wo r l d of artists, to beauty- marts, romant i c sea-
side mansions wi t h a suspicious reput at i on, the clubs of
Calcutta, plantations and estates. She describes I ndi an
bazaars, and the heat, the rains, and the floods of Bengal
very vi vi dl y. Her I ndians are either villains or licentious
nawabs. On the pr obl em of mi xed marriages and questions
of a pol i t i cal nature arising out of the relation of the
Government to the people, she has expressed t ypi cal l y
A ngl o- I ndi an views. She knows the Eurasian under wor l d
and paints it realistically. Madness, cri mi nal i t y, besotted-
ness, murder, mystery, and romance, al l have a place in
her novels. She writes clearly, and wor ks up her situa-
tions carefully. Thi s is al l to her credit. Yet she does not
rise above the level of t r i vi al i t y characteristic of A ngl o-
I ndi an fiction. Her themes are generally concerned wi t h
love- complexities either before or after marriage. The
unhappiness of marri ed life that we may fi nd i n some of
her novels has not hi ng peculiarly I ndi an about i t . Ha d
the scenes been l ai d in E ngl and, the pl ot woul d have
remained the same. I n her novels it is not so much
envi ronment as character that explains the comedies and
tragedies of A ngl o- I ndi an marri ed l i fe. One feels that the
same characters, transplanted to Afri ca or China, wo u l d
behave precisely in the same manner. Her characters are
f i xed and onl y adapted t o the plots. An examination of
her plots shows the sameness of her situations, construc-
t i on and development.
I n A Blind Alley, a wi fe separated at the church door
1 2 6 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
f r om her husband, after a l i fe of vari ed fl i rt at i ons and
a serious i ndi scret i on, comes out i ncogni t a to I ndi a, woos
h i m and wi ns his l ove, but i s disappointed by fate on the
eve of her honeymoon. I n A Prince of Lovers To n y
N e wbol d, ' a v i c t i m of his o wn ext raordi nari l y handsome
and charmi ng personality' , marri ed to an insane wi f e,
leads a life of freedom i n I ndi a, seduces the wi f e of an
officer in the I ndi an Medi cal Service, makes furious l ove
t o Mr s . Nancy Maynar d, succeeds i n t empt i ng her t o
commi t an act of social and mor al suicide, carries on wi t h
chorus gi rl s and French shop-assistants, and is s t i l l
fortunate enough to regain Nancy. I n The Tree of Know-
ledge, the beautiful Mr s . Crystal Conway of Kal i kot ha i s
seduced f r om the pat h of dut y by a vamp, runs away t o
her l over and eats of the Tree of Knowl edge. The
husband and the er r i ng wi f e are ul t i mat el y reconciled.
I n The Unattainable Captain Dysart marries a mar r i ed
woman, tries to seduce another man's wi f e, and is regener-
ated t hr ough his l ove f or E dwi na Hope. I n A Fool's
Game, Moya, unhappi l y marri ed t o Cyr i l Mu n r o , loves and
is l oved by her r i ch cousin, Roy BainesMrs. Savi's ideal
hero. Mu n r o makes l ove t o Psyche, but Roy marries her
for Moya' s sake. I n the end bot h Cyr i l Mu n r o and Psyche
are removed f r om the pat h of the lovers and Roy makes
Moya happy. In Baba and the Black Sheep Ma x Ha r di ng,
an ex- convict, leading the ret i red l i fe of a her mi t at
Rajnala, loves Jean Farley, the Missy Baba. Jean's step
mot her proves t o be the wi f e of Har di ng and the black
sheep of the story. In Satan Finds Mr s . Savi paints the
unscrupulous career i n E ngl and and I ndi a, of a fascina-
t i n g but t hor oughl y i mmor al grass- widow wh o does her
ut most to make the i nnocent Mousi e unhappy. Our
Trespasses, si mi l arl y, is the record, f ul l o f crude entangle-
ments, of a wi cked, Byr oni c kni ght , Sir Phi l i p Ransome.
Acid Test is another story of misunderstandings between
a husband and wi f e. The mai n theme is t r i t e, but as a
pi ct ure of the trials and temptations t o whi c h an E ngl i s h
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 127
yout h i s l i kel y t o be subjected i n I ndi a, ' the grave of
f ai t hf ul l overs' , i t i s not wi t hout interest.
Mr s . Savi regards marriage as a ' gambl e' , a great
gamble and a ri sky undert aki ng. A study of her novels,
however, shows t hat the ri sk is not very serious after al l .
I n Vagrant Love, Phi l i ppa F or d, the beautiful eighteen-
year- old daughter of a poor planter at Begumbasti, marries
Mar maduke Mai t l and for his money, but comes t o l ove
h i m i n the end. I n '"Mistress of Herself, Ma x i m A da i r
sacrifices herself out of pi t y for Bertie, a bl i nd war- hero
and an erstwhile l over of Maxi m' s sister, Patricia. But
Bert i e, on regai ni ng the use of his eyes, finds he really
loves Ma x i m and not her sister. S i mi l ar l y, i n Daggers
Drawn, Joyce finds her future l over and husband, purel y
by chance, i n her eccentric employer. I n On Trust, Hi l ar y
Sinclair goes out t o I ndi a t o mar r y O we n Childs, but
marries Jul i an Or me ' pl at oni cal l y' . But her grat i t ude f or
Orme' s kindness develops i nt o passionate l ove. Thei r
happiness, however, is t empor ar i l y di st urbed by the
unexpected appearance of Orme' s wi f e wh o had been
report ed to be dead. I n The Great Gamble, L or na Br et t
gambles wi t h fate i n mar r yi ng To n y Carslake but wi ns.
On Trust records the vi ew of Mr s . Savi about A n g l o -
I ndi an marriages whi c h people may not credit, but whi c h
she relates as a fact :
'People may not credit the fact, but the best wives I have
come across in the ten years I have been in the country have
been born and reared in I ndia. Something to do wi t h the
psychology of the East possibly. Girls grow up and regard
the marriage tie wi t h respect, and a husband as a solemn charge,
very much as mothers regard their children, so that their duty
to the home is an outstanding feature of their domestic life.'
(p. 110.)
Banked Fires (1919) illustrates Mr s . Savi's fondness f or
compl ex pl ot s. I t is so compl ex as to be somewhat
perpl exi ng. The scene of the story is a small Bengal
st at i on. Mr s . Savi describes the monsoon of Bengal, the
128 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
l i fe of r ur al I ndi a and the bazaar at Sonasal wi t h her usual
picturesqueness. There is a l i t t l e digression on the educa-
t i ve value of the cinema i n a r ur al t own.
Mr s . Savi has no use for I ndi an characters in her novels
except in the background. She introduces a few ayahs, is
interested i n the marriage of the Hi n d u Sunia t o her
Mohammedan l over, and knows a few dusky beauties in
the back por t i on of the compounds of some E ngl i sh
bungalows. She knows a few nawabs also, the Majids or
Russul- I smet- Khans, the r i ch, cul t ured I ndians of to- day,
who are more interested in field sports than self- govern-
ment. Though Mr s . Savi loves t hem, she is much t oo
conscious of their oriental sensuality. The onl y Moham-
medan lady of importance i n her novels is, Jasmina, but
she is not quite fai t hful to her Nawab, and encourages an
E ngl i sh l over. The mot her of Babu Ha r i Mohan i n
A Daughter-in-Law is the onl y Hi n d u wh o is not quite a
caricature. But she is a l i t t l e t oo simple and t oo good.
Mr s . Savi does not feel quite comfortable in the I ndi an
, wo r l d , and avoids it as far as she can. She seems to i nt r o-
duce I ndi an characters because she writes romances whose
scenes are l ai d in I ndi a. I n A Forlorn Hope, she can admire
the Maharaja's mot her because of her jewels. She has no
sympathy for Ram Latayal who loses his fai t h i n E ngl i sh-
women and E ngl i sh ci vi l i zat i on because Mo l l y , an
E ngl i sh fl i rt , proves false t o hi m. Mr s . Savi condemns
the conduct of Mo l l y because 'she had for ever l owered
the I ndian' s estimate of her count r ywomen' .
O ut of the large number of other A ngl o- I ndi an wri t ers
who are distinguished neither by the qual i t y nor the
quant i t y of t hei r wor k, a few may be noticed here. O.
Douglas gives us an amusing and readable book in Olivia in
India (1913) or the adventures of a Chota Miss Sahib wr i t t en
in the f or m of letters. Just Because (1915) by Miss Peterson
is a tale of misunderstanding between a husband and wi fe
who, whi l e l ovi ng each other, f ai l t o p u l l together. Miss
Mar y Julian in Where Jasmines Bloom (1917) attributes the
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 129
unhappiness of marri ed life t o envi ronment . Henr y Oakes,
marri ed t o Daisy, i s l oved by Mr s . James. Mr s . James
has no power over h i m i n the plains, but beside the
haunted lake i n Kashmi r they l i ve i n a wo r l d of t hei r own.
Mr s . Vi c t or Rickard' s novel , The Frantic Boast (1917) is a
poor i mi t at i on of Gal swort hy' s The Man of Property.
J udi t h, marri ed to a devot ed husband, leaves h i m f or a
popul ar London j ournal i st . In the end, however, they are
reuni t ed. It may be that Coleston, l i ke the heroes of the
woman novelist, is a much better man t han Soames. He
does not l ook upon his wi fe as his pr oper t y, and is
genuinely heroic and selfless. It may be because Mr s .
Ri ckar d, unl i ke Gal swor t hy, does not regard the i ns t i t ut i on
of marriage as i ni qui t ous, and desires to suggest that a hus-
band can always wi n back his wi fe onl y if he be a Coleston.
She, however, does not t el l us how J udi t h feels afterwards.
D i d J udi t h come t o l ove Coleston ? I t i s doubt f ul .
The Leopard's Leap (1919) by ' Boxwal l ah' is a crude
book, havi ng for its pl ot the seduction of a marri ed woman
by an I ndi an Ar my officer who is already marri ed, and is a
murderer t o boot .
Mr s . Barbara Wi ngfi el d-St rat ford writes wi t h sincerity
t hough she shows very l i t t l e s ki l l i n handl i ng her pl ot .
Beryl in India (1920) is an honest story of marri ed l i fe in
I ndi a. Ber yl struggles against t empt at i on but gives her-
self to another man, and t hen begins to waver between
her husband and her l over in a manner whi c h shoul d
interest psychologists. Wh e n her shrewd Pathan servant,
I smai l Kha n, shoots her husband dead she discovers that
she does not want the other man. Though the theme has
been developed i nart i st i cal l y, Mr s . Wi ngfi el d-St rat ford' s
Ber yl i s an i nt el l i gent woman, who knows her count r y-
woma n i n I ndi a and also the natives of the count ry. Ber yl
understands and appreciates I ndi a as few mem-sahibs do.
The peculiar charm of the book does not l i e i n the st ory
i t sel f but i n Mr s . Wi ngfi el d-St rat ford' s candid views about
the Engl i sh i n I ndi a, and of the I ndi a that they rul e. The
K
130 NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE
Red Flame (1920) by L ady Mi l es is a fascinating study of a
fascinating fl i rt wi t h r ed hair, a study of a woman, wh o ,
whether as maiden or as wi f e, is not t r oubl ed by any mor al
scruples and t hor oughl y enjoys herself in every way.
'Her [ Vi ' s or Mrs. Riddell's] nature was totally unmoral.
She was one of those things that civilization cannot chain or
subdue to any law or order. Her law was the law of the chi l d
her hands went out for meats wi t h just that primitive daring.'
( p. 260.)
The scene of The Jungle Girl (1921) by Mr . G or don
Casserly i s l ai d i n Rajputana. The book begins wi t h the
usual story of domestic i nf el i ci t y: the beautiful marri ed
woma n; her dul l , har d- wor ki ng, ol di sh husband who does
not understand her and neglects her; and the dashing
young subaltern. The hero, Frank Wargrave, escapes the
wiles of Mr s . N or ma n and fi nds his true l ove i n Miss Benson,
the Jungle G i r l of Ranga D uar wh o had shot six tigers.
O wen, the heroine of The Release (1921) marri ed to an
elderly I ndi an c i vi l servant, cares more for a Malabar
squi rrel t han her husband. Mr s . H. Vaughan- Sawyer' s
book sport of Gods, is remarkable for the por t r ai t of an
I ndi an havildar and Wa z i r i pol i t i cs. Captain James
Br o wn , the hero, wi ns the l ove of his S i kh soldiers by his
genuine appreciation of their character. A mo n g his most
devoted admirers i s Havi l dar Hu k a m Si ngh, a t al l , t h i n ,
straight man t o wh o m Captain Br own' s wishes are l aw.
' Li ke many of his ki nd he was naturally brave and, having
no imagination, he was literally wi t hout the sense of f ear . . . .
[He had proved his courage several times and won the Order
of Meri t , the I ndian V. C. ]
' I n fact he was the personification of the best type of I ndian
soldier whose interests are to serve, who desires no i ndi vi du-
ality of his own, but simply places his existence at the disposal
of his officer.' (pp. 140-1.)
I t s pl ot hinges r ound the l ove of Captain Br o wn for May
N or man. But i t does not develop naturally and halts t o-
wards the end.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 131
42. Shetland Bradley.
Mr . Shelland Bradley deserves separate not i ce on
account of the bri l l i ance of his style, his gi f t of humour ,
power of character dr awi ng, and vari et y of his themes.
Hi s first book, An American Girl in India (1907), illustrates
al l his qualities to great advantage. I t is a v i v i d descrip-
t i o n of a journey t o, and adventures i n , I ndi a of Ni col a
Fairfay, the Amer i can G i r l , at the t i me of the great D e l hi
Dur bar of L o r d Curzon. Her record of experiences on
board S.S. Arethusa is f ul l of quaint observations on men
and t hi ngs and gives evidence of a fine sense of humour ,
wi t hout whi ch the book wo u l d have been no better t han
an eccentric gui de- book. Mr . Bradley' s humour often
conceals much wi sdom.
' N ow civilian number four was a man but he wasn't a
gentleman. It was a pity, because I ' ve a great weakness for
the latter, and so, I guess, has I ndia. No part of the British
Dominions needs gentlemen to rule it so much as I ndia. ' (p. 75.)
Whe n the Amer i can G i r l landed at Bombay, she was
startled by the sight of a man weari ng his shirt outside.
On learning that i t was a common custom i n the count ry,
she observes:
' I t ' s just typical of what Western civilization has done so
far for I ndia. Li ke new cloth on an ol d garment, it has just
patched itself on, in an obvious, startling, ugly patch, absolutely
ruining the charm of things Eastern and picturesque.' (p. 91.)
Accust omed as she was to the comforts of European
hotels, she is not pleased wi t h her hot el at Bombay. But
she has a good wo r d to say about the custom of a
separate bat hr oom. She laughs at gr own- up man servants
bei ng called ' boys' .
1
F r o m the Malabar H i l l , she has a
vi s i on of her f i r st gl ori ous I ndi an sunset, ' wi t h its myr i ad
dancing l i ght s reflected i n the clear blue mi r r or of the sea'.
Then fol l ows a descri pt i on of an amazing marriage
really amazing because the poor clergyman at St. Jude's
1
'Boy' is not the English word but an Indian word. See Hobson-Jobson.
1 3 2 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
' mar r i ed the eleven o' cl ock bri de t o the t en o' cl ock bri de
gr oom' . ' " Bu t no one coul d say i t was my f aul t " he said
pathetically, " Y o u see, her name i s i n b o t h the licenses".
1
I n the t r ai n she comes across three ol d maids wh o had
br ought six casks of water and a large supply of t i nned f ood
al l the way f r om E ngl and for use i n I ndi a as they were
determined not t o t ouch I ndi an water or f ood or f r ui t f or
fear of i nfect i on. The book introduces the readers t o the
famous Berengaria of Slumpanugger and gives a f u l l
account of the D e l hi Dur bar . Mr . Bradley' s descri pt i on
of the great Dur bar i s a fi ne piece of wr i t i n g . The whol e
D ur bar seems to pass before our eyes as somet hi ng bel ong-
i n g not t o the past, but the present.
The Adventures of an A.D.C., The Doings of Berengaria,
and More Adventures of an A.D.C. have no pretence even
to that l i t t l e pl ot whi ch An American Girl in India possesses.
But they have been composed in the same l i ght style as
An American Girl and show the same power of observa-
t i o n . The Doings of Berengaria is a series of sl i ght sketches
of life i n a station i n Br i t i s h I ndi a. The leading f i gur e i n
the story is Berengaria, the pret t y and vi vaci ous wi f e of
the Commissioner of Slumpanugger' a favourable repre-
sentative of the smart set i n I ndi a, expl oi t ed by Ki p l i n g
and Mr s . Steel'.
2
' I believe', says she, ' John woul d have jogged along quite
contentedly in the dreadful little station I found hi m in when I
married hi m, if I had not gone and stirred things up. ' (An
American Girl, p. 207.)
The f ol l owi ng extract discloses the secret of her powe r :
' A n ounce of tact and a well placed smile are all the weapons
you want. If you have a pair of fine eyes you can use them t oo;
but they are not essential. The tact and the smile wi l l carry
you t hrough. ' (p. 207.)
In The Adventures of an A.D.C. (1910) we come across
Berengaria at Mona l i ng, the summer head-quarters of
1
p. 114.
2
Scotsman.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 133
the Li eut enant - Governor of the Nor t h- West Provinces.
Berengaria takes possession of the young A . D . C. and
imparts to hi m much ' useful i nf or mat i on' about the ladies
at Mona l i ng: for example, that Mr s . F ox marri ed Mr .
Har t man fi ve days after the death of Mr . F ox; that Mr s .
Binsley had r un away t wi ce; that ' The Vampi r e' had buri ed
three husbands and was l ooki ng for a f our t h, etc. etc.
Berengaria's power and tact and the judicious use of her
smile are never seen to produce greater effect than when she
gets al l the five Misses Powel l elected to the club at Monal
i ng. A par t f r om the i ni mi t abl e character-sketch of Beren-
garia, The Adventures of an A.D.C. gives a v i v i d account
of life at a Government House and of the vari ed duties of
an A . D . C. I n one of the chapters entitled ' The Post-Bag
at Government House' , the author gives some specimens
of curious letters. An extract i s gi ven f r om one of t hem:
'By the grace of God, your Lordship, I have seven children,
all babes and sucklings.
'Besides this abominable litter, I have many relations. . . .
'As your Lordship is my Father and my Mother I woul d
require that you take this worm and wife and suckles and
relations, both male and female, and provide for us from your
bounty at a remuneration of rupees twenty per month. ' (p. 147.)
I n his Prefatory Not e the author vouches for the authen-
t i ci t y of such letters. But it is possible that ' a few necessary
emendations' have cont ri but ed t o produce this wo r k of
art.
I n another chapter, Mr . Bradley feelingly describes the
retirement of a Li eut enant - Governor, whi ch i n his words
'does not merely i mpl y a descent in pay but also a descent
i n social posi t i on' . I ndi a may be ' a l and of regrets' t o
some, but it is also a l and where many Engl i shmen and
E ngl i shwomen have enjoyed the i nt oxi cat i on of power
and felt the mi ght and majesty of the Br i t i sh E mpi r e i n
t hei r own persons. F or t hem it is no easy task to come
d o wn suddenly f r om their empyrean heights t o the
commonplace life of a commonplace Engl i shman. A f t er
1 3 4 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
havi ng had t hei r o wn special t r ai n, t o be j ost l ed and
hustled is a new experience f or Sir Humphr ey and L ady
St urt , and we are not surprised t o learn that Sir Humphr ey
seemed to have aged t en years.
Thi s theme i s developed i nt o a f ul l novel by Mr s . Per r i n
in The Anglo-Indians (1912). She contrasts the comf or t -
able, free, l uxuri ous l i fe of a Commissioner i n I ndi a wi t h
his qui et , nar r ow existence i n Engl and. I t i s a pathetic
but gl oomy pi ct ure t hat Mr s . Per r i n presents i n this novel .
One hopes that it is not t rue as a rule. The ret urned A n g l o -
I ndi an may be ' an u n wi l l i n g Ci nci nnat us' t o use a phrase
of Sir G. O. Trevel yanbut i t i s t o be hoped that wi t h
his experience, wi s dom and social connexions, he does
often play an i mpor t ant part i n the pol i t i cal and social l i fe
of his o wn count r y. A l l o wi n g f or a l i t t l e exaggeration
i n the pictures of Mr . Bradley and Mr s . Per r i n, i t i s t rue,
however, that, l i ke Mr s . F l eet wood, Angl o- I ndi ans when
they retire feel that ' l i fe i n I ndi a was not so much t o be
despised'.
1
I n this connexi on, we may notice another book, The
Master of the House (1923), by Mr . ' Dar l ey Dal e' . I t paints
the di si l l usi onment of an autocratic I ndi an judge wh o
returns t o E ngl and ant i ci pat i ng the delights of fami l y
l i fe. Hi s di si l l usi onment is as complete as t hat of Col onel
Newcome. But whi l e the good Col onel resigns hi msel f
t o the i nevi t abl e, t he ol d I ndi an j udge struggles i n vai n
against i t and amuses the readers l i ke the nabobs of
eighteenth- century comedies.
More Adventures of an A.D.C. (1915) is i nf er i or to the
Adventures on the whol e, t hough it shows the same sense
of humour and subtle i r ony. Mr . Bradley' s latest book,
Fifty, was publ i shed in 1927. I t is not merely a series of
sketches l i ke his other books. I t has a definite pl ot . But
i t also i s not altogether free f r om Mr . Bradley' s tendency
t o discursiveness. Cynt hi a, the br i l l i ant cousin of Sir J ohn
Devenham, i s a post - War edi t i on of the Amer i can G i r l and
1
The Anglo-Indians, p. 138.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 135
Berengaria. But she has l i t t l e t o do wi t h the mai n story.
Mr . Bradley' s description of the harbour of Bombay, 'one
of the most beautiful approaches by sea i n the wo r l d ' ;
of the Towers of Silence, ' a strange garden' ; of the Yacht
Cl ub facing the harbour and commandi ng a gl ori ous vi ew
of the sea; and of Malabar H i l l , where the hero i s a
witness of, and an unwi l l i ng part i ci pat or i n , the famous
tragedy k n o wn as the Bawala Mur der , are v i v i d but not
quite relevant. Sir John Devenham' s object i n comi ng
out t o I ndi a was t o save his cousin D i c k f r om mar r yi ng
a beautiful Eurasian and the future generations of Deven-
ham f r om being black. Hi s task is easy, for D i c k hi msel f
gives up his engagement wi t h Laetitia Saunders. But l ove
suddenly comes t o h i m at fi ft y and he wi ns what D i c k
had so callously rejected. Thi s i s the central pl ot . A l l the
rest, his stay wi t h Sir James Carstin, the Gover nor of
t he N or t he r n Provi nce, the cri t i ci sm of the Mont agu-
Chelmsford Reforms, the l i fe at Gover nment House, Sir
John' s t our of I ndi a wi t h Clement, Clement' s lack of
character, his illness and death and the st art l i ng discovery
that Clement was heir to an ancient, E ngl i sh peerage
merely serve t o f i l l the book. I t is, however, very interest-
i n g as a study of Eurasian character and Eurasian life by
an Engl i shman.
CHAPTER VI
N O VE L S O F A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E (2)
43. Frontier novels,
A
S M AL L group o f novels, more interesting than those
dealing wi t h the tittle- tattle of clubs or the ironies of
Angl o- I ndi an married life, consists of romances of F ront i er
l i fe. The life on the Nor t h- West F ront i er of I ndi a i s f ul l
of danger, excitement, and adventure. Ver y often on the
F ront i er Engl i shmen have to l i ve alone or wi t h a small
detachment of Engl i sh soldiers. Female society is rare.
The men there have no t i me for l ove- maki ng or gossip.
The people wi t h whom they have to deal are hardy
mountaineers who are afraid neither of ki l l i ng nor of
being ki l l ed, and who t hi nk that
'the more trouble we give these cursed Feringhees now, the
more liberal wi l l be our rewards and allowances afterwards'.
(Transgression, p. 316.)
Story- writers have more respect for Afghans and tribes-
men, not wi t hst andi ng their pr i mi t i ve savagery and bl ood-
thirstiness, than for the Indians of the plains. They regard
the F ront i er man as a friend in peace and a brave enemy
in war. As a result of this sympathy and respect for
Af ghan character, the F ront i er novels are free f r om that
tone of racial arrogance whi ch mars the enjoyment of so
many Angl o- I ndi an novels whose scenes are l ai d in the
plains or h i l l stations of I ndi a. An ordi nary Angl o- I ndi an
novel is either a record of t r i vi al club- gossip, scandal, and
seductions, or a gl ori fi cat i on of Engl i sh character and
European civilization?) A F ront i er novel of Angl o- I ndi an
life ( when i t i s not a copy of the ordinary Angl o- I ndi an
novel) is a record of human val our and courage, bot h
Eastern and Western.
M r . S. S. Thor bur n has wr i t t en t wo novels of F r ont i er
life, David Leslie (1879) and Transgression (1899). The
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 137
first is an i l l - const ruct ed story describing the administra-
t i o n and life of a F r ont i er di st ri ct , Pottsabad. D a v i d Leslie
loves a Pathan g i r l , Ai mana, ' a mere chi l d of nature' . He
finds that she is absolutely devoi d of mor al principles and
ends by mar r yi ng an ' i nsi pi d E ngl i sh Mi ssy' . Sarfraz
Kh a n is over dr awn. He staggers Leslie by calmly sayi ng:
' "Sahib, I see you know me. I was half a Christian when
Honeyman Sahib promised to get me an Assistant-Com-
missionership; but as I am still only a Tahsildar, 1 am still a
good Mohammedan. I cannot afford to be otherwise in my
present position. " ' ( Vol . i, p. 137.)
What ever one may t hi nk of Sarfraz Khan' s pri nci pl es,
his E ngl i sh i n this passage i s unexceptionable. But Mr .
Th o r b u r n forgets this speech, and to supply a comic rel i ef
to his dul l tale he makes Sarfraz say l at er:
' " Yo u telled me a wise man has said, that the good poleetical
in border side is the honest man who speaks lies for the
benefit of Government, so Mr . Leslie is no good, because he
always speaks true. But I am a good man of first class because
I know to speak the lies for the Surkar's sake and my own too.
In t r ut h, the l yi ng is congenital to my nature, therefore I am
one born poleetical." ' ( Vol . i, p. 128.)
Here i s another interesting specimen of quai nt E ngl i s h:
'O Lordl y Highness! We, the nobles, chiefs, and the
populations of this district, greet thee wi t h the sulphur us fire
and the j ol l y nautch. But you ask, "who pays the piper?" and
we proudly reply, " A l l ri ght ! Oh, hang the expenses !" ' ( V ol .
i , p. 240.)
Transgression is a sensational novel wi t h a crude l ove
story. Col onel F i t zhugh, the Deput y Commissioner and
Resident of Pechistan, i s t or n between his dut y towards
his wi f e and his l ove f or D o l l y . Mr s . F i t zhugh i s one of
those ' delicately nur t ur ed ladies wh o m fate dooms to
residence i n I ndi a, whi l e nature intended t hem never t o
vent ure East of Suez'. He r ' spi r i t ual l ove' forces Col onel
F i t zhugh i nt o the arms of Miss D o l l y Carew, but he
138 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
realizes his transgression before it is t oo late. The novel
has no remarkable characters unless it be Fazl A l i , the
wi l y munshi of the spendthrift Resident wh o mani pu-
lates the accounts of his master and rules h i m. The value
of David Leslie and Transgression, apart f r om t hei r artistic
qualities, consists i n the glimpse they afford i nt o the pol i cy
of F r ont i er admi ni st rat i on i n the last quarter of the ni ne-
teenth century. The aut hor tells us in David Leslie t hat
' a b i g r ow' , as mi l i t ar y men tersely call a h i l l expedi t i on
on a large scale, can onl y be undertaken if the Pathans are
gui l t y of an outrage mor e audacious t han mere ' cattle-
l i f t i ng or the ki dnappi ng of money- l ovi ng Hi ndus ' . The
' obscure border mur der ' of an uncommonl y fool i sh clergy-
man l i ke Mr . Sheppard is also enough excuse for a F r ont i er
war. I n Transgression Mr . Thor bur n refers t o a cont en-
tious question of mi l i t ar y pol i cy i n the f ol l owi ng wor ds:
' Every attempt to increase the I ndian army is jealously
watched and condemned by those representatives of public
opinion who are at the time in opposition to the Government of
the day, b u t . . . if the new battalions are dubbed police, no critic
objects, no critic notices even that by that t ri ck the prescribed
proport i on between the white and brown constituents of the
forces of the crown in I ndia is upset.' (p. 4.)
A study of a few novels l i ke The Border of Blades (1916)
by Captain Bedf or d F or an, The White Horseman by Coralie
Stanton and Heat h Hosken (1924), and A Frontier Romance
(1926) by W. G. Curtis Mor ga n, shows t hat some F r ont i er
expeditions have been undertaken to rescue young E ngl i s h-
women wh o rode off alone or wi t h t hei r f ool i sh gallants
i nt o f or bi dden t r i bal t er r i t or y, not wi t hst andi ng the express
orders of the Gover nment against such excursions. Mi ss
Mi dge i s one of such gi rl s and i s rescued by the Wh i t e
Horseman. In A Frontier Romance Rhona War e, the beauti-
f ul daughter of an Amer i can mi l l i onai r e, possessing ' an
i ncurabl y romant i c spi r i t of adventure' and an insatiable
desire f or novel t y, dares her l over , Humphr ey Wi n t e r of
the F r ont i er Police, t o take her i nt o the f or bi dden Pathan
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 139
count ry. She is carried off by the Wazi ri s to Moosa
Razak, the Ma l i k of the A bdul l ai Kh e l , ' a dynamic
personality' and ' a magnificent ani mal ' , who combi ned i n
his person craftiness, cruelty, courage, treachery, avarice,
and insolence. I n his sky- coloured t urban wi t h f l owi ng t ai l ,
a loose shi rt , Mohammedan trousers, and Peshawari shoes,
this blue-eyed A f r i d i cut a handsome figure. Miss Ware' s
beauty attracts the 'fine barbarian who offers to make her
the queen of the A bdul l ai Khe l , clan of a thousand clans,
t r i be of a thousand tribes, the fairest and the bravest on
this vast F r ont i er ' . The Ma l i k protects her against his
'sharp-featured, blue-eyed, ol i ve- ski nned' and graceful
Pathan wi f e who i s made t o gi ve t o Rhona Ware ' her
best sari' . Mr . Mor ga n evi dent l y does not know that
Pathan women do not wear saris. Wh i l e the abduct i on
of native women is l ooked upon as a nor mal feature of
border l i fe, the abduct i on of this romant i c Ameri can
i s considered ' damaging t o our local prestige, t o our
prestige i n I ndi a, t o our prestige i n the whol e wo r l d ' .
Before a Br i t i s h puni t i ve expedi t i on is sent, Wi nt e r
manages to rescue Rhona War e. They take shelter in a
cave where they are surrounded by Pathans determined
t o starve t hem i nt o surrender. Af t er much bloodshed
they are rescued. Miss Rhona Ware regrets her escapade
and havi ng been the means, l i ke a F r ont i er Hel en, of the
death of many brave soldiers.
Mr . Mor ga n possesses the gi f t o f v i v i d characterization.
Besides Bunni ah Ram (an impossible name) a ' bloated
and greasy- looking person' wh o was ' t he wealthiest, the
most power f ul of a large r i n g of contractors who fattened
on front i er strife' , the sketch of Miss Rhona Ware, wh o m
men at Mussorie had dubbed ' the film fai ry' , is i nt er est i ng:
' The grace wi t h which she moved made one t hi nk of some
sleek, well-groomed racehorse. Fair and pi nk she reminded
one of the snows, of the northern wastes, of the ice-covered
mountains. The warmth of her dark- brown eyes was reminis-
cent of the huertas of Spain, of the vineyards of I taly. True
140 NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE
American, in her coalesced the most beautiful traits of her
ancestors from the N or t h and South of Europe. I n a word,
physically Rhona was not the perfect womanthere being
no such beingbut certainly she came very near to one's
conception of a perfect woman.' (p. 34.)
Mr . Morgan' s description of Tank on the N or t h- West
F ront i er shows power. He justifies the ' melodramatic
elements' of the story by referring to the background
whi ch, he tells us in his prefatory note, is ' t o this day
replete wi t h t hr i l l i ng and sensational incidents' . The
f ol l owi ng pen-sketch of this t hr i l l i ng background may
be taken as a specimen of Mr . Morgan' s descriptive
powers:
' Ten miles away were the foot-hills of Waziristan. The
intervening country was undulating, sometimes flat, stony,
broken and barren. The rocky hills shot up into countless
spurs and jagged peaks. Ridges, crevices, ravines, gorges,
nullahs existed in profuse abundance. Neither grass nor water
could be seen. The rocks and stones seemed scorched and
shrivelled up. The scene was one of indescribable desolation,
relieved here and there by a stunted palm tree and a cluster of
prickly-pear bushes.' (p. 14.)
Eyre L l oyd, in Lieut. Beatrice Raymond, V.C. (1920),
relates the story of a gi r l who, masquerading as a soldier
on the I ndi an F ront i er, distinguishes herself in an attack
by tribesmen on a F ront i er post and wi ns the V i ct or i a
Cross. The book bears testimony to the author' s remark-
able knowledge of the conditions of life i n the outposts
of the I ndi an E mpi r e i n the manner of Maurice Dekobra' s
The Sphinx has Spoken. Mr . Henry Mi l ner Ri deout , in Man
Eater (1927), gives an account of ' the real and troublesome
t hi ng called the Bor der ' :
'Crags and jags, ravines, hiding-holes, good cliffs for
snipers, a puzzle of black mountains. A slag heap and a dust
bi n; ful l of Waziris who don't give a dump for your imaginary
line, a king-Emperor down south, or an A mi r up north
fighting each other and every body else. Robbery, riot, and
murder before breakfast.' (p. 119.)
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 141
44. Sir Francis Younghusband.
Sir Francis Younghusband, the great soldier and
explorer, has a deeply religious and mystical soul. A l l the
books he has wr i t t en are artistic attempts to interpret
Nat ure and his vari ed experiences in a spi ri t ual sense.
Hi s Wonders of The Himalayas, t hough not a novel ,
possesses the interest of a book of fi ct i on. I t illustrates
Sir Francis's t wo mai n characteristics: his l ove of nature
and his sane, religious idealism. He knows the count ry
and its people, and he writes appreciatively of bot h. The
Gleam is not a st ory- book either, but ' a book of subtly
esoteric character steeped in the myst i ci sm of the East,
yet f ul l of precept and example for West ern ci vi l i zat i on' .
1
I t is a serious book, and records the spi ri t ual struggle of
those who are unable to accept at second hand the r el i gi on
of their bi r t h, and who therefore seek t o re-make t hei r
o wn fai t h. The book is l i kel y to make a greater appeal to
students of comparative r el i gi on t han readers of l i ght
literature. I t i s more serious t han The Path of Mr . E dmund
Whi t e, but belongs t o the same type of literature. Mr .
Whi t e describes the struggles of a Mohammedan and his
attempts to r ef or m his r el i gi on; Sir Francis Younghusband
deals wi t h the aspiration of Hi ndus, Mohammedans,
Christians, and others ( of humani t y i n short) t o chalk
out a programme of spi ri t ual salvation for themselves.
Sir Francis's t hi r d book, But in Our Lives, is called by
the aut hor a ' Romance of the I ndi an F r ont i er ' . The mai n
interest of the book, however, does not l i e i n the story,
but i n its ideal of a deeply religious soldier, t ypi cal of the
aut hor himself.
Thi s ideal of service, holiness, and righteousness is
i l l ust rat ed i n the life of E van Lee who joins an E ngl i sh r egi -
ment i n I ndi a. I f E van Lee i s Sir Francis's ideal man,
L ady Meara is his ideal womannot ' a dr awi ng r o o m
or chi d' or ' a hot-house pl ant ' , or a manly woman wh o ,
absorbed in hunt i ng, shoot i ng, tennis, gol f, and games,
1
Daily Telegraph.
142 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
loses al l womanl y grace and becomes a bad copy of man;
but a woman ' br ought up i n r ai n and sunshine' . I n spite
of the author' s par t i al i t y f or her, i t i s doubt f ul whether
al l the readers o f Sir Francis's book w i l l stand her l ong.
She bores, wi t h al l her t al k about Go d , ' highest heights' ,
'sacred moment s' , and ' di vi ne l ove' .
Mr . Percy Ki ng' s romance of the Fr ont i er , Forasmuch,
offers a marked contrast to Sir Francis Younghusband' s
story. The scenes of light-hearted gaiety at the cl ub are
v i v i d l y painted. Mr . Percy Ki ng' s soldiers, wh o behave
l i ke schoolboys, do so wi t h the knowl edge of the dangers
t hat await t hem.
45. 'Afghan', Michael John, John Delbridge, and Mrs. T. Pennell
' Af ghan' in his three novels Exploits of Asaf Khan, The
Wanderings of Asaf Khan and Bahadur Khan the Warrior
(1928), Mi chael J ohn in! The Heir of the Malik (1923),
John Del br i dge in Sons of Tumult, and Mr s . Theodore
Pennell in Children of the Border (1926), take us i nt o the
l and of the Pathans and gi ve a t rue delineation of
Pathan character. The Exploits of Asaf Khan by ' Af ghan' ,
according t o the publishers of the book, was somet hi ng
of a discovery. It i s described by Sir Francis Yo u n g -
husband, wh o has cont r i but ed a short i nt r oduct i on t o
the Exploits, as a book that ' w i l l be absolutely new to 99
out of 100'. Asaf Kh a n i s a twentieth-century Or i ent al
Hi ghl ander of the Rob Roy type. Li k e al l Af r i di s he i s
a man of splendid physique, phenomenal courage, and
extraordinary powers of endurance. He is simple, super-
st i t i ous, f ul l of gui l e, and a deadly marksman wh o ,
however, prefers the knife to the ri fl e. He is capable
of gallant, even nobl e deeds, but perpetrates the most
appal l i ngl y treacherous and bl oodt hi r st y crimes. I n l oyal t y
and devot i on he is l i ke a d o g ; he does not scruple to
empl oy the foulest means to make his master or mistress
happy. We are i nt r oduced to many such men as orderlies,
or bearers i n Angl o- I ndi an novels. One i s I smai l Kh a n ,
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 143
in Beryl in India, who ki l l s his mistress's husband because
he thinks Beryl woul d be really happy wi t h her lover. I n
one of Mr s . Savi's stories, The Orderly, Hi mmat Khan, the
orderl y, wh o is accused of being untrue to his salt, retrieves
his honour (as he t hi nks), by ki l l i ng the dipsomaniac Mr s .
Lane, so that his mistress may be able to marry her l over.
The strange combi nat i on of deep l oyal t y wi t h bl ood-
thirstiness is one of the outstanding characteristics of
Asaf Khan. Hi s exploits, t hough they may appear
abnormal t o Europeans, are not extraordinary. Most of
the Af r i di s are potential Asaf Khans. I n the Exploits we
see Asaf Kha n as a young war r i or and lover. I n the
Wanderings he appears in the guise of a robber chief cum
hadji. The Asaf Kha n of the Exploits is an i ndi vi dual , but
the Asaf Khan of the Wanderings has lost his i ndi vi dual i t y.
I t i s Rahi m Khan, ' the boy' who i s cleverer than Asaf
Khan, i n whom the reader fi nds his hero. ' Afghan' s' t hi r d
book, Bahadur Khan the Warrior, is of another type. I n this
book a brave Pathan finds himself in love wi t h an equally
hi gh- spi ri t ed E ngl i sh gi r l , Frances Brai d, who is sent over
the border by an unscrupulous uncle. Her adventures
make the best part of the book. The end is unsatisfactory
and an anti- climax. ' Af ghan' , l i ke most Angl o- I ndi ans, is
unable to see an E ngl i sh g i r l married to a Pathan. Frances
loves the brave border war r i or , in spite of his barbarous
traits, and he simply worships her. But ' Af ghan' sends
her back to the slums of Engl and, treasuring the memory
of Bahadur Kha n wh o m she wi l l not meet even i n death,
' f or he is of another creed'.
The book gives the reader a glimpse of the strange land
k n o wn as the border:
'a lawless country where violence and sudden death were
ordinary occurrences, where a man in his vigour in the
morning, might be a bloody corpse by evening, or a smiling
village be converted into a blazing ruin in the space of a single
night. ' (p. 238.)
Bahadur Khan, the war r i or , is a curious mi xt ure of courage
1 4 4 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
and superstition, gal l ant ry and barbarisma t ypi cal son
of the border, bot h i n his vi rt ues and vices, somewhat
of an A l a n Breck of the Hi ghl ands of Hi ndust an. Ti mu r
is a shrewd border boy, and his devot ed br ot her l y attach-
ment t o Frances i s very t ouchi ng. He speaks the sort of
E ngl i sh spoken by the 'danda wallas' , t hough a l i t t l e more
refined. Hi s shrewdness and his E ngl i sh may be j udged
f r om the f ol l owi ng quot at i on. He tells Frances h o w he
came to know that she was E ngl i sh.
' "Yus, y'ave," grinned Ti mur. "Art er y' d done larfin' , yer
pulls aut a bi t er rag an' wipes yer eyes. Ul l o! thinks I , wot' s
comin' or f naow ? An' then yer blows yer snitch; an' thinks I ,
this ain' t no bl oomi n' Paythan this ain' t, 'e's English; an' a
toff, too. 'E don' t blow 'is snitch wi t 'is 'and syme as we do, 'e
blows it wi v 'is 'ankercher syme as the toffs do. " ' (pp. 139-40.)
The f ol l owi ng i s a piece of prose descriptive of hi ghl and
scenery and t hat wonder of N or t h- Wes t I ndi a, the
oleander i n its nat ural home.
' Afar, the mountains towered in majestic grandeur, their pale
summits kissing the blue sky. Dense forests of pine, of larch, of
giant oaks and stately planes clothed their heights, their sides,
rich wi t h frui t trees, almond, walnut, apricot and peach, wi t h
vines on the more sunny slopes descending in graceful sweeps
and picturesque terraces into the valley below, where fields of
golden corn nodded and rustled in the gentle breeze. Through
the valley wound a silver stream that rippled sparkling through
rich pasture grazed by numerous herds of buffalo and kine.
A n d in the centre of the stream, a gem in a fit setting, grew
the oleander. As far as the eye could reach it filled the stream,
whose l i mpi d waters could at intervals only flash back the
sunlight t hrough the luxuriant growt h. Countless blossoms
of delicate rose and warmest crimson; dark green leaves
glistening and glancing in the sunshine, ever changing, ever
varying wi t h each kiss of the gentle zephyr that sported wi t h
them; here glowed the oleander softly, a ruby in a setting of
rare emerald.' (p. 78.)
I n The Heir of the Malik (1923) Mr . Mi chael J ohn takes
an Engl i shman across the border as he is dissatisfied wi t h
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 145
post - War I ndi a. Phi l i p Carr, the hero, plays an i mpor t ant
part i n t r i bal pol i t i cs, and obliges a local chief by mar r yi ng
his troublesome granddaughter. Phi l i p Carr's adventures
before and after his marriage fill up the vol ume. The book
is interesting as gi vi ng an i nsi ght i nt o local and forei gn
politics of the Borderl and and the customs and manners
of the people. Mr . J ohn contrasts the Af ghan character
wi t h the I ndi an, t o the disadvantage of the latter. I nc i
dentally he gives us a pleasing pi ct ure of the grandeur
of Af ghan scenery. I n The Heir of the Mal i k, the forei gn
danger t o the peace of the border came i n the f or m of
a Tu r k ; in Sons of the Tumult (1928), by Mr . John
Del l br i dge, not onl y the peace of the border but that of
I ndi a is threatened by ' a vast Mohammedan confederation,
ai mi ng at the conquest of the East' , under the leadership
of a Christian, Selwyn (an escaped convi ct ). Hi s loves
and adventures on the border are enjoyable. But Selwyn,
the pat ri ot , is unconvi nci ng. He is convicted of culpable
homi ci de, not amount i ng t o murder i n a count ry where
Engl i shmen generally can do no wr o n g ; he escapes f r om
pri son after seriously woundi ng, i f not ki l l i ng, the
warders; his companions are men l i ke Peroo, who murder
and l oot as a pastime and as the onl y honest way of l i vi ng.
Though he loves Wi ni f r ed Vi ncent , he is a shutur-be-mahar
where women are concerned. He shows no traces of
conscience or any mor al sense. Yet this man is presented
to the reader as a great pat ri ot . He has unmeasured con-
t empt for ' the wi ndy Babus who now strut and prance
t hr ough Hi ndust an' , and he succeeds in put t i ng ' a spoke
i n the wheel of the chariot whi ch, once started, mi ght
we l l have overrun I ndi a' .
1
But why should Selwyn care
to save I ndi a and wai t for a pardon that is gr udgi ngl y
granted and takes l ong i n comi ng, when, wi t h the help
of G hul am Nabis and N adi r Khans of the border, he
coul d have easily settled his account wi t h ' the hoboes
and the crooks'
2
of I ndi a ? The adventures of a gang of
1
p. 265.
2
p. 239.
L
146 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
convicts escaped f r om j ai l under the leadership of a gora,
l oved by the daughter of a ' pachydermatous bureaucrat' ,
i n the romant i c l and of the tribesmen wo u l d have been
interesting i n themselves.
Mr s . Theodore pennell's Children of The Border (1926)
is a refreshing book. I t is part l y a t ri but e to the labours
of Mr . Pennell as a missionary doct or i n Bannu, ' t hat
F er i nghi of wh o m men t el l such wondrous tales', and
wh o treated the Afghans as ' t hough they were his o wn ' .
I n addi t i on i t i s a sympathetic picture of the chi l dren of
the border, showi ng i nsi ght , knowl edge, and i magi nat i on.
The central theme of the book i s the abduct i on of the
border beauty, Margalara, by Kh a n Zaman, a t al l manly
yout h ' wi t h the clear-cut, delicate profile of a Greek' .
Margalara was his Qi bl a, his shrine of beauty and l ove.
She satisfied by her beauty, brai n, and charm Kh a n
Zaman' s pri de as wel l as his l ove, and in h i m she f ound
al l she needed of companionship and l ove and j oy. Thei r
l ove is l i ke a beautiful i dyl l . But it is disturbed by the hard
necessities of l i fe. I n spite of faults of const ruct i on The
Children of the Border is a romance much above the average,
f u l l of i nt i mat e details of border life. The por t r ai t of
Margalara is we l l dr awn, and w i l l be remembered as Mr s .
Pennell's cont r i but i on t o Angl o- I ndi an f i ct i on.
46. Novels of Anglo-Burmese life.
A few novels of Angl o- Burmese life may be not i ced.
Burmese life is different in many respects f r om I ndi an l i fe,
one of t hem bei ng the posi t i on of women i n Burma. The
'housekeepers' of Burma are ment i oned i n many novels
and they di st i ngui sh these novels f r om other novels of
Angl o- I ndi an l i fe. L i f e i n Bur ma i s a l i t t l e more free
t han A ngl o- I ndi an l i fe. Bur ma i s more fascinating t han
I ndi a, more f u l l of nat ural beauty, and mor e insidious
i n its influence.
A mo n g the novelists of Angl o- Burmese life are Mr s .
V i c t or Ri ckard, G . E . Mi t t o n and J . G . Scott, Mr . Ray
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 147
Carr, Miss Jessie A. Davi dson, Mr . Humfrey Jordan,
and Mr . C. Champi on L owi s . Mr s . B. M. Croker and
Mr s . Al i ce Perri n also have l ai d the scene of one of
their novels in Burma. Mr . C. C. L owi s , in Four Blind Mice
(1920), deals wi t h t wo pairs of husband and wi f er emi nd-
i ng one of the lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr .
L owi s shows some knowledge of the psychology of the
Burmese cri mi nal . Mr s . V i c t or Ri ckard lays the scene of
A Fool's Errand (1921)a readable story of l ovei n
Rangoon. Sir George and Lady Scott are the most
i mport ant of the novelists of Burmese life. A Frontier
Man (1923) is a composite wo r k by t hem. I t has t oo many
characters and fails to hol d the reader's attention l ong.
The pl ot centres r ound the common theme of A ngl o-
I ndi an novel s: the clash between the husband's passion
for wor k and his duties at home. Sir George Scott (' Shway
Yoe' ) published in 1930 a book ent i t l ed Why Not? I t is
a story of E ngl i sh society in Burma. A great deal of
excitement is caused by a series of mysterious jewel
robberies, and especially by the disappearance of a famous
di amond whi ch adorned a statue of Buddha, and of the
jewels of a wealthy German. The mystery- interest is
ski l ful l y kept up. I t is one of the few successful detective
stories in A ngl o- I ndi an fiction. Fetters of Lope (1928) by
Jessie A. Davi dson is a crude and incredible story of
revenge, the scene of whi ch i s l ai d i n Singapore. Mwar a,
whose end is tragic, is wel l dr awn. Mr . Ray Carr's Love
in Burma (1928) has an appropriate sub- title, A Tale of the
Silken Last. Robert Neave, i n love wi t h V i ol a D oyl e,
t hi nki ng her beyond his reach, fol l ows the ' custom of
the count ry' , and later on marries Ma Ti n . But V i ol a
returns to Burma, whi ch produces many complications.
Mr . Carr's descriptions of Bur ma are v i v i d ; but his pl ot
is conventional. Mr . Humf r ey Jordan's book, White
Masters (1929), a collection of short stories, has already
been noticed i n Chapter I V . I t i s a good book of A ngl o-
Burmese life and, i n the manner of the Ranee of Sarawak,
148 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
depicts v i v i d l y the effect of the si l ken East on the West .
The wr i t er holds t hat the influence of the East on the
character of the Westerner i s not healthy.
47. Novels of missionary life.
A small gr oup of A ngl o- I ndi a n novels i s devot ed t o
the l i fe and labours of European and Amer i can missionaries
i n I ndi a. The earliest of the wri t ers on this subject i s
Mi ss Owenson whose novel , The Missionary, was publ i shed
as early as 1811. Sir Wi l l i a m Hunt er ' s The Old Missionary
(1895) gives an ' i dyl l i c pi ct ure of I ndi a i n the early days
of the nineteenth century, wi t h a di gni fi ed and t ouchi ng
central fi gure' .
1
The mission of St. Xavi er i s celebrated
in The Pearl Fishers (1907) by Gert rude Hol l i s .
Mr s . Al i ce Per r i n draws an excellent pi ct ure of a
missionary househol d in Idolatry (1909). Anne Crivener,
J ohn Wi l l i ams , and Ol i ver Wr a y are we l l dr awn. The
book i s remarkable for its v i v i d presentation of the
' humi l i at i ons, the trials t o fai t h and hope, the small and
yet pai nful anxieties'
2
of missionary l i fe i n I ndi a. Some
of Mr s . Perrin' s other stories also deal wi t h the same sub-
ject. The Vow of Silence (1920) is a clever psychol ogi cal
study of Ha r ol d Wi l l i ams , a gawky yout h wh o comes out
t o I ndi a as a missionary. I t i s wr i t t e n i n an i r oni c vei n.
Mr s . Per r i n i s not f ond of missionaries i n I ndi a. She
admires t hei r selfless labours, but ridicules the narrowness
of vi e w whi c h missionary life tends t o engender. Mr s .
Car t mel l , the wi f e of the missionary, i s a good sketch of
a nar r ow- mi nded woman.
Mr s . Penny' s The Outcaste (1912) is an i mpor t ant book,
descri bi ng the conversi on of Ananda t o Chri st i ani t y and
his persecution. Wh a t chiefly leads Ananda to embrace
Chri st i ani t y is the death of his f r i end Coomara at an
avi at i on show and his repugnance t owards the Hi n d u
doct ri ne of t ransmi grat i on. Wha t i s remarkable about
t hi s book i s the pi ct ur e of t he treatment meted out t o
1
Baker, Guide, p. 129.
2
Times Literary Supplement, 1909.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 1 4 9
Ananda by his friends and relatives. I f Mr s . Penny has
done justice to the courage and patient suffering of the
convert, she has not failed to show the terrible conse-
quences of his action. Ananda admits that he di d not
consider how seriously it woul d affect his father's peace
of mi nd and his health. E ven Al der bur y i s touched by
the misery of the parents and 'realizes the havoc that had
been wr ought i n one of the happiest homes of I ndi a' .
E ol a Wenaston' s vi ew of Ananda' s change of faith
probably expresses Mr s . Penny's own human at t i t ude:
' I am of the opinion that he might have had more considera-
t i on for his father's feelings. Why should existing relations that
seem so satisfactory be disturbed ? There is a time for all things.
It is too soon to ask educated I ndia to accept Christianity;
the way is studded wi t h such colossal difficulties.' (p. 157.)
Mr s . Penny has gi ven us i n Mr s . Hul ver , D r . Wenaston' s
housekeeper, one of the finest creations in A ngl o- I ndi an
fiction. She was a wi dow and had been married thrice, a
fact that her acquaintances were not permi t t ed to forget.
Her dress is old- fashioned' a ski rt that gave plenty of
r oom and spread l i ke a bel l over her feet; a bodice that
showed no fashionable bulge in sleeve or shoulder' . She
i s intelligent and f ul l of t al k, and i s i n the habit of inter-
l ardi ng her spicy conversations wi t h quotations f r om one
or other of her three (dead) Wi l l i ams. The first Wi l l i a m
left her some propert y, the second gave her a son, and the
t hi r d the pleasure of rat i ng hi m. Her conversational
powers may be j udged f r om the passage quoted below.
She was very anxious to see Miss Eol a Wenaston married
and is i rri t at ed by her remark that she ( Mr s. Hul ver ) was
very much married.
' "Indeed, miss! I was no more married than I ought to have
been. To have been less married wi t h my three husbands
wouldn' t have been respectable. A nd I am sure it has helped
me along; I should have been a poor thing without i t . As
Williamthat was my secondused to say: ' Humble wed-
lock is better than proud singleness. Marriage is like a good
150 NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE
pair of boots to a woman. I t wi l l carry her through fair
weather and foul. If the boots wear out before their time
the best thing to do is to get another pair.' " ' (p. 138.)
Her views on missionary labours i n I ndi a wi l l be read wi t h
interest.
' "I didn' t say that they were not doing good. I left it open.
As Williamthat was my firstused to say when the native
overseers had too big a grasp on the profits: You can't wash
a crow white nor expect anything of hi m but a croak.' I t ' s
the thought of the millions and millions of heathen in India
that is apt to stagger one. I t ' s like trying to empty a tank
wi t h a teaspoon. However, as Williamthat was my second
used to say when I was down-hearted about the way any-
thing was goi ng: ' You lay your brick and lay it sound and
leave the rest to others. No man ever built a church steeple
all by himself and yet old England is full of churches and
steeples.' Anyway, I shouldn't like to be a missionary's wife.
I could dress up to i t ; 1 could feed up to i t ; but I couldn't
stand the converts trapesing through the compound and
hanging about the verandahs. I shouldn't feel as if the house
belonged to me." ' (p. 150.)
Mr s . Penny's disquisitions on Hi ndui sm and Christianity
wi l l please neither Hi ndus nor Christians. The preserva-
t i on of Hi ndui sm, she says, is due to its wonderful system,
its wi dt h and breadth.
' Hinduism preaches on one hand an asceticism which is
acceptable to the most exacting fanatic. On the other it gives
a licence, in the name of religion and the worship of Kal i ,
that appeals irresistibly to the lowest and most sensual side
of man. Hitherto its isolation and its marvellous power
of absorbing other religious systems have been a tower of
strength; but it cannot be saved much longer from the inrush
of the modern spirit and stands in danger of being broken
down. ' (p. 172.)
The three props of Hi ndui sm, transmigration, the un-
questioned aut hori t y of the Brahmans and their Vedas,
and the Caste System are cr umbl i ng away; and the reforma-
t i on of Hi ndui sm can onl y come t hr ough Christianity.
NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE 151
'Christianity wi l l develop all the germs that lie fallow in
Hinduism and wi l l throw l i ght in the dark places. Why is the
west to monopolise a revelation that was originally given to
the east?' (p. 222.)
The ' wi dowi ng' ceremony of Dorama, the wi fe of Ananda,
is described in Mr s. Penny's best vei n and shows her
i nt i mat e acquaintance wi t h the life of Hi ndus of South
India.
Mr s . Penny introduces a few missionary characters in
The Swami's Curse (1922). I t deals wi t h the conversion of
a hi gh caste H i ndu , Savalu. N o w Savalu had t wo wives.
What is he to do ? Christianity allows onl y one wi fe, and
he is not prepared to renounce either. Mr s . Penny's
sol ut i on is si mpl e: she ki l l s the first wi f e, Thi ara.
Most of the novels describing missionary life i n I ndi a,
when not wr i t t en by missionaries, are satirical i n tone.
Ki pl i ng' s Lispeth is a satire. Mr s . Perri n is evidently no
great admirer of missionaries. Mr . Henr y Bruce i n t wo
novels, The Song of Surrender and The Temple Girl, satirizes
the Ritualist Mi ssi on in I ndi a. I n The Song of Surrender he
draws a funny port rai t of the ' Wobbl i ng Bishop of
Bombay' and ridicules the Mi ssi on E xami nat i on Board at
Poona. I n The Temple Girl, he gives us t wo more sketches
of missionariesof Canon Payne or Soapy Sam, and the
Reverend H u g h L aw. L i k e D r . F u l t on, Mr . Bruce cannot
stomach Soapy Sam. The Reverend H u g h L aw heartily
enjoys the good things of the wor l d. Exc ept i ng cards and
dancing, he regards the pleasures of the wor l d as less
dangerous to religious preoccupation than ' the material-
i s m usually resulting f r om medical studies'.
1
Hi s was the
idlest soul that ever incarnated on earth. He discouraged
active wo r k of any k i nd, and exhorted people t o stand
aside ' hu mbl y undergoi ng the spiritual propagat i on' .
2
Miss Margaret Wi l son' s book Daughters of India (1928)
is certain to rank among the rare classics of A ngl o- I ndi an
fi c t i on. I t records the experiences of Davi da Bailie, an
1
p. 206.
2
p. 209.
152 NOVELS OF ANGL O- I NDI AN LI FE
Amer i can lady attached to a Mi s s i on f or the Depressed
Classes i n a Di s t r i c t of the Panjab. The i nt i mat e details
and the realistic descriptions of l i fe i n an I ndi an busti,
Ai yani anwal a, are largely aut obi ographi cal , and Miss
Davi da Bailie i s a t h i n disguise f or Mi ss Margaret Wi l s o n .
The book has no pl ot and i s loosely constructed. The
l ove of Davi da Bailie for J ohn Ramsey and the ' elopement'
of the beaut i ful Taj and her marriage t o Rabi ndra Na t h
do not const i t ut e a pl ot . Bu t the book pleases the reader
f or its del i ght f ul incidents. The episode of the theft of
t he poinsettia pl ant and its rest orat i on, of the gi f t of a
p i l l o w t o the Begum, of the dest ruct i on of the small f l ower
garden of the I ndi an Chri st i an pastor by the vi l l age
r owdi es, his prayers, the time-table of Mi ss Bhose, the
Head Mistress of the gi r l s ' school , and many mor e episodes,
r emi nd one par t l y of Mr s . Gaskell' s Cranford, and par t l y
of the Scenes of Clerical Life, They show the same
knowl edge of vi l l age l i f e, the same i nsi ght i nt o the
activities of humbl e, i l l i t er at e vi l l age people and the same
t ouc h o f humour .
Mi ss Margaret Wi l s on' s b o o k i s f u l l of cleverly dr awn
character-sketches and acute observations. Miss Munr oe ,
t he Fi r st Lady, is described as a
' pukka ferishtaa slight, frai l , i ncorri gi bl y pr i m and genteel
lady, repeatedly and voluminously skirted and underskirted to
the ground in spite of all temperatures, collared to the chin,
always gloved to the finger tips, shaded by an enormous
khaki-coloured pi t h hat f r om underneath whi ch her face
gleamed out slightly illumined fanatically perhaps by its zeal,
softened by its mi l d direct eyes, and by a very large and
beautifully tender mout h' , (p. 87.)
The esteem in wh i c h she was hel d was based as much upon
her 'years of over f l owi ng kindness, as upon her r eput at i on
f or t hat h i g h and awf ul at t r i but echast i t y' . Mi ss Bhose
was p r o u d of ' her v i r g i n i t y , her seven languages, her
successful great school and her Br a hmi n descent'. She
had espoused the cause of t he down- t r odden but
NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE 153
' wi t hout stepping from her heights. She had no scruples about
eating wi t h sweeper Christians, but had ski l l in avoiding
occasions when it was necessary. A n d wi t h them she had
always included in her thoughts, alas, even the most highly
descended Moslems ever baptized i nt o Christianity', (p. 252.)
Wh e n Rabi ndra N a t h, a distant rel at i on of Miss Bhose,
runs away wi t h the beaut i ful schoolmistress, Taj , wh o
was a convert f r om Mohammedani sm, she does not listen
t o the arguments of Davi da wh o ur ged that even the royal
families of E ur ope needed a l i t t l e new bl ood now and t hen,
and says,
' "But I don' t t hi nk why my half-brother-in-law's sister's
husband's family needed a carrion-eating infusion." ' (p. 254.)
A c c or di ng t o Miss Margaret Wi l s o n the missionaries are
l acki ng in common sense.
1
Present-day missionaries are
thus descri bed:
'Some of them had recanted their early faith. They saved
what they could of their salaries now. . . . Some had gr own
discouraged and gone homea very few. Some had to justify
economically starvation standards of l i vi ng. Some had
revolted from intimacy wi t h I ndia. "The farther we live
separated from them, mentally and physically, the better",
they argued in disgust. "We can't lower ourselves to get too
near to t hem. " ' (p. 29.)
Miss Wi l s o n does not believe in conversions. She finds
the vi l l age superstitious i n spite of Chr i st i ani t y: several
Chri st i an chi l dren are seen wear i ng amulets against snake
bites.
2
Miss Wi l son' s descri pt i on of the vi l l age r emi nd us of
Mr . E d mu n d Candler' s descri pt i on of Mogr aon. These
vi l l age bustis are extremely dul l ,
'where the streets, the earth, the houses, the wells were
one unvarying khakithe khak being the I ndian wor d for
clayfrom Khak we are madewhere all the inhabitants
were clothed in hand-spun cotton grey and grainy or dyed
i ndi go blue.' (pp. 48- 9.)
1
p. 26.
2
p. 113.
154 NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE
She explains the fondness of the villagers for l i t i gat i on by
t hei r desire for diversion and amusement.
'Being illiterate, it had no books. It had no newspapers.
I t had nothing like football, base-ball, tennis, golf. I t had no
theatres. It had no movies. It had no wireless. The proceed-
ings of the court room took the place of all these.' (p. 203.)
Miss Wi l son' s second book, Trousers of Taffeta. A Tale
of a Polygamous City (1929) is wr i t t en as carefully as
Daughters of India. I t is an intimate study of Mosl em life
behi nd the purdah as seen by mission doctors. Taj ,
Rashid, Bi l ki s, the Rani and N u r o , are creations true to
l i fe. There is practically no pl ot and yet the book is above
the average. I t emphasizes that our women are bor n
to be mothers, or they l i ve for what they call ' Hope' .
Miss Wi l s on avoids the pitfalls of Miss Mayo because
she writes wi t h sympathy and understanding. She
describes wi t h a deft pen ' the i nt oxi cat i ng gl or y' of the
colours of women' s costumes at a purdah par t y:
'So there flowed and flapped and wrinkled and twinkled
before our dazzled eyes, colours that have no English name
because they have no occidental existence, the purple of
distant Himalayan foot-hills when they are green wi t h spring
foliage, the bronze-coloured greens of Kashmiri dawns, the
rose-red orange colours of desert sunsets, the memories of
Moghul rubies in moonlight, rainy twilights in Persian
gardens, mists clearing away from snow-topped mountains
after storms, phosphorescence on starry tropical seas.'
(pp. 185-6.)
Yet Miss Wi l s on t hi nks
' our civilization's sober fruit, corsets and soap, our less
picturesque conventions of propriety are more sane than this
opiate beauty of hue', (p. 186.)
Yet A More Excellent Way (1929) by D r . Mar y Scharlieb
is a missionary novel . Basil Rivers, the son of L o r d Rivers,
renounci ng his career, lands, t i t l e, l ove, and count ry
becomes a Roman Catholic priest in a Benedictine monas-
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 155
tery at Benares. He converts a hi ghl y religious Hi n d u
fami l y. I t i s i n Chri st i ani t y, we are t ol d, t hat the ancient
r el i gi on of the Hi ndus ' f i nds its devel opment and f i nal
expression' .
1
Hi ndui s m may be an excellent way of
servi ng Go d , but Chri st i ani t y i s a mor e excellent way,
Hi ndui s m bei ng ' a preparat i on and not a f ul f i l ment ' . Dr .
Scharlieb is a devout Chri st i an but a bad novel i st . The
onl y valuable por t r ai t i n the book i s t hat of Laks hmi Ama l ,
an ideal Hi n d u housewife, ' a slender graceful woman, di gni -
fi ed by her si mpl i ci t y and by her unconsciousness of sel f .
The Splendour of God (1930), by Honor e Wi l l s i e Mo r r o w,
is the latest of the missionary novels so far publ i shed. The
story deals wi t h the fi rst Baptist mi ssi on i n the East, and
is a t r i but e to the wo r k , service, and trials of Judson, a
great missionary, and his wi f e, i n Bur ma. He coul d not
wo r k i n I ndi a o wi n g t o the East I ndi a Company' s opposi -
t i o n t o missionary activities i n its t erri t ori es.
It wo u l d seem that even now missionary activities are
not regarded wi t h favour i n Gover nment circles. We are
t o l d in Wine of Sorrow t hat ' Gover nment vi ewed Chris-
t i ani t y as a most dangerous i nnovat i on, and was l ot h to
expose the Hi n d u t o its cont agi on' .
2
Mr . L. Beresford
wri t es in The Second Rising:
'Personally I believe that if our rule in India is ever finally
laid in its coffin, the church, by the tactlessness of its repre-
sentatives, wi l l have assisted to nail down the l i d. ' (p. 22.)
Mi ss Mi t chen in Mr s . Savi's Rulers of Men complains that
Chri st i an men i n I ndi a do not use t hei r ' privileges f or the
gl or i f i cat i on of the Al mi g h t y and hel p the pagans instead' .
3
Mr s . Savi and Mr . Henr y Bruce show how missionaries
do not scruple t o ki dnap pagan chi l dren i n the service of
the L o r d .
Anot her conclusion suggested by scattered references
t o I ndi an missions i n Angl o- I ndi a n f i ct i on i s the f ut i l i t y
of conversi on. Mr s . Savi says in Mistress of Herself t hat
1
P-157.
2
P-177.
3
p. 155.
156 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
there is not ' a greater rascal, a more unpr i nci pl ed humbug,
whe n he is one, t han a so-called native convert ' .
1
She
tells/us that even native pastors do not hesitate to t el l lies.
2
In Tochlight we are t o l d that native Christians have no
backbone, no spi r i t , ' nor can they by any chance speak
t he t r ut h' . We may wonder wi t h Mr s . Savi ' what the
missions imagine they are doi ng' .
3
I n Rulers of Men the
mi ssi on at Amabagh i s pr oud because i t had pr ovi ded
the E ngl i s h residents wi t h ayahs, dhobies, malies, cobblers,
and blacksmiths.
' But it was a discouraging fact that a very small percentage
of those who left the mission to support themselves by their
own industry, ever continued to remain Christians . . . their
conversion was not a matter of conviction but of convenience.'
( p. 107.)
48. Life in the moffusil. Miss Mountain and Mr. Hilton
Brown.
Mi ss I sobel Mount a i n undertakes t o describe another
aspect of A ngl o- I ndi a n l i fe, the l i fe of the mem- sahib
i n the mofussil. Mr . H. Stewart Macpherson i n an
article on the same subject says:
' The Muffassal is no place for the social butterfly. It demands
a self-reliance and infinitude of resources on which city life
makes no call.' (Calcutta Review, 1913.)
Mi ss I sobel Mount ai n' s Salaam (1917) is a pai nst aki ng
r ecor d of the experiences of Joan Danver i n an out - of-
the- way station i n N o r t h I ndi a. The book i s a repl y t o
those wome n who, si t t i ng i n t hei r E ngl i s h boudoi r s, wa r n
E ngl i s h gi rl s against the l i fe of f r i vol i t y, l uxur y, and
pleasures that I ndi a offers. I n her book Mi ss Mount a i n
has gi ven us a l ong l i st of discomforts and inconveniences
I . p . 133. 2 p. 115.
3
p. 148. In this connexion attention may be drawn to a novel, Hindu
Heaven (1933), by Mr . Max Wyl i e. In a vi vi d and vigorous style, Mr . Wyl i e,
whose knowledge is derived from actual experience, satirizes the activities
of American missionaries in India and the hypocrisy of Indian converts
to Christianity.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 157
t hat E ngl i shwomen have t o face i n I ndi at he un-
punct ual trains, the noisy and di r t y stations, the i ndi gni t y
of conf r ont i ng the wo r l d of cr owded platforms en
deshabille, the l onel y l i fe in a moffusil bungal ow, the
strange bat hr oom, the curious bedr oom wi t h its numerous
naked- l ooki ng doors, the troublesome dut y of maki ng your
o wn curtains and even some articles of cl ot hi ng, the
dirzee wh o does not understand you, and the bearer
wh o i s i nherent l y s t upi d; the uni nf or med chaprassi wh o
cal ml y tells a caller t hat the mem-sahib is in her bat h; and
the cook wh o wo u l d put four dozen eggs i n a cake where
f our wo u l d have been sufficient. Wh a t do Engl i shmen
and E ngl i shwomen at home k n o w of the depreciation of
the rupee, of the toughness of the murghi, of ' the uncertainty
of l i fe i n I ndi a where death hovers wi t h outstretched
wi ngs, ever ready t o f ol d i n his embrace those wh o wal k
i n the valley of his Shadow' , of t he heat dur i ng the day
and the awf ul snores of the punkah- wal l ah at ni ght , of the
cries of the brain- fever bi r d, of the ' onck and umf f ' of the
br ahmi ni bul l , of the awf ul dust - st orm, and the scorching
sands, of ' the pestilence that wal ket h in darkness', ' of the
floods that break the bunds, of the t ornado that flies away
wi t h the cei l i ng of the bungal ow, the l i ght ni ng that sets
fire t o i t , and the r ai n that soaks every dress of the mem-
sahib, of the i n k bot t l e t hat costs 'eighteenpence over
and above the sixpence wh i c h was its real value' , of the
thieves t hat r ob you wi t h i mpuni t y and the police t hat
pester you wi t h useless i nqui ri es, of the tragedy of
mot her hood wi t hout a doct or or wi t h one who takes a
day t o reach his patient, of the di r t y and vul gar ayahs,
and of the separation of the chi l d f r om the mot her and of
t he wi fe f r om the husband ? Such is the experience of one
wh o has actually l i ve d i n I ndi a.
A book si mi l ar i n substance, but better wr i t t e n, i s
Dictators Limited (1923) by Mr . Hi l t o n Br o wn , descri bi ng
t he experiences of a new Assistant Collector and his wi f e
i n the sout h of I ndi a. George I ngr am, the woul d- be
158 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
Di ct at or , arrives in Indi a as that unpopul ar figure, ' the
already marri ed assistant'. Madras strikes I ngr am as an
elusive t own. Presumably it exists somewherewhat
I ngr am sees is 'a succession of disconnected places rather
t han a place i t sel f . Hi s first encounter wi t h the Chief
Secretary, whi ch the author calls the Battle of Beale, left
h i m wi t h a ' f i r m and root ed hatred of Hi s Majesty's Ci vi l
Service in I ndi a' . He is posted as Assistant Collector and
Magistrate of Kavut apur, a place where there was not onl y
no house, but even no hot el and no shop. He loses his
temper because f r om the first ' the native displayed a vast
and unexpected capacity for annoyi ng and petty i r r i t at i on' .
Whi l e he fi nds the ' Ar yan Brot her' disappointingly
difficult, he feels that there was something wr ong wi t h the
Europeans one met at the cl ub. ' Hi de- bound they seemed
t o belacking i n i ni t i at i ve, t erri bl y wrapped up and
entangled i n their own petty daily r ound of dul l duties
and i nsi pi d amusements.' The 'headquarter stations' seem
to have been devised by a malicious provi dence:
' Twenty people absolutely incompatible in tastes, brains,
manners, topicseverythingjammed down together and
expected to agree. Two or three ill-natured women to keep
the ball rolling. Li t t l e hells . . .' (p. 183.)
The heat of I ndi a is a new and a t erri fyi ng experience to
hi m. The clothes feel as if they had been taken out of an
oven, the bedstead is hot to t ouch, the punkah onl y bl ows
waves of hot air, and the evening ride is l i ke pushi ng
one's way t hr ough a furnace. He finds that the I ndi a of
his experience is not the Indi a of books. It upsets al l
'one's cut and dri ed classifications, it plays hel l wi t h one's
Relative Values' .
1
Hi s daily task, t hough not very
interesting, di d not lack variety' a more amazing farrago
altogether, a Bedlamite di versi t y' .
' I t ranged from immense questions of policy and adminis-
tration . . . t o niggling details and pettifogging formalities
1
P. 193.
NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE 159
that demanded close and exhausting attention. One checked
and balanced the entire Revenue Accounts of the Di vi si on
and one gravely sanctioned a rupee's wor t h of kerosene oi l
for the use of one's office. One spoke one moment of
roads and bridges and large enterprises, and the next of
repairs to the kitchen of the local Fund Hospital at Ennam-
petta.' (p. 254.)
Wha t wi t h heat and the l yi ng, cr i ngi ng, unt r ust wor t hy
natives; wi t h Cobbey gr i nni ng t hr ough ' the blue- black
stubble' of an indifferent shave; wi t h ayahs wh o admi ni -
stered opi um t o babes; wi t h brutes of servants, cow-
people, and dhobies; wi t h the excitement of war and the
di smal ant i - cl i max of its effect i n I ndi a ; wi t h native ri ot s
and his wife' s illness, George I ngr am, the woul d- be
Di ct at or , feels that for h i m ' the whol e process of I ndi a
had been one l ong gr i ndi ng and l evel l i ng' . He loses heart
and admits hi msel f beaten.
Dictators ' Limited is an i nt erest i ng account of the l i fe
of a c i v i l servant i n the l onel y stations of I ndi a. Cobbey
and Bet t are wel l - dr awn types of I ndi an Collectors.
A remarkable feature of the book is the characterization
of Shiva Rao i n wh o m Mr . Hi l t o n Br o wn presents ' one
of the most insoluble conundrums East asks of West ' .
1
Shiva Rao was a sl i m, good- l ooki ng, and presentable
young man. He spoke perfectly wi t h a very pleasant smile
and, accordi ng t o E d i t h , I ngr a m had the best manners of
any one they had met in I ndi a. He was a publ i c school
man, a ' real decent chap' . Thi s cul t ured anglicized I ndi an,
bel ongi ng to a respectable fami l y, is treated l i ke a pariah
by the small A ngl o- I ndi a n communi t y of the place. He
is refused admission to the l ocal cl ub because he is a
nat i ve. Hi s immediate officer, Mr . Quor n, the D i s t r i c t
Superintendent of Police, i nvi t es h i m t o dinner and Mr s .
Qu o r n ' had t o ' go out t hat eveni ng. George and E d i t h
I ngr a m t r y t o cultivate h i m and befriend h i m, but f i nd
themselves i n hot water because of the prejudices of t hei r
1
P. 243.
160 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
count rymen. So far Mr . Br o wn has delineated Shiva Rao
wi t h real sympathy, but i n the port i ons of the story wh i c h
f ol l ow, it is obvi ous t hat he has lost his bearing. Shiva
Rao, cut off f r om his count rymen because of his education,
posi t i on and tastes, despised by Engl i shmen, is a tragic
f i gur e. Hi s degradation does not fi t i n wi t h the story.
I t i s t oo sudden t o be convi nci ng.
I n another novel , Susanna (1926), Mr . Hi l t o n Br o wn
depicts another aspect of A ngl o- I ndi an l i f e, the l i fe of the
planter i n I ndi a. The pl ot of the book i s the common
story of an unhappy marriage, separation f ol l owed by
reconci l i at i on. But as a study of an unconvent i onal g i r l ,
t i r ed of what she calls ' Bremneri sm' t he l i fe of pretences
and prejudices, of l i mi t at i ons and religious i nhi bi t i ons, of
l ong- wi nded graces and stock r i t ual conversationsand
t i r ed even of her marriage wi t h J i mmy Rait (a coffee
planter i n Vayala, near the ' real levels of Mysore' ), the
book i s admirable. Her marriage is, i n fact, a j ump f r om
' Bremneri sm' i nt o Bohemianism. To Susanna the contrast
between her cramped l i fe in Scotland and the 'free, open,
give- and- take l i f e' in I ndi a is very great. She enjoys the
'Race Week' of the planters of Vayala, ' a sort of M i -
Careme i n the mi ddl e of Lent that ran for the balance of
the year',
1
a week of gymkhanas, tennis, cricket, gol f,
races, bands, dancing, sunshine and moonl i ght , a week
i n whi c h one had done everyt hi ng except sleep. Af t er the
mer r y Race Week' come the weary weeks of the monsoons
whi c h were f ol l owed by weeks of strenuous wo r k , when
the planters go ' i nt o cr op' and casting gaiety aside, slave
f r om t en to fourteen hours a day. Susanna is bored by
this life and is not happy wi t h her husband, who seems to
prefer his horse t o his wi fe. Her next phase of l i fe i n the
' N o Man' s ' L a nd' , separated f r om her husband, and earning
her l i vel i hood by teaching music and dancing, is bi t t er
and disagreeable. As the owner of the estate of Gl en-
si mbr i i n the di st ri ct of Vayala, she returns t o I ndi a, and
1
p. 107.
NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E 161
after a ri si ng of Ko t wa labourers, engineered by non-
cooperating agitators, is reconciled to her husband. She
has learnt her lesson t hor oughl y:
' I f you go against conventions you go against nature really,
and you can't do t hat . . .' (p. 348.)
I n spite of its commonplace pl ot and the mor al tag, Susanna
is one of the better type of novels. Susanna is the por-
t rai t of a complex woman misunderstood because of her
compl exi t y and essential womanhood. The simple style
befits the story. The first part of the book ski l ful l y etches
character and background. I t is mai nl y psychological.
The last part is exci t i ng and sensational.
As a glimpse i nt o the life and labours of the planters,
i t may be compared wi t h Mr . John Eyt on' s Expectancy
and Diffidence. Mr . Eyt on' s appreciation of the life of
I ndi an planters is acute. One of his stories, A Planter's
Home, is concerned wi t h the same theme, and is wr i t t en
wi t h feeling. The importance of the planters i n I ndi a,
is we l l emphasized:
'Patriotic poets have not extolled them, and history passes
them by; their statues do not smile or frown down dusty
thoroughfares, and they are but rarely found in the rol l of the
Star of I ndia; but nevertheless they have one most enduring
title to famethey have held on.
'The officials come and go, and make the best or worst of
it before they take their pensions and go for ever. Much they
may achieve in I ndia, but never one thingHome. That is
left to the planters, and is perhaps the greatest achievement
of al l . ' {The Dancing Fakir, p. 92.)
A Planter's Home is a t r i but e to planters' steadfastness
and sacrifice for the sake of E ngl and. They are Engl i shmen
who have made their homes in I ndi a and have cont ri but ed
not a l i t t l e t o the stability of Br i t i sh rule i n I ndi a. Mr .
E yt on deplores the attitude of the E ngl i sh towards t hem,
an attitude of indifference, i f not of actual contempt. He
regrets that they are confused wi t h and treated as Eurasians.
M
1 6 2 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
The author compares the bungalows of Engl i shmen wi t h
planters' homes:
'There was a spirit, too, in the house, which is seldom met
wi t h in the Englishman's abode in I ndia. Our bungalows are
but temporary shells, passed from hand to hand, seldom
beautified, never adorned wi t h our best; little is given to these,
and little do they give back. They have no abiding sense of
rest or of peace, no history and no individuality. But here there
was a difference. If ever a house did, this house reflected its
owner . . . a house of gentleness.' (ibid. , p. 98.)
The same sympathy for the planter runs t hr ough the pages
of Expectancy and Diffidence, t hough it does not f or m the
theme of these novels. Nicholas Vaine, who has a jammery
near Bhi mt al , welcomes his orphaned cousin Ji mmy in the
f ol l owi ng wor ds :
' " You must look on this as your home. What's more, you
must call it home. No boggling about the bushH-o-m-e,
Home. They say in England that you can't build a home in
I ndia, you can only build a house. That's wrong, like most
of the things they say. You can make any house a home if
you put enough into i t . " ' (Expectancy, p. 299.)
Nicholas' s enthusiasm for the f r ui t i ndust ry i n I ndi a
is catching. He advises his son- in- law to take up the
business and t o settle down i n I ndi a. I n Nicholas the
reader is gi ven a character-sketch of an enthusiastic and
prosperous planter who plays an i mpor t ant part i n the
trade and commerce of I ndi a.
* "L or d, James, this is not hi ng, "' says Nicholas to his son-in-
law, referring to his plantations. ' "What' s fifty acres ? I t won' t
end here. I ' ve been dreaming dreamsalways do this time of
the year; who doesn't ?and by Heaven, frui t ' s the wonder of
the wor l d! Colour, taste, shape, smellyou can't beat good
fruit on any ground. It always strikes me that the Al mi ght y
must have been pretty disgusted when he looked down and
saw Adam and Eve gnawing a bone instead of admiring that
apple, eh? Regretted the fuss He' d made, eh? A nd here's
I ndia, nearest to Eden wi t h hardly a fruit of her own worthy of
NOVELS OF ANGLO-INDIAN LIFE 163
the name and hardly one acre in a mi l l i on given to growing
God-fearing fruits from self-respecting countries. L ook at
Australia, Tasmania, New Zealandno better climate than
up here, no better sun or soilbaby countries too, infants in
arms compared wi t h this hoary ol d ladyand they're simply
flooded wi t h fruit. Don' t know what t o do wi t h i t . A nd i t ' s
all the wor k of the last half-century or so. A nd then look at
Indiathe one supreme fruit-market of the worl dor ought
to be. . . ." ' (Diffidence, PP. 119-20.)
N o t onl y do Nicholas Vai ne and planters l i ke h i m offer a
home t o Engl i shmen, not onl y do they cont ri but e so much
t o the commerci al prosperi t y of the count r y of their
adopt i on, but they are a guarantee for the continuance of
Br i t i s h rul e i n I ndi a. They have a large stake i n the count ry
and therefore they are ' booked f or I ndi a' . They cannot
subscribe t o any ' t omf ool pol i cy' of si gni ng away I ndi a
t o the babus. I f i t came t o that, Nicholas Vai ne wo u l d
raise a regi ment and take what he coul d in the ol d style.
The contemptuous at t i t ude of the ' heaven- born' and
mi l i t ar y services towards other services, and especially the
commercial classes, i s referred t o i n many novels. I t forms
the subject of Mr . E dwa r d Thompson' s t h i r d novel , Night
Falls on Siva's Hill. I n this book the object of contempt is
not a settler, but a mi l i t ar y officer wh o is forced to lead the
l i fe of an exile i n the jungles of Tr i s ul bar i . At Gangapur,
as i n most c i vi l and mi l i t ar y stations, Mr . Thomps on tells
us, the unofficial Engl i shman came almost on sufferance,
' like a countryman vi si t i ng his cathedral city on a day not
the market day', (p. 3).
J ohn Carmichael L y o n , the pri de of the pr oud Mi a n i
L i g h t Horse, stationed at Gangapur i n 1876, was sure of
r api d pr omot i on f r om 'carefree subalternity t o hale, cheery
br i gadi er hood' . But as it t urns out , he nar r owl y escaped
a court mar t i al and is per mi t t ed to resign the Queen' s
Commi ssi on as a favour. Wh y ? Because he had dared
to do what was the greatest offence according to the mor al
code of the Mi a ni s : he had marri ed the beautiful Hester
1 6 4 NOVELS OF A N G L O - I N D I A N L I F E
Mor r i s on whose father "was just on the fringe of recognis-
able social status, as the Mi ani s saw t hi ngs' . Af t er l eavi ng
the Mi ani s, he buries hi msel f i n his Zemi ndar i wo r k
al ong wi t h his t wo daughters, Ki t t y and N i c ky, wast i ng
his ' force and fineness' in an uncongenial atmosphere.
The past not onl y embitters his l i fe, but that of his
daughters. Though Ni col et t e, unl i ke her sister, grows up
l i ke a wood- spri t e, ' a l i l y in delicacy and f r ai l t y' , and loves
her j ungl e l i fe, the miseries of her father and his opposi -
t i o n t o her intimacy wi t h young N or ma n poi son her l i f e.
Mi ss Nicolette' s pleasure i n her forest surroundings i n
places reminds us of Hi l da Hamar and her brot her- i n- l aw
A l den, whose passion for I ndi an forests, as he hi msel f
confesses, saved h i m f r om certain madness. Felvus
reminds us of Hamar. The book i n style and i n treatment,
l i ke the other novels of Mr . Thompson, i s di st i nct l y
superior t o the greater number of novels i ncl uded i n this
Isurvey. Miss Nicolette' s character sketch is a masterpiece
of wor d- pai nt i ng.
CHAPTER V I I
N O V E L S O F M I X E D M A R R I A G E S A N D
E U R A S I A N L I F E
A
CONS I DERABL E number of Ang l o- I nd i a n novels deal
wi t h mi xed marriages and the probl ems ari si ng out
of them. Some of t hem take for thei r pl ot the marriage
of an Engl i shman wi t h an I ndi a n g i r l , some depi ct the
pl i g ht of a n Engl i sh g i r l who i s fool i sh enough t o marry
an I ndi a n, and a large number describe the l i fe of Eurasians.
49a. I n the days of Cl i ve and Wa r r en Hasti ngs, when
Engl i shwomen i n I ndi a were not so numerous as now,
and when many Engl i shmen who came t o I nd i a d i d not
hope that they woul d ever ret urn to thei r mot herl and,
i t was not uncommon for Engl i shmen t o marry I ndi a n
gi rl s. There was l i t t l e prejudice against such marriages,
and there i s no suggestion i n any novel that such marriages
were unhappy. But wi t h the begi nni ng of the second
quarter of the ni neteenth century, such uni ons began to be
regarded wi t h di sfavour. In The Baboo and Other Tales
(1834) there i s gi ven an account of Captain Forester's
marriage wi t h a Mosl em Begum. Hi s count rymen l ook
askance at i t , but do not speak of i t as anyt hi ng abnormal .
I n Seeta the di sapproval i s more pronounced. Even i n
the ni neteenth century the prejudice does not seem to
be deep-rooted. Ki p l i n g d i d not deal wi t h thi s questi on
at l ength. But f r om a study of his short stories, Yoked
with an Unbeliever, Georgie-Porgie, and Without Benefit of
Clergy, it is clear that he d i d not regard such marriages as
extraordi nary. He i s conscious of the tragedy of such
uni ons, but he l ooks upon t hem purel y f r om a huma n
poi nt of vi ew. No considerations of race or prestige stand
i n the way of the natural devel opment of these si mpl e
stories. I n Lispeth, his sympathies are wi t h the poor
despised h i l l g i r l ; i n Yoked with an Unbeliever, the Indi an
166 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
g i r l makes a decent man of her husband. I n Georgie-Porgie,
Ki p l i n g reaches the heights of his art when depi ct i ng the
despair of the Bur man 'housekeeper',
l n A Princess of Islam (1897), M r . J. W. Sherer shows
a sympathetic understanding of Eastern women, t hei r
capacity f or l ove and self-sacrifice. I t recounts the story of
a Mohammedan princess Noor oon- Ni ssa, wh o was gi ven
i n marriage t o George Wi l t o n by her brot her, the Nawab
of L i n g . The descri pt i on of the Mohammedan marriage
is accurate and interesting. The marriage was not happy,
and race prejudices embittered the life of bot h. The object
of the book, however, i s not so much t o discuss the
question of mi xed marriages as t o study ( i n the wor ds of
the aut hor) ' a single female character'. He has not created
an ideal, but he has admi rabl y succeeded in underst andi ng
an alien woman. Even L ucy, wh o i n Nooroon-Ni ssa' s l ove
and charity saw the influence of Christ, had to confess that
' We in England underrate the force of character of Eastern
women. I believe the influence of a female mi nd in a native
household is often paramount', (p. 308.)
Wi t h the begi nni ng of the t went i et h century, the
prejudice against mi xed marriages became deeper and
mor e pronounced. The hero of a sensational novel ,
Fitch and His Fortunes (1898) by G. D i c k , loves a r i ch and
beaut i ful zemi ndari n, Savitra Bai . Hi s l ove f or the fair
I ndi an i s not approved by his Angl o- I ndi a n friends, accord-
i n g t o wh o m 'cheek by j o wl , not l i p t o l i p ' i s the maxi m of
the I ndi an Empi r e. But F i t ch evolves a more satisfying
ar gument :
' I f well-born Englishmen and high-caste ladies of I ndia
wedded it woul d bri ng about the English at home, a wonderful
fusion, a hybri d mongrel l ot , if you like, Norman-Dane-Anglo-
Saxon, but the peer of the West, as the Eurasian woul d be the
peer of the East, and not the by-product of the lower classes
of each proud race as he is at present.' (p. 190.)
The aut hor, wh o shares the prejudice of his count r ymen,
says t hat F i t ch never t hought of the
EURASIAN LIFE 167
'vice-versa business, the white gi r l wedding the native, nor of
the fact that the Englishman now goes home on three months'
leave for his menus plaisirs, and that the Zenana compounds in
the older bungalows have now therefore no raison d'etre; that
unions like that of the Princess of the Mogulai, and the English
gentleman, whose descendants are not without honour in the
land, now play no part in the system of life' , (p. 190.)
Fate, however, saves F i t ch f r om his f ol l y, when the Fair
I ndi an commits suicide.
I t is a strange coincidence that this device of ki l l i ng or
put t i ng aside the I ndi an g i r l is f ol l owed by almost al l
A ngl o- I ndi an novelists who have tackled this probl em.
In Mr s. Steel's On the Face of the Waters, Zora dies early,
setting J i m Douglas free t o love another man's wi fe. I n
Self and the Other (1901) by 'Victoria Crosse', Narayanah
Chandmad, ' the heaven-sent guest' of Francis Heath, is
removed in t i me by plague, fortunately for the future
of the I ndi an Ci vi l Service of whi ch he was destined t o
become a promi nent member. In The Jewel of Malabar,
Kamayala enters a convent and saves Sir John Bennvi l l e
f r om the consequence of his un-Engl i sh infatuation. I n
Flame of the Forest by Al i ce Eustace (1927), the ever
wat chful Government of I ndi a, ruled by L o r d Der i ng,
diplomatically remove the E ngl i sh l over of Princess
Flame to Engl and. I n The Scorpions' Nest by Joan Angus
and Hope F i el di ng (1929) Anar cul l i , who is determined
t o marry John Ferguson of the Guides, i s ki l l ed i n a fi ght .
The reasons why an Engl i shman should not marry an
I ndi an g i r l are mentioned in several novels. The Jewel of
Malabar (1929) by Mr . Donal d Sinderby may be studied as
t ypi cal of such novels. I t i s a good story, wel l t ol d, i n
whi ch the author uses to good effect the many interesting
aspects of the Mopl ah Rebel l i on of 1921. He gives a v i v i d
picture of the wi l d count ry of Malabar, "that emerald gem
of sad beauty i n the south-west of I ndi a' . The book shows
how st rong i s the disapproval of mi l i t ary I ndi a when an
E ngl i sh officer of the rank and family of Sir John Bennville
168 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
permits hi msel f t o f al l i n l ove wi t h a beautiful Nayar
wi d o w (Kamayala), ' wi t h haunt i ng b r o wn eyes'. The
reasons f or such disapproval are: that an Engl i shman
cannot marry a black woman, that it is si mpl y not done,
t hat he wo u l d have t o l i ve i n ' this God-forsaken count r y'
f or the rest of his l i fe, that I ndi an gi rl s are dangerous and
put somet hi ng i n one's dr i nk, that his chi l dren wo u l d be
' half-chats' , that he has a decent Engl i s h l i ne to keep up,
and that an officer of the Musketeers marri ed to a nat i ve
i s an unheard-of hor r or .
1
The Col onel of the Musketeers
i s genuinely gri eved at the obstinacy of Bennvi l l e. Hi s
appeal is power f ul l y, even poetically wo r d e d :
' "I don' t t hi nk you quite realise, Bennville, what i t means t o
be married to a native woman. I t means that you wi l l lose
friends, home, and everything that is wor t h l i vi ng for to an
Englishman. You woul d not be likely to make friends wi t h
the other natives. O i l and water won' t mix 1 Consider what
it woul d mean never to see England again "' (p. 225.)
He paused and t hen cont i nued wi t h a note of appeal
i n his voi ce:
' "Never to see the brown copses and frozen ponds in winter.
Never to see the sun set on the greenest happiest land in the
wor l d. Nor to see the woods carpeted wi t h bluebells in Spring.
Never to hear the song of the robi n and the blackbird again,
nor to smell the violets and burning wood and all the ' farm
housey' smells of Ol d England. Believe me my boyand
I ' ve travelled far and seen many landsthere's not a country
in the whole wide wor l d whi ch is a quarter as beautiful, or a
quarter as good to live i n, as dear muddy, foggy ol d Bl i ght y
in the roaring Nor t h Sea!" ' (p. 225.)
The appeal does credit to the far-travelled Col onel , and
is a good specimen of the author' s style. The reader wo u l d
h o t have been surprised after this i f Sir J ohn Bennvi l l e
had overcome his i nfat uat i on. But he does not , and
disappoints the Col onel wh o i s determined t o save h i m
1
pp. 140- 1.
EURAS I AN L I F E 169
f r om himself. But what actually happens is something of
an anti-climax; what a Col onel coul d not do is done by
a Sister of Mercy. Suddenly Kamayala enters a convent,
turns Christian, and renounces hi m for whose sake she
had already renounced everyt hi ng. I f her conversion were
not so sudden, her sacrifice woul d have been more
i nt el l i gi bl e. As it happens, her reason for her action is not
convi nci ng.
'I must not keep thee from thy fate', she wrote to Bennville.
' Wi t h me as wife thou couldst not be a great general and thy
son a great dewan as God wishes i t . ' (p. 320.)
A n d what is more surprising is that this E ngl i sh baronet,
who had risked his life for her sake, faced the jeers of his
officers, opposed his Col onel and resigned his j ob, this
hero, wi t hout any hesitation and wi t hout even a mel o-
dramatic scene of remonstrance, allows her to enter the
convent and considers everyt hi ng a ' dream' .
The onl y novel of any importance, i n whi ch a uni on
between an Engl i shman and an I ndi an g i r l is actually
br ought about, i s ' Li l amani (1910) by Mr s . Ma ud Di ver .
She calls it a study in possibilities. N e v i l Sinclair, a young
representative of an ol d E ngl i sh fami l y, who i s remarkable
for his artistic genius, falls in love wi t h a high-caste Hi n d u
g i r l , L i l amani , the daughter of Sir Lakshman Si ngh,
amidst the romant i c surroundings of Ant i bes. L i l amani
is a daughter of new I ndi a, slender and upr i ght as a pal m,
pr oud, wi l f ul , and not wel l -di sci pl i ned. Mr s . Di ver under-
stands her wel l and knows that
'So essentially is an I ndian woman the product of that
hidden sanctuary of home that a sudden uprooting involves the
snapping of a hundred delicate fibres, the entire readjustment
of thought, feeling and conduct to the complex, unstable ele-
ments of the outer wor l d' , (p. 20.)
Mr s . Di ver i s ful l y alive not onl y t o the possibilities of
such a marriage, but to its consequences. Though she does
not br i ng out the effect of such a uni on i n the distant home
170 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
of Li l amani i n Rajputana, we may guess f r om the letter
f r om Mat a Ji, whi c h Sir Lakshman conceals f r om the
readers, the consternation that the news of such a marriage
must have caused i n I ndi a. The author vi vi dl y paints the
pai n and surprise wi t h whi ch the news was received by the
whol e Sinclair clan. I n t hei r lack of i magi nat i on, pri de
and prejudice, they are not much superior to the caste- and
custom-ridden men and women of I ndi a. Sinclair's aunt
is wel l dr awn. She embodies the disgust and disapproval
of the whol e clan. She nearly succeeds i n br i ngi ng about
a tragedy, whi c h perhaps wo u l d have been a more natural
denouement of such a uni on. But Mr s . D i ve r writes
wi t h a purpose, and she has chosen to i gnore the tragedy
inherent in such a situation. She moves about in a realm
of romance, and smoothes the pat h of the lovers when-
ever evi l clouds begi n to threaten t hei r marri ed life. She
has a genuine admi rat i on for I ndi an ideals of wi fel y dut y,
and believes that such unions need not always end in
tragedy. But what is possible is different f r om what is
probable.
The story i s f ul l of dramatic possibilities of whi ch Mr s .
D i ve r takes f ul l advantage. L i l amani and Jane show that
she has a considerable gi f t of character-drawing. Sir
Lakshman Singh is a lovable ol d man, but not quite t ypi cal
of the Rajputs who f ought the Great Moghul s t o save the
honour of their wives and daughters. The author tries t o
place herself i n the posi t i on of an I ndi an and t o overcome
the prejudices of her Angl o- I ndi an envi ronment . She
succeeds i n t hi s, but not completely. Her chivalrous hero
hesitates when Sir Lakshman Si ngh inquires ' h o w shoul d
i t fare wi t h a high-caste Hi n d u who shoul d ask an E ngl i sh
father what you ask f r om me ?' N e v i l Sinclair' s answer is
di sappoi nt i ng but characteristic of the race t o whi ch he
and Mr s . D i ve r bel ong.
' "But surelythere is a difference. Indians admit i t , tacitly,
when they speak of Western views and customs as enlightened;
one, say your daughter's case, seems an advance: the other
EURASIAN LIFE 171
if you' l l forgive mewould be, in a measure, retrogression."'
(p. 134.)
Sir Lakshman Singh, probabl y t hi nki ng of the happiness
of his daughter, forgives N e v i l Sinclair.
Mr . Reginald Campbell in Brown Wife or White (1925)
reminds one of Ki pl i ng' s Georgie-Porgie but lacks its tragic
intensity. The onl y outstanding figures i n this badly
planned novel are the elephant Poo N ygr un, and the
br own wi fe, Chan Som, who proves the t r ut h of a remark
made by Denton' s predecessor Cranbrook.
' "The brown woman and the white woman are at heart alike;
there are good and bad amongst both . . . , when a man takes
on a brown gi rl it' s a gamble, wi t h his happiness and peace
of mi nd the stakes. When a man at home marries a white one,
he is doing the same, and the odds are he' ll lose the stakes." '
(p. I I o.)
49 b. The second aspect of the pr obl em of mi xed
marriages, that is, the marriage of an E ngl i sh gi r l wi t h an
I ndi an, has been discussed in a number of novels. Thi s
pr obl em was not of any importance i n the nineteenth
century. But wi t h the spread of education and the gr owi ng
number of I ndi an visitors t o Europe, i t began t o claim
attention. Such marriages are i nvari abl y condemned by
A ngl o- I ndi an wri t ers.
Mr s . Penny takes up this question in A Mixed Marriage
(1903) and other novels published later. She does not
want to prevent such marriages. They are inevitable.
' They were not l i ked twenty- five years ago,' she writes in
A Question of Love, ' but that is a t hi ng of the past.' She,
however, insists that a mi xed marriage of this character
is justified onl y when the conditions are such as to ensure
the domestic happiness of the chief parties concerned.
She feels for cultured I ndians, l i ke A nwar - ud- Di n, A ndhr a
R oy and Ravaniah. She realizes the pathos of t hei r
isolation. She knows that such men, havi ng l i ved i n
E ngl and, cannot remain content wi t h the conditions r ul i ng
1 7 2 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
the zenana of the present day. They need something
higher and better. ' Such men have progressed by leaps
and bounds, and the women seem to have stood s t i l l ' ,
she writes in A Question of Love,
1
Such I ndians desire a
companion for the mi nd as wel l as the body. She is r i ght
when she says that an I ndi an wi fe is either a cook in the
ki t chen or a mot her in the nursery. ' As for companionship
the Hi n d u woman does not know the meaning of the
wor d. '
2
But wi t h al l her sympathy and shrewdness, she
is unable to br i ng about a uni on between the East and the
West, even in fiction. She brings the I ndi an gentleman
and the Engl i sh g i r l together, onl y t o separate t hem i n the
end. I n al l her novels of mi xed marriages her met hod of
treatment, her out l ook and her conclusions are the same.
The framework of her stories i s something l i ke this. An
I ndi an, cultured, enlightened, more or less 3.Europeanized
and bel ongi ng to a r i ch, if not a princely family, gets
t o know a beautiful, intelligent Engl i sh g i r l , either i n
Engl and or I ndi a. They fall i n l ove wi t h each other,
thereby exci t i ng the jealousy or anger of some A ngl o-
I ndi an l over or guardian of the gi r l . Some sensational
incident is then i nt roduceddevi l -worshi p or a local r i ot
i nvol vi ng the g i r l i n danger. Fi nal l y the Engl i sh gi r l i s
marri ed to her Angl o- I ndi an admirer and the I ndi an is
left alone to realize that his desire to marry an Engl i sh
g i r l was wi cked and impossible' a desire of the mot h
for the star'. Of course there are many slight variations
of this theme. When the Engl i sh g i r l actually returns the
l ove of the I ndi an, her eyes are opened in the harem or
the zenana. N o t infrequently she learns t oo late that her
I ndi an admirer had already a wi fe.
Mr s . Penny's I ndi an heroes are al l princes or nobles,
well-educated men of culture and refinement: M i r Yacoob,
Rajah Narayan Chakravarti Kr i shna Swamy of Shivapore,
A nwar - ud- D i n, Andhr a Roy and Ravaniah. As regards
her heroines, L or i na Carl yon of Wi ns t on Ha l l i s a ' Lot us
1
p. 152.
2
A Question of Lave, p. 215.
E URAS I AN L I F E 173
i n the l and of the Rose' , Vi c t or i a Wi ngr ave i s ' a rare poem'
the reci t at i on of whi c h awakes the spi ri t ual part of Anwar ' s
ment al i t y; Susie and Beattie, and Joyce A r mo u r also are
extremely pret t y and lovable E ngl i s h gi r l s. They are not
indifferent t owards t hei r I ndi an lovers, but no marriage
takes place. Mr s . Penny shirks the l ogi cal development
of her pl ot s. Mi r Yacoob i s separated f r om L or i na
because she coul d not understand a count ry where a f ai t h-
f ul and single-hearted I ndi an wi f e l i ke Lalbee coul d plead
to her r i val against herself. Lalbee's earnest, simple and
sincere wor ds, we are t ol d, hur t Lor i na' s spi ri t more t han
al l the attempts whi c h had been made upon her l i f e. A n d
she returns to E ngl and wi t h her eyes opened.
1
Si mi l arl y
Miss Dersi ngham leaves the Rajah of Shivapore in a fit
of righteous i ndi gnat i on because he ' i n spite of his
promi se t o her and knowl edge of better t hi ngs' had
i dent i fi ed hi msel f wi t h the 'semi-savagery of his i gnor ant
subjects'.
2
Vi ct or i a Wi ngr ave prefers a ' human cocoanut' ,
Br i an Fairoake, to the cul t ured, courageous A n wa r because
of ' Bi r t h , Race, R el i gi on' .
' The t wo, the East and the West, are so diametrically
opposed, it is an impossibility for the men of the West to
give a faithful representation of the inner workings of the
mi nd of a man of the East.' (One of the Best, p. 53.)
I nt i macy of I ndians wi t h E ngl i sh gi rl s i s resented because
'Privileges of this ki nd fill the Indians wi t h pride and make
them bumptious' , (i bi d. , p. 62.)
In A Question of Colour (1926), Mr s . Penny clearly states
t he real di ffi cul t y i n the way of such marriages. A ndhr a
R oy bi t t er l y remarks: ' The cr ux of the whol e matter i s
t hi s. They don' t l i ke i t because I am an I ndi an' .
I n other novels the di sapproval of mi xed marriages i s
expressed in a different manner. The novelists mar r y the
E ngl i s h g i r l t o the I ndi an onl y t o open the eyes of t hei r
1
A Mixed Marriage (1903).
2
The Rajah (1911).
3
One of the Best (1923).
1 7 4 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
count r ywoman t o the enor mi t y of her conduct. I n The
Englishman (1912) by Al i ce and Claud As kew, Prince
Jot i ndra succeeds i n mar r yi ng Miss L ucy Travers, i n spite
of the war ni ng of Hu g h Seymour. Wh e n Jot i ndr a
returns t o I ndi a, i t appears that the veneer of E t oni an
cul t ure cannot conceal his inherent barbarism. Fort unat el y
f or the hi gh-spi ri t ed g i r l , the barbarous I ndi an pri nce i s
ki l l ed whi l e pi g- st i cki ng, and the heroine is able to mar r y
her devoted Engl i sh l over. The same is the theme of
Mr s . Savi's popul ar romance, The Daughter-in-Law (1915).
The daughter-in-law i s the feringhi wi fe of Hu r r i M o h u n
Babu. She is subjected to 'unspeakable humi l i at i on'
because she refused ' t o remain in honoured seclusion as
befitted the wi fe of a respectable I ndi an' . The Engl i sh
communi t y cold-shouldered her, and her husband i l l -
treated her. Freedom was what her soul craved f o r : the
l i ber t y to cast aside the fetters that bound her to the East
and to a husband of gross mi n d and habits. She l onged
t o r et ur n t o her home i n Engl and. Hal i fax, a wi dower
wh o had recently bur i ed his wi f e, comes to her rescue.
' Li fe in the East for fifteen years had increased instead of
lessened, his prejudice against the natives, and had made hi m
fastidious and intolerant. That an English gi r l should be mated
wi t h a man of Hur r i Mohun' s type was inconceivable degrada-
t i on, the grossest outrage possible.' (p. 65.)
'Race prejudice was in his bones, and he refused to accept
as authentic the examples among such marriages that had not
ended disastrously.' (p. 66.)
The real cause of her unhappiness is ment i oned by her in
a letter t o E v e l y n :
I can hardly explain fully, for I doubt if you woul d under-
stand; only remember the rock on which you wi l l meet wi t h
certain shipwreck i n such a case is, RACE PREJUDICE, whi ch
is an unsurmountable barrier to your ever being one wi t h
Europeans in I ndia, once you have left the shores of England,
married to an Oriental.' (p. 96.)
The character sketch of Hu r r i Mohun' s mot her i s
EURASI AN L I F E 175
interesting. She is a simple, ki ndl y soul, very different
f r om the t ypi cal mot her-i n-l aw. That Kat hl een and
Hal i fax are to be uni t ed is obvi ous enough; that the
mot her of Hu r r i Mo h u n should approve of Kathleen' s
conduct i s less obvi ous. I n another novel of Mr s . Savi
(Mock Majesty, 1923) Prince Rasul I smet Kha n, wh o in
di gni t y and courtesy beats al l on boar d ship, falls i n l ove
wi t h Doreen. Dor een accepts his costly presents, acknow-
ledges his merits, is attracted by h i m, but colours deeply
at the bare t hought of mar r yi ng an I ndi an. Si mi l arl y
Stella Ha mi l t on, i n The Star of Destiny (1920) by H. M. F.
Campbell, falls i n l ove wi t h a westernized Hi n d u . She
comes t o I ndi a and lives wi t h an A ngl o- I ndi an fami l y
wh o help her to discover that her l over was already
marri ed and that the East was a fraud.
The beloved Rajah (1927) by A. E. R. Craig and The
Snake in the Sleeve (1927) by Eleanor Maddock are t wo
other novels whi c h likewise record the tragedy of mi xed
marriages. I n bot h cases the rajahs are handsome and
cul t ured. I n bot h cases, the E ngl i sh gi rl s l ove t hem, and
in bot h cases racial pri de is the cause of the tragedy. The
Beloved Rajah is artistically superior to. The Snake in the
Sleeve. Mr . Craig has genuine sympathy for the Maharajah
of N ul wa r and Chalys N a i r n, the unfortunate vi ct i ms of
racial prejudice. He lets the story speak for itself, wi t h -
out obt r udi ng his vi ews. The Snake is a crude jumbl e of
poi son, bur i ed treasure, snakes, datura, 'bracelet brot hers' ,
mysteries of the zenana and eastern wickedness.
The mor al of Mr . S . H. Wool f ' s f i r s t novel , Or deal on
the Frontier (1928), is that an E ngl i sh wi f e, when she wants
t o f l i r t i n I ndi a, may do so wi t h men of her o wn race, and
never wi t h an I ndi an.
' I f she must have some one to dance attendance on her, why
can't she choose a white man?' (p. 51.)
Mubar ak Shah, the ' Nawabzadi ' of Bi r mal i , accordi ng t o
Mr . Wool f , was ' a perfect specimen of a man' . He spoke
176 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
Engl i sh practically wi t hout accent, was t ai l ored i n Savile
R o w and danced better t han most Engl i shmen. But he
was ' t oo ci vi l i zed' . I t is not the man so much as t he
pri nci pl e t o whi c h Angl o- I ndi a objected.
' What' s kept us top dogs in this country so long has been
our prestige. Once we lose that we might as well pack up
and clear out. And how can the native possibly respect us
when he sees our women f ol k making themselves cheap and
gadding about wi t h stray Nawabzadas and such like gentry ?
The oriental simply doesn't understand the meaning of
chivalry to women. Apart f rom breeding purposes he's only
got one use f or a woman, and I needn't tell you what that is.'
(P. 51.)
So t o keep up Br i t i sh prestige i n I ndi a, Col onel Masr oon,
V . C. , the husband of the er r i ng Estella, i s honourabl y
ki l l ed, Mubar ak Shah of Bi r mal i suitably punished, and
Estella marri ed to her l over, Captain Strange Carslake.
I n his latest novel , Mr. Ram (1929), M r . J ohn E y t o n
takes up the hackneyed subject of mi xed marriages and
handles i t i n the approved hackneyed manner. M r . J i t
Ram, the hero, is insincere, vul gar, i ndol ent , wi t hout any
conscience or scruple. We are gl ad to f ind that Mi ss
Steptoe is saved f r om the consequences of her i nf at uat i on
f or h i m bef ore i t i s t oo late. She learns f r om M r . Bewley
t hat I ndians have no conscience, that t hei r mi nds wo r k
dif f erently f r om those of the Engl i sh, and t hat they learn
t o t el l lies i n the cradle. As l ong as M r . E y t o n keeps
his characters in Engl and, he retains to some extent the
detached at t i t ude of a creator towards t hem. The pi ct ure
of the l onel y J i t Ram at O xf or d excites pi t y. Wh e n J i t
Ram returns t o I ndi a, M r . Eyt on' s i magi nat i on seems t o be
affected by the poisonous atmosphere of our count ry. He
loses t ouch wi t h humani t y and J i t Ram becomes a lifeless
symbol of al l that i s bad i n I ndi an character.
We have come across onl y three novels i n whi ch the
marriage of an I ndi an wi t h an E ngl i s h g i r l i s not dissolved
because of race or col our prejudice. I n An Old Score (1923)
E URAS I AN L I F E 177
by Ol i ver Sandys, Miss Jenie Cheyne of the Huguenot
Theatre accompanies an I ndi an noble, Shamshud, t hr ow-
i ng over her E ngl i sh lover. But her short stay of less t han
a year in I ndi a tires her. She finds herself a prisoner, and
longs for the foot l i ght s of L ondon. Her generous l over
releases her and settles 500 a year on her for l i fe.
A more i mpor t ant and t ouchi ng novel is East and West:
The Confessions of a Princess published anonymously in
1924. The notice on the wrapper tells us that the narrative
is founded on real l i fe. I t is a romant i c tale of a g i r l , the
daughter of a Bayswater boarding-house keeper, who is
marri ed to a Burmese Prince. L ol a finds Mi ndoon a
fascinating loverhe has l oved other girls besides herself.
Mor e than the i ncompat i bi l i t y of a uni on between the
East and the West, the book depicts the follies and foibles
of humani t y. I t also shows how I ndi an princes l i ve i n
E ngl and. L ol a i s practically sold t o Mi ndoon by her
mot her, who admits that at one t i me she herself was the
mistress of Mi ndoon. The book relates t o times l ong since
past, to the years preceding the annexation of Upper
Burma. The Confessions are outspoken, and it is specially
not ewor t hy that the author, probabl y a woman, never
once makes Princess L ol a compl ai n of the behaviour of
her husband. Af t er Mi ndoon' s death she recollects h i m
wi t h sorrow. ' I had l oved the dead man and owed h i m
everyt hi ng. ' ' Ho w wel l I remembered Mi ndoon' s pri de
of bi r t h and racethough never put i nt o sO many wor ds,
f or fear no doubt of woundi ng me. '
L i ke the Confessions, another very human document is
Jane Hukk' s novel Abdullah and his Two Strings (1927).
The author' s knowledge of and i nsi ght i nt o the life of
a Mohammedan family are remarkably intimate. Mr s .
Penny also has described the zenana life of respectable
Hi n d u and Mohammedan women of the south. But her
pictures are t oo vague and t oo conventional to suggest
any real knowl edge of the ' and r oon' . But Jane Hukk' s
knowl edge of the zenana, her description of Abdul l ah' s
N
178 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
house wi t h a l ong, ' l o w pavi l i on support ed by s l i m whi t e
pi l l ar s' , the details gi ven by her of ladies' dress and t oi l et ,
and her account of the manner i n wh i ch Abdul l a h passed
his last ni ght on the terrace of his house i n the company
of his ' first S t r i ng' Muhamadi , his sister Sakeena and the
l oafi ng Na zi r - ud- Di n, indicate a much closer acquaintance
wi t h facts of real l i fe. The f o l l o wi n g passage describes a
fami l y di nner :
'In the pavilion preparation had been made for a meal. On
the coarse white sheet where the ladies had slept during the
heat of the afternoon, a long red figured cloth had been spread.
On it lay, face downwards, four plates, and under a folded
corner a pile of brown wafer-like cakes. There was no cutlery
except some table spoons arranged like a star near the folded
corner, no glass, no flowers, but the "table" was ready. . . .
A good substantial meal had been prepared. There was a dish
made from chicken rice and butter called pelaw, another from
meat and potatoes, another from meat alone and some
sweetened rice mixed wi t h almonds and raisins. . . . The
partakers of the meal ate wi t h their fingers, first tearing up the
wafer-like cakes i nt o fragments, and wi t h these fragments held
between finger and thumb carrying the food to the mout h.'
( p . 223.)
The pl ot of the story i s simple. As a medical student
i n E di nbur gh, Abdul l a h falls i n l ove wi t h his landlady' s
daughter, a commonplace selfish g i r l , wi t h o u t any beauty,
wh o admires Abdul l a h chiefly for his clothes. Ab d u l l a h
does not i n f o r m her of his Mos l em wi fe and marries her,
thereby r ui ni ng his whol e career. Di si l l usi onment awaits
D o r o t h y Ab d u l l a h i n I ndi a. She, however, has neither
t he wi s h nor the power t o r et ur n t o E di nbur gh. Ab d u l l a h
does al l he can t o make her happy. He lives i n Calcutta,
for get ful of his fami l y i n De l h i . Jane Hu k k has described
t he fi na l par t i ng of Abdul l a h f r om his fami l y i n t ouchi ng
wor ds , and caught somet hi ng of the tragedy of such
marriages f r om the poi nt of vi e w of the I ndi an fami l y.
' Evening was closing round Abdul l ah, st i l l he could see the
t wo women before hi m, one crouching in a corner, the other
EURASI AN L I F E 179
st andi ng erect beside her. Ther e was a barred wi n d o w,
t hr ough wh i c h the l i ght t r i ckl ed and caught a woman' s whi t e
si l k dress, a s l i m dark hand, a braceleted ar m. The ot her
fi gure he coul d scarcely di st i ngui sh t i l l i t rose f r o m the fl oor
and st ood up. There was no sound t i l l A bdul l a h moved
uneasily. He was l eavi ng Muhamadi f or ever. He knew t hat
she wo u l d pi ne f or h i m i n sol i t ude. He knew that her heart
was bur st i ng wi t h gr i ef whi c h a k i n d wo r d , a promi se t o r et ur n
mi ght assuage, but no wo r d or pr omi se coul d he ut t er. They
st uck i n his t hr oat . I f they onl y coul d gush out t hey wo u l d
cost h i m not hi ng, gi ve h i m relief, but they wo u l d not come.
She was the mot her of his chi l d. Once a t ouch f r o m her hand,
a l ook f r o m her eyes . . . had filled h i m wi t h del i ght . E ve n
pi t y wo u l d not help h i m t o speak.
' " I f you send a wi r e I ' l l come, Sakeena," he said at last, his
hand on the door .
' " N a z i r - ud- Di n wi l l l ook after us, " Sakeena answered wi t h -
out movi ng, "and of course there i s Ma hme t . "
' Ther e was bitterness i n the voi ce and at t he moment i t was
cal m he needed. He must get away, and openi ng the door he
sl i pped out . Once again beside her mot her he had to face
another ordeal. . . . She rose and embraced h i m; t hen came
Hassena, t hen t he ol d bl i nd woma n, and t h r o wi n g a couple of
rupees at the maids wh o st ood wat chi ng h i m, he hur r i ed f r o m
his home never l o o k i n g back. ' ( pp. 311-12.)
Afdullah and his Two Strings is the onl y novel that has
something to say about the tragedy of mi xed marriages
f r om the poi nt of vi ew of the neglected I ndi an wi fe. We
hear much about the E ngl i sh wi f e; the l i fel ong agony of
the silent, long-suffering I ndi an wi fe is always i gnored.
L i ke Muhamadi their Kismet is to suffer in silence.
50. Novels of Eurasian life.
Many A ngl o- I ndi an novelists describe the life and
character of Eurasians. A l mos t al l of t hem emphasize
their lack of mor al backbone or draw a contrast between
the E ngl i sh and the I ndi an side of their character. They
i nvari abl y attribute al l that is good in a Eurasian to the
dr op of E ngl i sh bl ood i n hi m, and all that i s objectionable
1 8 0 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
t o his I ndi a n parentage. Ki p l i n g was the first t o make and
emphasize this contrast. In his story, His Only Chance in
Life, Mi chel e D' Cr uze, the l over of the black Miss Vezzis,
does good wo r k out of al l pr opor t i on t o his pay because
of the ' whi t e dr op' i n his veins. Thi s idea of Ki p l i n g has
been wor ke d up i n a number of novels.
Mr s . Mi l n e Rae's novel , A Bottle in the Smoke (1912), is
i nt erest i ng f r om this poi nt of vi ew. Ma r k Cheveri l of the
I ndi a n Ci v i l Service, wh o believes hi msel f t o be a half-
caste and i s not ashamed of o wn i n g i t , i s contrasted wi t h
A l f r e d Rayner, a barrister of Madras. Rayner fancies that
he is a pukka sahib, and he hates Eurasians. Cheveri l is
good, heroic, and rel i gi ous. Rayner, on the ot her hand,
is bad, cowar dl y, and selfish. He commi t s forgeries, allies
hi msel f wi t h unscrupulous I ndi ans, maltreats his angel of
an Engl i s h wi f e, tells lies and finally, disguised as an ayah,
f l i es f r om the l aw. The good M r . Cheveri l proves t o be pure
E ngl i s h bor n, whi l e Rayner really i s a Eurasian. Wh e n
he comes to k n o w of his parentage, Rayner feels ashamed
of his o wn father and treats h i m wi t h scant courtesy. The
heroi ne, wh o l i ve d l i ke a ' bot t l e i n the smoke' wi t h Rayner,
is restored to her Engl i s h l over. Rayner is an unmi t i gat ed
scoundrel. Appar ent l y the ' whi t e dr op' i n his bl ood d i d
not influence his character; the onl y evidence of i t was his
handsome features. I n D a v i d Mor pe t h, however, Mr s .
Rae paints a good Eurasian. Bei ng onl y t oo conscious of
the disabilities of Eurasians, ' undul y domi nat ed by the
aristocracy of col our i n the whi t e ma n' and desi ri ng t o
spare his son the cup t hat was so bi t t er to his taste, the
g o o d Eurasian al l ows his son to be br ought up as an
Engl i shman. The result i s much unhappiness f or al l
concerned.
The dual i t y of Eurasian character i s the subject of Mr,
P. C. Wr en' s novel , Driftwood Spars (1912). J ohn R o b i n
Ross-El l i son, or I l d e r i m Dos t Moha mma d, i s the son of
an E ngl i s h wi f e by a Pathan father. The aut hor suggests,
in the manner of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, t hat it was
EURASI AN L I F E 181
I l de r i m Dos t Mohammad wh o ki l l ed Mr s . Dearman and
not J ohn R obi n Ross-Ellison. The Engl i shman merely
loves the wi f e of another man; the Pathan ki l l s her.
In The Snake in the Sleeve, Nagundr a ' wi t h whi t e heredity
once removed t ook to European ways l i ke a duck to wat er' ,
but a few weeks after he came back to his native count ry
and environments, ' he is so changed and degenerated that
you wo u l d hardl y recognise h i m' .
Miss I rene Burn' s novel , The Border Line (1916), describes
the social boycot t by the E ngl i s h communi t y i n I ndi a of
an E ngl i sh g i r l who marries a Eurasian, and her other
troubles. As a novel i t i s of doubt f ul value. But i t i s
interesting as depi ct i ng Eurasian characteristics. The
chipped, staccato manner of half-caste speech, the
mal i gnant scorn felt by Eurasians for the pure-born
I ndi ans, t hei r desire to be considered pure sahibs and
t hei r snobbery; t hei r lack of t hought i n matters of taste
and of business; t hei r habit of clannish hospi t al i t y; the
amount of pai nt and powder used by their gi r l s ; and t hei r
vul gar i t y i n general, are well-emphasized and i l l ust rat ed.
The novel i st part i cul arl y desires to show t hat Eurasians
r un away f r om difficulties and have l i t t l e sense of respon-
si bi l i t y.
Mr s . Savi st rongl y objects t o the marriage of an E ngl i sh-
man wi t h a Eurasian. Thi s forms the motif of her sensa-
t i onal novel Neither Fish nor Flesh (1924). Ma r y Deane,
the beautiful Eurasian wi t h almond-shaped eyes, bi t t er l y
r emar ks:
' "Can' t a Eurasian be treated like any one else ? They love
and hate and suffer and are glad, like every one else."' (p. 81.)
I t i s the ol d cry of Shylock wr u n g out of a despised g i r l .
Mr s . Savi supplies a reason f or this differential t r eat ment :
'I have no use whatever for Eurasians. In the first place, we
are t ol d they combine the worst traits and characteristics of
bot h racesthey are untrustworthyand there is always the
danger of coloured offspring.' (p. 43.)
182 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
I n Torchlight, she draws a picture of a Eurasian whose
' un-Engl i sh ways contrasted wi del y wi t h those of Engl i sh-
women i n I ndi a' .
To r she used to scold her servants in a high pitched voice
reminiscent of native bazaars, call to them when wanted in
piercing tones, lie about in dressing gown and slippers reading
yellow-back novels and eating sugary, native sweets that
increased weight to abnormal proportions. She never did for
herself (and said) that it was derogatory to her prestige as an
"Englishwoman" to help herself when she had a host of
servants to minister to her.' (p. 50.)In Fifty, M r . Shelland Bradley emphasizes this duality
of Eurasian character. Mr s . Mendes struck hi m as ' an
entirely new type and impossible' . Clement is described
as one of those exceptional youths that the Eurasian
communi t y sometimes produces. Ext raordi nari l y good-
l ooki ng, he seemed to combine the strength and bui l d
of the Engl i shman wi t h al l the grace and suppleness of the
I ndi an. But he had no character. Though a sportsman,
he lacked the spirit of sportsmanship. He illustrated i n
his person a strange mi ngl i ng of racial characteristics.
'One moment he was the very best type of an English boy,
manly, spirited and plucky, and the next he had shrunk to
something altogether unmanly, spiritless and feeble.' (p. 193.)
Miss Laetitia's letter t o D i c k releasing h i m f r om his
engagement is a t hor ough condemnation of the East, so
t hor ough as to be unconvi nci ng.
' I t is so difficult for me', wrote Laetitia to Di ck, ' to make
you wi t h your pure English blood and your splendid English
upbringing, to understand. There is this unhappy mingling
of t wo races in me and mine. In some of us the one race
predominates and in some the other. In me the English side
predominates, largely because of my upbringing in an English
family and in English ways. But the other side is there too.
I know i t . I feel i t . It is something from which, once born as
I am, you can never get away. A nd it may be, as often happens,
that later on that other side wi l l come more and more to the
EURASI AN L I F E 183
front, the call of the East conquering the call of the West.
So far I cannot imagine it happening, for everything wi t hi n me
cries out for everything that is English, shunning that which
is I ndian.' (p. 257.)
Sir John Carstin says:
'There's some terrible fatality about the admixture of
English and I ndian blood. It seems more often than not to
produce the evil points of both without a sufficiency of the
good points of both to counteract them. In the half-caste the
backbone in some unaccountable way seems so often to have
been left out. They've got no gri t , no stamina to resist either
physically, mentally or morally. They just go down before the
first misfortune or the first attack of illness. It is amazing.
I have seen a good deal of the Eurasian and it is always the
same. When a crisis or an emergency occurs they just give i n. '
( p. 292.)
That Laetitia Saunders is marri ed to the E ngl i sh hero,
in spite of her Eurasian or i gi n, is explained by the fact that
she approached an E ngl i sh woman as nearly as it is
possible for a Eurasian to do.
Similarly in Blue Moons (1925), so called because a
Eurasian coul d be distinguished f r om an Engl i shman by
carefully not i ng blue moons at the base of his fingers,
Mr . G. B. Newcomen marries Esme t o the E ngl i sh hero,
and contrasts her wi t h Lady Blanch, the oct oroon g i r l i n
wh o m the wi cked East predominates.
51 . Eurasian beauty.
A l l authors pay a t ri but e t o the beauty of Eurasian men
and women. They represent Eurasian girls as always
maneuver i ng to capture some Engl i shman for a husband.
Mr s . Col quhoun Grant' s por t r ai t of Miss A r mour O' Cal -
laghan may be taken as t ypi cal . She possesses a beauty that
mi ght wel l 'appeal to man's senses against his better
j udgment ' . She is passionate, unscrupulous and wi t hout
any mor al sense. Whet her she does good or evi l it is the
result of selfish impulses. She possesses a charm whi ch,
184 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
whi l e i t repelled, also acted insidiously on the feelings of
those she sought to influence. Her attempts to capture an
E ngl i sh magistrate in a small mofussil station are realis-
tically described.
Pauline Bartle i n Diffidence by M r . John E yt on and
Daphne The Wishing Stone by Mr s . Penny closely
resemble Miss O' Callaghan. L i ke the unsuspecting, good-
natured Trevenna, who is saved f r om the trap l ai d for
h i m by Miss O' Callaghan, J i mmy Vane, the wor r y-
hunt ed husband of Joan ( who had r un away wi t h a l over ) ,
is saved f r om the wiles of Pauline Dar t l e, ' the healthy,
wholesome, br own wood-spri t e' of Hazart Bagh. Before
it is t oo late he observes ' the I ndi an in her face', an
expression that the coolies wear.
' I t was not vitality, though it might masquerade as such.
It was just a sensuous abandonment to the joy of being alive.'
(p. 247.)
The inherent shiftlessness of Pauline's r oom fri ght ened
h i m, and i n i t he saw an index of her mi nd and character.
Trevenna was afraid of marriage to a Eurasian; J i mmy
cannot ri sk even a liaison wi t h Pauline. M r . Eyt on' s
treatment of this episode is unsatisfactory. But the par t i ng
scene between Pauline and Ji mmy has been wr i t t e n wi t h
feeling:
' "Pauline, I ' m goi ng", Jimmy said, picking up the hat.
'She did not move; only raised her eyes, and looked at hi m
steadily.
' "I knew you woul d. You wanted an excuse."
' That stung himthere was t rut h in i t .
' " You didn' t play the game", he muttered.
' " D i d you ?" came the quick response.
' " N o , " he admitted, very l ow.
. ' "I am only a blackey-white. You woul dn' t expect me to
play the game." ' (p. 281.)
Mr s . Penny's Daphne Fernandez is a l i t t l e mystical.
She was exceptionally fair of compl exi on, but her mi nd
was ori ent al .
EURASIAN LIFE 185
' This fact was revealed in many l i t t l e ways; in her belief
in the supernatural, in a love of the ease and l uxury of Eastern
l i fe, and in the attraction that dark races find in the fairer
nations of the N or t h. She turned to an Englishman like a
flower to the sun, and found hi m irresistible.' (p. 150.)
She tries to entrap Dangerfi el d by di spl ayi ng ' her s moot h
neck and arms of the t i nt of i v o r y ' , and her ankles, and t he
i nnocent gl obe- t r ot t i ng Engl i shman, wh o has quarrel l ed
w i t h his wi f e, is ' lapped in a sensuous atmosphere'
1
as he
sips some of the best coffee he has ever tasted, whi l e
s i t t i ng by her. Mr s . Penny has a due regard f or propri et i es.
A f t er havi ng s hown her hero somet hi ng of the sensuous,
supernatural and mysterious I ndi a, she unites h i m t o his
er r i ng wi f e.
Mr s . E t hel Duff-Fyfe i n her sensational novel , The
Relentless Gods (1910), adds another por t r ai t to this gal l ery
of beaut i ful sensuous Eurasians. Phi l i p Wi l l mo t t and his
sister Cami l l a, compel l ed by reasons of economy t o l i ve
i n a dreary Eurasian boarding-house at Calcutta, i n com-
pari son wi t h wh i c h ' the poorest r o o m i n a labourer' s
cottage at home wo u l d have been snug and comfort abl e' ,
2
make the acquaintance of Thea Li ndsay. Thea has strange
ideas; she calmly expounds her phi l osophy of marriage t o
t he i nnocent Cami l l a:
' Marry a man who loves you, but do not love hi m att al l .
I t wi l l not wor r y you then i f he changes, or dies, or anee t hi ng.
Yes, much better marry a man you don' t like veree much. '
(P. 97 0.)
Thea i s beaut i ful , but l i st eni ng t o the ' fulsome, vul gar , and
ut t er l y i mmodest compl i ment s' of her ayah wi t h evi dent
enjoyment, she loses ' t he freshness and pur i t y of yout h' .
3
She allows herself to be shampooed cont i nuousl y, as a
result of wh i c h dangerous habi t , the conscience i s l ul l e d,
t he w i l l i s weakened and ' i nsi di ous devils of desire' enter
t he heart. She does al l she can to capture Phi l i p Wi l l mo t t ,
1
p. 153.
2
p. 51.
3
p. 267.
186 NOVELS OF MI X E D MARRI AGES A N D
and f i ndi ng that he loves Lot us, the strange chi l d of
Hi ndu-Mosl em-Chri st i an parentage, she is filled wi t h
vi ndi ct i ve fury.
' Chi t a' in Ka t hl y n Rhodes's Golden Journey (1926), Lady
Blanch in Blue Moons, Mar y Deane in Neither Fish nor Flesh,
Laetitia Saunders i n Fifty, and Laura L owe l l of M r . Henr y
Bruce are other beautiful Eurasians. Wi t h the exception
of Laetitia Saunders, al l show the degrading influence of
their mi xed parentage.
52. Henry Bruce.
M r . Henr y Bruce i s among the more i mpor t ant novelists
of Eurasia. I n The Eurasian (1913), one of his six novels of
Eurasian l i f e, he has t r i ed to gi ve what he considers ' a
j ust vi ew of a sport of Nat ur e' . I t i s an attempt at analysis
of a Eurasian, Robert Sl ow, i n wh o m the I ndi an element
predominates, and is a sympathetic picture of the bitterness
that he feels at the treatment meted out to h i m by Engl i sh-
men. Cherry' s marriage wi t h h i m enables the author t o
enlarge upon the characteristics of a Eurasian.
' " Why thunderstrike hi m like that because he's a Eurasian ?"
asks Cherry.
' "Because the Eurasian as such is a man of streaks, all striped
like a barber's pole. He' s not a whole man. Many mixtures
are good but not this one. The only certainty about a Eurasian
is his uncertainty." ' (p. 206.)
An Engl i sh soldier, Slow' s unsuccessful r i val i n l ove, thus
delivers hi msel f on the subject of Eurasians:
' " D o you know what an Yewrasian is, Cherry ?" asks Wi l l i am
Dekker. "He' m the half part of a nigger; but not the twentieth
part of a man. Never you trust an Yewraysian, Cherry, if you
meet one. He' l l twist in your fingers like a false t ool , and lucky
you, if you' m not wounded! A nigger is a devil, most times.
But an Yewraysian is not a proper human being. " ' (p. 78.)
Lat er the poor Eurasian has his ribs br oken by Corporal
Dekker , wh o coul d not stand an Engl i sh maiden bei ng
EURASI AN L I F E 187
kissed by a ' damned yaller Yewrasian, l i ke a boneless
wo r m, worse nor any nigger'
I n three of his novels, The Residency, The Song of
Surrender and The Wonder Mist, Mr . Bruce develops the
character of a Eurasian gi r l , Rangu or Laura L owe l l , who
was accepted by Sir Robert L owe l l as his daughter and
sent to E ngl and to be br ought up by his sister as a
European. Mr . Bruce shows how a Eurasian is ' bound
to come a cropper, to make some tremendous faux pas'
in spite of his or her European upbr i ngi ng. Laura has
returned to I ndi a as a straight, clean-limbed, vi gorous
young woman of twenty-seven. E ver yt hi ng about I ndi a
seems to attract her. The br own col our of the natives, so
repulsive to pure Engl i shmen, has a peculiar fascination
for her. A soft tenderness, an enervating languor, fills
her being. She feels an intense desire to l ove. She longs
for romance. Passion breathes in the scented breezes. She
feels l i ke a pear ready to drop f r om its branch. She is
demonstratively affectionate to her uncle. She envies her
ayah who was l oved by her but l er, Gaspar. When she
learns of her mi xed or i gi n, she is not sorry for herself,
but feels for her uncle, and bravely offers to leave the
Residency, unless he wishes her to stay on. A few days
later, she meets Raja A mar Rao who had fascinated her
at a bal l in E ngl and. She unresistingly gives herself up
t o hi m.
' "Take me on your own terms, lord! I am even wi l l i ng to
be Berenice to your Titus. Loose me, or hold me fastI
am wholly yours !" ' (The Residency, p. 239.)
They keep their l ove secret. But Colonel Moor sees more
t han they suspect, and determines that A mar Rao shall keep
the l aw and play the game, whether i n politics or i n l ove.
The l ove of Raja A mar Rao for Laura forms the mai n
t opi c of Mr . Bruce's t hi r d novel , The Song of Surrender
(1915). Laura' s surrender is complete. I ndi a and her
Hi n d u l over had bewitched her, and being what she was,
188 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
she ' i mpl i ci t l y responded to her heredity or her fate' .
A ma r Rao is charmi ng enough to set any g i r l a-dreaming.
' He had personal beauty, val our , and accomplishments,
wi t h a romant i c posi t i on and personality whi c h st i rred al l
that was poetical i n her not very intellectual nature. '
1
Laura' s o wn i nst i nct , the real impulse of her bei ng, dr ew
her to the vol upt uous East. She was a woman wh o dared
to be herself, and if she t hr ew away her l i fe, she never
regretted i t .
2
Love's vessel, I woul d gladly be
Emptied of personality.
He r conduct gives rise t o gossip and scandal i n the
Angl o- I ndi a n society of Kanhal a and enables the aut hor
t o display his gi f t of satire. Laura, qui t e indifferent t o
her social excommuni cat i on, is radiant, exultant and
expandi ng, i n whi c h she reminds us of Madame Bovar y
after her first f al l . She seems t o take an extraordinary
del i ght i n her health and i n her womanhood. 'She felt
t hat she had come i nt o her heritage.' She loves to hear
about her I ndi an mot her and continues t o t end her
st ri cken uncle wi t h l o v i n g care. I t i s onl y when al l the
schemes of Sir A ma r Rao miscarry and she intercepts a
Gover nment of I ndi a telegram aut hor i zi ng the arrest of
her l o r d and l over that she decides t o r un away wi t h h i m
t o his romant i c castle at Qui br a, the castle of l ove.
M r . Henr y Bruce' s f our t h novel of the series, The Wonder
Mist, i s somewhat di sappoi nt i ng. I t describes t he l i fe of
Laura as the Hi n d u wi fe of Sir A ma r Rao who, di shon-
oured and out l awed, passes his days in his Qui br a Castle
over the Ar abi an sea, whi l e Laura' s E ngl i s h l over, Pi ggy
Appl et on, wi t h the help of L o r d Tudor , t he owner of
the Wonder Mi st , embarks on an expedi t i on to rescue
Laura. The book describes t he voyage of the Wonder Mist,
M r . Mur phy' s l i ai son wi t h Mr s . Rosina El derberry, his
quarrel wi t h M r . Wa l l , the captain, the appearance of
I Song of Surrender, p. 61.
2
Ibid., p. 63.
EURAS I AN L I F E 189
Reggie Moor e on boar d the Wonder Mist as a stowaway,
t he sudden ar r i val of Peggy Lake, the wai t i ng- mai d of
Laura at Gi br al t ar , and t hei r l i fe on boar d ship. The
chapter ent i t l ed ' A Hi n d u Wi f e ' shows a sympathetic
underst andi ng of a Hi n d u househol d. Mr . Bruce' s con-
cept i on of the duties of a Hi n d u wi f e i s not based upon
real facts; his source of i nf or mat i on is Padmapurana. Mo r e -
over, he seems to forget t hat Laur a has been l i v i n g as an
E ngl i s hwoman f or over t went y years and i s the wi f e, not
of a poor Hi n d u , but of Raja Sir A ma r Rao. I t i s di ffi cul t
t o believe t hat Laura, the Rani of Sir A ma r Rao, the
L o r d of Emeralds and of Elephants, even i n exile, shoul d
have t o g r i n d the cor n whi c h her husband ate. Si mi l arl y
the spectacle of Rani Laurabai cooki ng f or her husband i s
unconvi nci ng. The whol e chapter seems to have been
i nt r oduced t o show the complete i dent i fi cat i on of Laura
wi t h the l i fe of Sir A ma r Rao, and t o contrast her wi t h
Mi r i a m, the E ngl i s h wi f e of Sir A ma r Rao, wh o never
became orientalized.
The mi ssi on of the Wonder Mist is successful. Pi ggy
A ppl e t on succeeds i n car r yi ng off Laura and Sir A ma r Rao
i s ki l l ed. Laura i s reconverted t o Chri st i ani t y and mar r i ed
t o A ppl e t on. Laura' s sudden marriage t o a Chri st i an wh o
had ki l l ed her ' l o r d ' i s di ffi cul t t o understand, consi deri ng
her professed devot i on t o Hi n d u ideals. But perhaps i t
was the object of the aut hor t o i l l ust rat e Laura' s ut t er lack
of mor al backboneshe was, after a l l , t he daughter of
Mukt a ba i of the Tul s i pur Bazaar. Wi t h al l her faults,
however, Laura L o we l l stands out as one of the most
fascinating creations i n A ngl o- I ndi a n f i ct i on.
The Residency and The Song of Surrender, besides deline-
at i ng the career of Laura, are a f ai t hf ul record of the I ndi a n
and, especially, A ngl o- I ndi a n society i n a small I ndi a n
state, and i nci dent al l y of state pol i t i cs. Sir A ma r Rao's is a
s t r i ki ng personality. He i s a curious mi xt ur e of gal l ant ry
and licentiousness, of nobi l i t y and meanness, of bravery
and cowardice. Hi s ambi t i on is great and he hopes to be
1 9 0 NOVELS OF MI X E D MARRI AGES A N D
the master not onl y of Kanhala but , wi t h the help of
Germany, of I ndi a. He fails because of the ' I mperi al
indiscretion' of Emperor Wi l hel m I I , and of the usual good
l uck of the Engl i sh. Maharaja Balwant Rao of Kanhala is
a dummyan opium-eating, hard-dri nki ng, superstitious
nonentity. Mor opant Ghatgay is a typical D i wa n or
Chief Mi ni st er of an I ndi an State, resourceful but
unscrupulous. A mo n g the Angl o- I ndi an characters maybe
mentioned the ' Wobbl i ng Bi shop' of Bombay whom the
author heartily dislikes. Hi s treatment of M r . Rennie is
positively mean. Mr s . Sampson and her daughter Betty
know the ' dark t ai nt ' i n their bl ood, but insist on being
treated as of pure Engl i sh bl ood. Mr s. Sampson's one
ambi t i on in life is to be presented to the Sovereign. She
takes delight in entertaining the Bishop of Bombay
because he is a ' l or d' , and refuses the card of a Labour
M. P. Of the mi nor characters the loveliest is Raghoba,
the humble Christian Preacher.
The four novels discussed above deal wi t h t wo Eurasian
waifs at Tul si pur. The other t wo novels of M r . Henr y
Bruce have a different theme. The Temple Girl (1919)
derives its t i t l e f r om the last chapter of the book where
D r . F ul t on, havi ng accepted an appointment i n the
Ritualist Mi ssi on, suddenly meets the beautiful Betty
Stuart, the daughter of Venubai and General Stuart of
Kanhala. D r . F ul t on, t aki ng advantage of his stay at
Hal wach, pays a vi si t to L i ngam, the city of the ' bul gi ng
domes and indecent bas-reliefs', where hundreds of
Muralis or brides of Shiva walked wi t h a free, springy step
and a merry, fearless gaze, attracting hundreds of globe-
trotters f r om al l over the wor l d. He had been attracted
by the phot o of Betty Stuart. The face had haunted h i m
ever since,
'it had beckoned and challenged hi m onward. It had given
some sort of illumination to a dreary half year in India. He
had idealised it absurdly, yet not, he now thought, unduly' ,
(p. 301.)
EURASI AN LI FE 191
Needless t o say, he falls i n l ove wi t h her and intends t o
save her f r o m her i mpe ndi ng fatethe fate of a temple
g i r l .
The Bride of Shiva (1920) continues the st ory of the l ove
of Dr . Fu l t o n f or Betty Stuart. The st ory moves f or wa r d
hal t i ngl y, i nt er r upt ed by many episodes and sketches
wh i c h are n o t qui t e germane t o the mai n pl ot . The b o o k
opens w i t h the i nci dent of Mr s . Smiler' s theft of l i t t l e
Yamuna (the daughter of Prembai , a r et i r ed Murali), i n
the name of the L o r d , and i n the interests of mor al i t y.
He r act i on i s legally wr o n g and gives rise t o bi t t er feelings.
Mr . Corsand, wh o tries t he case, has t o convi ct Mr s .
Smiler, wh o suffers i mpr i s onment l i ke a mar t yr . Thi s
i nci dent serves no purpose i n the e vol ut i on of the st ory,
but i t t hr ows muc h l i g h t on t he e vi l i ns t i t ut i on of Muralis
connected wi t h the wor s hi p of Shiva, and the honest
t hough often mi sgui ded attempts of Chri st i an missionaries
t o rescue the unfort unat e gi r l s f r o m t hei r fate. I t v i v i d l y
port rays the clash of Hi n d u i s m w i t h Chr i st i ani t y, of l aw
w i t h mor al i t y. Mr s . Smiler and Yamuna soon disappear
f r o m the st ory, but they intensify the cent ral pl ot t he
st ruggl e of Bet t y Stuart t o save herself f r o m the fate
reserved f or her by her mot her Venubai and her guru, the
t er r i bl e Ha r i Pant, the h i g h pri est of Li n g a m. Bet t y Stuart
does not want t o become a Murali, and i n her distress
sends a message t h r o u g h her gr andmot her , Mar t habai , to
Dr . Fu l t o n t o rescue her. The entreaty, persuasions, and
threats of her mot her are of no avai l . She i s thrashed but
does not yi el d. She i s wi l l i n g t o sacrifice her fort une, but
n o t herself. Fu l t o n arrives i n Li n g a m, but t hr ough t he
i ndi scr et i on of his dr unken servant the news leaks out
t hat Bet t y Stuart, or the p r o u d Ni l a ba i , i s goi ng t o
meet her f or ei gn l over . Ther e is a racial r i ot . Bet t y is
seized by the mob, Dr . F u l t o n i s seriously wounded, and
t he Engl i s h hot el , where he was p u t t i n g up, i s b u r n t t o
ashes. The news of the abduct i on and arson causes a st i r
i n Kanhal a Residency. Mr . Corsand goes t o Li n g a m, onl y
192 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES A N D
t o f al l a v i c t i m t o a hor r i bl e f o r m of death, cont r i ved by
the devi l i sh i ngenui t y of Ha r i Pant. We are left i n the
dark about the fate of Miss Bet t y Stuart, D r . F ul t on, and
Ha r i Pant.
M r . Henr y Bruce' s novels are wr i t t e n wi t h care and
understanding. Hi s style is simple and clear. The pl ot s
are t hi n, but the stories are f u l l of wel l - dr awn, v i v i d l y
port rayed character sketches of Angl o- I ndi ans, Eurasians
and I ndians. M r . Bruce knows I ndi a wel l . He has l i ved
here and obvi ousl y l i ked i t . He i s undoubt edl y great i n
the knowl edge of Eurasia. Th o u g h a ' pakka saha-ab', he
i s sympathetic i n the treatment of that curious wo r l d that
has evol ved out of the contact of the East wi t h the West .
He does not favour mi xed marriages:
' Mi xed marriages very often mean happiness for the first
generation, who are the rightful Eurasians. The retribution,
the curse, the torment, comes for the fol l owi ng generations,
in whom t wo opposing bloods are uncannily mixed.' (The
Temple Gi rl , p. 186.)
The bur den of his stories is the degeneration that is the
result of such unions. A n d he i s r i ght i n his conclusions,
i f we remember the type of the I ndi an women wh o m the
E ngl i s h make l ove t o. They are Mukt abai s and Venubais,
wome n of the bazaar, or Dayabais wh o m the Ri t ual i st
Missionaries, l i ke M r . Whi t t aker , seduce wi t hout havi ng
the courage t o mar r y. Such wome n and t hei r off-
spr i ng are often left t o t hei r fate. I t i s not surpri si ng that,
possessing no advantage of bi r t h, breeding, or education,
they shoul d be f ound l acki ng i n mor al stamina. Wi t h the
exception of t hei r lissom bodies and dark fl ashi ng eyes,
they have l i t t l e else to t hei r credit.
53. The Ranee of Sarawak.
Lost Property (1930) by the Ranee of Sarawak depicts
the sad pl i ght of Eurasian chi l dren. Few authors, as the
cover r i ght l y i nforms the readers, coul d have wr i t t e n this
tragedy wi t h the perfection of t ouch displayed by the
EURAS I AN L I F E 193
Ranee. T w o Eurasian chi l dr en, Henr y and Hel en Go -
l i ght l y, arri ve i n E ngl and t o l i ve wi t h t hei r aunt. One
Dr . Du n n calls t hem ' the question mar k of the East'
because 'these chi l dren have never yet been answered:
" Wh y are we br ought i nt o the wo r l d t o be denied ?" H o w
cruelly the wo r l d treats t hem i n t hei r chi l dhood, and how
di ffi cul t is the pr obl em of t hei r adolescence, may be learnt
f r om the Ranee's pathetic story. Henr y is very sensitive
t o the insults, and bi t t er l y inquires ' " i f they do not want
us, wh y do our parents br i ng us i nt o the w o r l d ? " '
' "England belongs to you, " cries Henry, "and you to i t . .. .
We have no country, neither have we any race." ' (p. 112.)
Miss Gol i ght l y wi t h her faded eyes, wet wi t h tears, tries
t o comf or t h i m. But young Henr y i s inconsolable.
' " I t has been gross neglect on the part of God, to find no
place on earth for us." ' (p. 113.)
A n d Miss Gol i ght l y had no answer t o t hi s, t hough her
heart bl ed for h i m. Thei r attempt to pass as dagos fails.
They have their defects of character and breedi ng, but
t hei r misery is the result chiefly of col our prejudice. Miss
Gol i ght l y pleads in vai n to be al l owed ' a space that they
can breathe i n ' . As a result of t hei r treatment Henr y
resolves deliberately t o embrace evi l .
' "I shall drink, and more than likely steal; I shall misconduct
myself, and sell myself limbs and soul to the devil. What reward
is there on earth, I ask you, for being virtuous?" ' (p. 208.)
No Engl i shman scruples t o cheat t hem, for they are onl y
half-castes, ' the flotsam and jetsam of the East and West ' .
Af t er a bi t t er experience t hat dries up t hei r soul , they are
taken t o the East where they go d o wn rapi dl y i nt o t he
depths of degradation, nour i shi ng a deadly hatred against
the E ngl i sh. Denni son, wh o tries t o be honest by Hel en,
fails. ' " Oh , where is the justice?" he asks, " Hel en is as
good as any other g i r l . " '
' But the wor l d said no . . . Western wor l d said no . . . his
o
1 9 4 NOVELS OF M I X E D MARRI AGES
own father said no. . . . The streak in Helen was inaccessible
. . . and East is East and West is West was the inevitable law.'
( p. 285.)
Lost Property is a f ul l and frank expression of the
tragedy of Eurasian existence. The Ranee of Sarawak
knows her subject and has abi l i t y and l i t erary s ki l l to place
the pr obl em before her count r ymen i n al l its pathos.
' Wo u l d a day ever come when they woul d be free?'
she asks.
1
1
Wi t h the exception of the Ranee of Sarawak, the onl y A n g l o -
I ndi an novel i st wh o feels f or Eurasians i s M r . E dwar d Thomps on. ' I t ' s
perfectly vi l e, the way we have treated the Eurasians. We br ought t hem
i nt o existence, and then we tread t hem underfoot and despise t hem. ' (An
Indian Day, p. 28.)
C H A P T E R V I I I
I N D I A N P OLI T I C S A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N
N O V E L S
5 4. Beginnings of Indian nationalism.
I
N the eighteenth century, the French were the chi ef
rivals of the E ngl i sh i n I ndi a; i n the nineteenth century
i t was Russia who disturbed t hei r pol i t i cal equanimity.
1
Whe n Ki p l i n g wr ot e, ' the Great Game' , played t hr oughout
the borders of I ndi a, was directed by a constant fear of
Russian intrigues i n A fghanistan and on the N o r t h -
wes t er n Fr ont i er of I ndi a. I nt ernal pol i t i cs gave l i t t l e
t roubl e to our rulers after the Mu t i n y , and by the end
of the last century I ndi a, by common consent, had become
the brightest jewel i n the Br i t i sh C r own. T he I ndi an
N at i onal Congress had indeed been founded, but its
activities attracted l i t t l e at t ent i on. Ki p l i n g laughed at the
Bengalis and t hei r E ngl i sh, and ri di cul ed the idea of
I ndians bei ng put i n charge of the admi ni st rat i on of a
di st ri ct . I n his dreams of the E mpi r e, Ki p l i n g always saw
I ndi a as a mere dependency. H i s stories do not i nt roduce
a single ' agitator chap' or contain a single al l usi on to the
Congress. Banki m C handra Chatterjee, wh o wr ot e i n the
nineteenth century, mentions secret societies of young men
dedicated t o the service of the Mot her l and. I n his hi st ori cal
romances the activities of these societies are directed
against the Mosl em rulers of Bengal, and i t i s interesting
t o note that Banki m saw i n the establishment of Br i t i sh
rul e i n I ndi a the wo r k i n g of the mysterious hand of G o d
f or the emancipation of I ndi a f r om the Mosl em yoke.
1
Several novelists of the t went i et h century also anticipate a second
r i si ng engineered by f or ei gn powerschiefly Bolshevist Russia. I n The
Way of Stars, Mr s . A dams Beck makes use of the belief of I ndi ans i n r e i n-
carnat i on to i nt roduce a Russian beauty i nt o the zenana of an I ndi an
pri nce f or propagat i ng Bolshevist doctrines i n I ndi a. Mr . A l exander
Wi l s o n also uses Bolshevist i nt ri gues in I ndi a as the motif of his
novel s.
196 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
Three periods of Indian nationalism. D o w n to the end
of the last century I ndi an pol i t i cs possessed no interest
for the wr i t er of f i ct i on. I t i s wi t h the par t i t i on of Bengal
in 1905, and the al l - I ndi a agi t at i on that resulted there-
f r om, that A ngl o- I ndi a first began to be conscious of a
di st ur bi ng element i n the count ry.
The evol ut i on of I ndi an nationalism i n the t went i et h
century may be di vi ded i nt o three peri ods: (i) the pre-
Wa r per i od endi ng wi t h Mor l e y- Mi nt o Reforms, (i i ) the
Non- Co- operat i on Movement of 1919-20 and the demand
f or D o mi n i o n status, and ( i i i ) the per i od of what Mr .
E dwar d T hompson has styled 'aggressive nat i onal i sm' ,
i n whi ch I ndia' s r i ght t o independence was formal l y put
f or war d by the I ndi an Nat i onal Congress.
I n the f i r s t per i od the attitude of Engl i shmen i n I ndi a,
as depicted in the novels of the t i me, was one of
arrogance, perhaps mi ngl ed wi t h a l i t t l e fear. The
arrogance was bor n of the convi ct i on that ' no nat i on i n
the wo r l d other than Br i t i s h coul d rule so many peoples
wi t h so much tact, consideration, and success',
1
but it was
tempered by the fear of a second Mu t i n y . The agi t at i on
t hat began i n Bengal spread al l over I ndi a. The boycot t
of forei gn cl ot h was preached al l over the count ry. T he
average Angl o- I ndi an official saw no difference between
the Swadeshi movement and sedition, and advocated the
suppression of the movement by repressive methods.
T he best pi ct ure of this peri od i s gi ven by E dmund
Candler.
One of the earlier novels showi ng the influence of a
buddi ng I ndi an nationalism is The Unlucky Mark by Mr s .
F. E. Penny. Qui nbur y, a sub-magistrate i n the story,
condemns unreservedly the Swadeshi movement of the
t i me. He advocates put t i ng i nt o mot i on the ol d A c t of
1818 because
'One and all, from the Bengalis to our B.A.' s down South,
hate the thought of i t . I t robs them of martyrdom, removes
1
E. W. Savi, Mistress of Herself, p. 225.
I NDI AN POLITICS AND ANGLO-INDIAN NOVELS 197
them from the neighbourhood of their admirers and does away
wi t h all chance of the notoriety so dear to the heart of the
Hi ndu during the triaL' (p. 74.)
I n another novel , The Inevitable Taw (1907), Mr s . Penny
refers to the Congress as 'a mere bladder inflated by cheap
gas, wi t hout even the power of causing an expl osi on' .
Mr s . E. W. Savi, t hough she wr ot e later on, refers t o the
change i n the pol i t i cal atmosphere after the par t i t i on of
Bengal. In A Prince of Lovers, she notices the changed
at t i t ude of vi l l age f ol k wh o , onl y a few years ago, were
' f u l l of ki ndl y smiles and readiness t o help the sahibs',
1
but wh o ' were becomi ng hostile t o Europeans and were
t aki ng every oppor t uni t y t o humi l i at e the whi t e race'.
2
In The Reproof of Chance, she tells us h o w the ' mi schi ef
goi ng on since the P ar t i t i on of Bengal ' affected A n g l o -
India.
' The Boltons and Sharps wi l l not bri ng out their daughters
this year on this account, and t wo or three people I know are
sending their wives home since they are transferred to Cal-
cutta. Mrs. Playfair is in a state of nerves and woul d be away
immediately, only she can't trust her gay boy to behave in
her absence . . . see the way even l i t t l e street urchins yell that
disgusting and unnecessary patriotic cry "Bande Mataram",
and jeer at European ladies when they are alone and unpro-
tected.' (pp. 193-4.)
She fears that the indifference of men at the hel m of affairs
t o the g r o wt h of ext remi sm w i l l lead t o the sacrifice of
' i nnocent lives or that of some great personage'.
The Burnt Offering by Mr s . E ver ar d Cotes, The Bronze
Bell by L. J. Vance, Cecilia Kirkham's Son by Mr s . Kennet h
Combe, al l publ i shed i n 1909, f or the f i r st t i me ment i on
the ' I ndi an unrest' . The Bronze Bell is an absorbi ng
narrat i ve, f u l l of dramatic situations, and has f or the frame-
wo r k of the story the likeness between A mbe r and Rut t on.
Rut t on appears t o A mber , a publ i c- school and O x f o r d
man, a strange solitary fi gure wi t h a vast knowl edge of t he
1
p. 124.
2
p. 120.
198 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
East. But later Rut t on proves to be a Rajput of the bluest
bl ood, and no less a person than the Maharana of Khanda-
war. The Burnt Offering is not so much a story as a
presentation i n dramatic f or m of the pol i t i cal situation
i n I ndi a. Vul can Mi l l s , a Labour Member, visits I ndi a,
accompanied by his beautiful daughter, who is bur ni ng
wi t h sympathy for the subject race. She is l oved by an
E ngl i sh official and an I ndi an revol ut i onary. These t wo
are used by Mr s. Cotes as representatives of opposing
views on the probl em of ' I ndi an unrest' . She writes wi t h
restraint. Her dialogues are clever and her scenes of social
life charmi ng.
Mr s . Kennet h Combe's novel is in marked contrast to
that of Mr s . Cotes i n tone and spi ri t . Charles Ki r kha m,
son of Cecilia Ki r kha m, who runs away wi t h the E ngl i sh
wi fe of the Rajah of Tahlaghur, is an over- drawn and
somewhat sentimental picture of filial perfection. I t is he
who unearths the pl ot of the disloyal Rajah and his half-
E ngl i sh son, showi ng that he was cleverer than Hi s
Honour the Lieutenant- Governor and the local General.
T wo novels dominated by the idea of r evol ut i on
i n I ndi a are Slipped Moorings by Mr . A. F. Wal l i s and
Second Rising by Mr . L. Beresford. Slipped Moorings is absurd
bot h i n conception and execution. Edgar Skelton, later
L o r d Brenzett and Secretary of State for I ndi a, drops the
prosecution of a number of E ngl i sh and European mi s-
chief-makers who were in the pay of a clever Bengali,
Ulaska- Baroda, and were pl anni ng a r evol ut i on in I ndi a.
He does so because he loves a beautiful but worthless
woman, Ismene, and is naturally accused of betraying the
E mpi r e. Except i ng the sketch of Clara Lel and and a l i t t l e
humour , the novel has not hi ng of value. T he Secretary
of State learns that I ndians are bei ng regularly trained in
the use of arms by many Europeans who have f ound t hei r
way i nt o Bengal. Ho w sedition i s preached i n I ndi a i s
shown by the f ol l owi ng passage whi c h is picturesque,
t hough meaningless.
I NDI AN POLITICS AND ANGLO-INDIAN NOVELS 199
'Here [in Benares], amongst the ancient ghats, dark emis-
saries were everywhere busy, stealing unobserved between the
burning pyres, brushed by the very dead, or else crouching
on the platforms of the priests, under their umbrellas of coarse
matting. None could escape their message of revolt. They
mingled wi t h the crowds idly gathered round some snake
charmer wi t h his hissing cobras; they loitered on the vast
shadeless stairways, up and down which the meek-eyed pi l -
grims incessantly streamed; and, upon the first suspicion of
danger, vanished wi t hi n the arcades beneath the interminable
terraces that stretch beside the Ganges, and glitter in the
moon.' (p. 213.)
Mr . Beresford's novel , The Second Rising, is more
interesting as gi vi ng an i nsi ght i nt o the psychology of
Angl o- I ndi ans of the t i me. Mr . Beresford i s evidently
obsessed wi t h the fear that the excitement f ol l owi ng the
par t i t i on of Bengal and the abject surrender of the I ndi an
Government to popular agi t at i on must lead to a second
ri si ng, l i ke the Mut i ny of 185 7. I n his prefatory note t o
the novel , Mr . Beresford maintains that the exi st i ng
anarchical and socialistic tendencies of so-called educated
Hi ndus, i f al l owed t o gr ow unchecked, wi l l cause a vi ol ent
out burst . T he onl y remedy that the average fi ct i on wr i t er
can t hi nk of is ruthless repression. He foresees in the
I ndian' s cry for self- government a repet i t i on of the horrors
of the Mut i ny, and i s never t i r ed of pour i ng the vials of
his wr at h on E ngl i shmen i n general, and E ngl i sh M. P. ' s
i n particular, who are suspected of pr o- I ndi an sympathies.
For I ndi an leaders or ' agitators' , he has not hi ng but ut t er
contempt. He feels and knows that they have no character,
no ori gi nal i t y and no power of organization. The Second
Rising is characteristic of this A ngl o- I ndi an psychology.
Mr . Beresford honestly t hought that
' The Government has never yet had to face anything
approaching the enormity of a revolution engineered under
anarchical conditions by a properly organized and financed
head-quarters in Europe.' (p. 98.)
200 I N D I A N P O L I T I C S A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N N O V E L S
As a novel , The Second Rising has not hi ng di st i nct i ve. Mr .
Bar t on of D e l h i i s a representative c i v i l servant, con-
scientious and har d- wor ki ng, wh o feels that he is car r yi ng
the bur den of the I ndi an E mpi r e on his shoulders. Unl i ke
his uni magi nat i ve chief, he scents that t r oubl e is br ewi ng,
and wi t hout official encouragement, but wi t h official
connivance, he sets out t o ni p i t i n the bud. I n this
di ffi cul t task he is assisted by a clever, f ai t hf ul Pathan,
Mus hi r Kh a n , a Secret Service agent. Thanks chiefly to
Mus hi r Kh a n , the rebel l i on is suppressed, and the rebels
effectively dealt wi t h . Mr . Beresford does not admire
anyt hi ng i n I ndi a, wi t h the exception of spies, danci ng
gi r l s , obsequious Bengal i Babus and Qur beaut i ful ni ght s.
Mr . Hobar t - Hampden' s novel , The Price of Empire
(1911), deals w i t h an abor t i ve pl ot t o mur der al l E ur o-
pean residents of the small t o wn of Pachor. T he fear of
a second mut i ny finds expression t hus :
' " L i l i a n, " ' says one of the characters, ' "t hi nk of '57. . . . It
wi l l be the same t hi ng over again." ' (p. 86.)
T he pl ot is disclosed by Mi ss Seeta Dass, the educated
and westernized sister of t he l ocal ci vi l i an, Hemchandra
Dass, t o A l l a n Tremai ne, wh o m she loves and wh o m she
forces to mar r y her as the pri ce of her treachery. E ver y-
t h i n g wo u l d have been al l r i ght , had A l l a n l oved this
passionate I ndi an, but he loves anot her L i l i an Sylvester.
T he aut hor has not the slightest sympathy f or I ndi a n
aspirations or I ndi an character. A l l I ndi ans i n this novel
are miserable creatures.
l
Seeta's unfort unat e passion is the
onl y redeeming feature of this commonplace novel .
1
Wi t h the except i on of Mr . E d wa r d T homps on no A ngl o- I ndi a n novel i st
has succeeded i n dr a wi ng a convi nci ng pi ct ur e of a genuine I ndi a n pat r i ot .
Mr s . Wi ngf i el d- S t r at f or d ment i ons ' a young sedi t i oni st a person ver y
different f r o m the t r adi t i onal fi re- breat hi ng desperadoa dreamy, hi ghl y
st r ung yout h, unpract i cal , gentle and an ardent admi rer of Macaulay and
J ohn Stuart M i l l ' . Bu t she does n o t t el l us anyt hi ng mor e about h i m.
Dhar ma G ovi nda and Chandra S wami in The Unlucky Mark are carica-
tures of the j our nal i st and agi t at or of the f i r st decade of the t went i et h
cent ury. G ovi nda, as an or at or , does not care f or sense but onl y f or the
' f l ow of wor ds whi c h he had pr oduced' . Chandra S wami i s a ve r mi n' ,
I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS 201
55. Edmund Candler and Indian unrest.
In 1912 appeared another book, Sri Ram, the Revolu-
tionist by E dmund Candler, whi ch may be regarded as the
best of the novels dealing wi t h this stage of I ndia' s
pol i t i cal agi t at i on. Mr . Candler describes the book as a
transcript f r om l i fe, 1907-10. The book gave rise to a
st orm of protest al l over the Panjab because it was t hought
to be an attack on the A r ya Samaj, a religious organization
of the Province. Mr . Candler stated i n a postscript that i t
was not his object to condemn the Samaj as a pol i t i cal
body. But i nt ernal evidence shows that the Samaj had
good grounds to compl ai n. Here is one passage :
' I t was the most complicated organization, and the police
believed that the whole body of the Arya Samaj was involved
in the nexus, so that every postal and telegraph clerk and every
subordinate on the railway knew exactly what he had to do
on the day of reckoning.' (pp. 102-3.)
Sri Ram is described as a t ypi cal product of his age. Hi s
associates are members of the A r ya Samaj ' whose religious
ideals mi ght have helped hi m, had they not been perverted
i nt o gal l by his teachers for t emporal ends'. As an instance
of this perversion Mr . Candler wr i t es :
'Against the sacred names of Rama and Ar j on and Bhima
'a poisonous sedition- monger' . Desika of The Inevitable LAW is a 'mere
wi nd- bag' wh o , havi ng failed i n an examination i n Engl and, turns Con-
gress-wallah. He is represented as being dissatisfied wi t h the Gover nment
because ' they w i l l not per mi t us t o i ndul ge i n our t i me- honoured religious
ri ot s and caste disputes' . Mr . Beresford's sketch of the Raja of Kuma on
is that of a man who turns pat r i ot because he desires an E ngl i sh g i r l . He
is t hor oughl y anglicized and t hor oughl y degraded. S. B. Muckerjee and
Mi ss Seeta Dass in the Price of Empire are equally unsatisfactory. S. B.
Muckerjee, havi ng been dismissed f r om the C i v i l Service for br i ber y and
cor r upt i on, poses as a mar t yr and turns agitator. Mi ss Seeta Dass suggests
a massacre of the European popul at i on at Pachor, specially of wome n and
chi l dr en, because the E ngl i sh people ' h o l d their women and chi l dr en ver y
dear' . Mr . Candler's S r i Ram murders Meri val e wh o risks his l i fe t o save
his sister f r om a plague-infected vfl l age. Mr s . Savi's sketches of I ndi an
agitators l i ke A mr i t a Babu i n Mistress of Herself and of Chandra i n The
Rulers of Men are f r ankl y biased. Prem Ka ur of Mr s . Bel l and Kamal a of
Mr s . Pennell are as unconvi nci ng as Seeta Dass.
202 I NDI AN POLITICS AND ANGLO-INDIAN NOVELS
were inscribed the names of such modern martyrs as Tilak and
Kanhya Lal and Khudiram Bose who murdered the English
ladies at Mozaffarpur. History was going to repeat itself. The
English were Asuras again, who ravaged the motherland, which
was in the birth-pangs of a new breed of dragon-slayers who
were to r i d her of the evil. So the religious man was the man
who most execrated the English, who most forswore English
rule, and English piece-goods and English everything, except
ideas and idioms and the itinerant Labour Member and his
catchwords.' (p. 389.)
T hus gui ded, or misguided, Sri Ram and his companion
Banarsi Dass became revolutionaries. Sri Ram was
sincere, wi t h a r ankl i ng bitterness in his heart. But
Banarsi Dass was ' a vai n, meddl i ng, t own- bred yout h' , ' a
hal f leader, hal f c l own' i n the college. He spoke ' gl i bl y
wi t h an inconsequent muddle- headed stream of verbiage' .
T he t wo boys reading in the college at Gandeshwar and
comi ng under the influence of ' a dangerous agitator' ,
Narasimha S wami , ' who was identified wi t h the spi ri t ual
side of the movement, in the same way as T i l a k was wi t h
the pol i t i cal ' , t ur n definitely seditious and are expelled
by the P ri nci pal , Mr . Skene. S ri Ram, silent, but br oodi ng
over his wrongs, goes t o his father, Mo o l Chand, who
had sent his son to Gandeshwar as ' one invests a bi t of
money in a life insurance' . Mr . Candler is good at port rai t -
pai nt i ng. T he sketch of Mo o l Chand deserves praise.
' Mool Chand, you woul d say, is a dear old man, slow-
moving, slow-speaking, patient, strong, enduring, unbent in
adversity. He is like an old prophet, clear-eyed, grizzled in
the sun, the brow and beard of Abraham, the gestures of an
apostle. He salaams wi t h a submissive dignity, raising both
hands. The Commissioner loves hi m as his own horse. But
he woul d leave his aunt, or his little gi r l , at a pinch, to die
in her plague-bed alone.' (pp. 83-4.)
T he description of his mu d house i n the village of
Mogr aon i s one of the best specimens of E ngl i sh prose i n
A ngl o- I ndi an novels. When plague visits Mogr aon, Mr .
I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS 203
Candler paints the horrors of the stricken vi l l age wi t h the
brush of a realist. Hi s power of careful character- drawing
is seen at its best in the port rai t s of Engl i shmen. Mo o n ,
the policeman, who condemned as cant al l t al k about the
f i t ness of I ndians for self- government, and wh o hel d that
I ndi a was theirs as l ong as they had the strength to gover n
i t , i s t ypi cal of Engl i shmen wh o m the aut hor knew
wel l and admi red. Skene, the Pri nci pal of Gandeshwar
College, is another i mpor t ant character, dr awn ful l - l engt h.
T he por t r ai t i s part l y autobiographical. Mr . Candler was
P ri nci pal of Mohi ndr a College, Patiala, when he wr ot e
this novel . Mr . Skene's ' t hi ck, sun- burnt neck, broad
shoulders and bul gi ng calves, whi c h seemed to stretch
out of his wi de trousers, made h i m appear as the i mperson-
at i on of st rengt h' . Hi s speech t o the disaffected students
shows what Engl i shmen t hi nk of I ndia' s aspiration f or
freedom. Repressive l egi sl at i on is thus defended:
' You are t ol d that Indians are denied freedom of speech and
liberty of the Press; but you must remember things are different
here. Rumours of cow- ki l l i ng wi l l stir blood to a white heat,
the story of a defiled mosque wi l l raise a Jehad. There is all
the difference between holding a lighted match to an i ron safe
and to a hay-stack.' (p. 96.)
Possibly, as the Pri nci pal went on, he felt that his argu-
ments were far f r om convi nci ng. At the close of his
or at i on, he t hr ows aside the mask and speaks bl unt l y:
'I hate cant. I ndia is as much the property of the English as
the estate of one of your Zemindars is the property of the land-
l or d whose ancestor won it by the sword, or was given it for
service. . . . I t is quite true that if we left the country each
community woul d be at the other's throat. This is one good
reason for our staying. But it is not the reason. We are here
because it is our country.
' When all is said and done, the case resolves itself in the end
to the privilege of the weak to be ruled by the strong, and this is
a very difficult thing for an Englishman to say wi t hout suspicion
of brutality or pride. Skene was not pleased wi t h his effort.'
(pp. 98-9.)
204 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
Mr . Candler, unl i ke most A ngl o- I ndi an wri t ers, has a
sense of style. I t is unfortunate that he has used his great
powers in the interests of pol i t i cal propaganda. T he effect
that he mi ght have produced had he used his gifts for
purposes of art may be j udged f r om the f ol l owi ng quota-
t i on, reminiscent of Ki pl i ng' s City of Dreadful Night.
'Cynthia and Diana there, silvery and chaste; here a bronze
pan of fire, phantom of the destroyer, the reverse of Durga's
shield, more malignant than the Sun-god, because stealthier
and more insidious in her embrace. Merivale felt sick inwardly
to think of the primroses glimmering palely in a meadow he
knew well by an old ivied church in Devon under the caressing
moonlight.' (p. 108.)
Mr . Candler's next novel , Abdication (1922) in whi ch he
criticizes the Montagu- Chelmsford Reforms, is much
poorer as a wo r k of art than Sri Ram.
Miss I rene Burn' s novel The Border Line was published
i n 1916. But an interesting account of the performance of
As You Like It staged by the students of D yal Singh
College in 1912, suggests that the story was wr i t t en several
years before. Miss Burn' s attitude towards the Swadeshi
movement is expressed t hr ough ' the man wi t h a t or ch'
who secretly attends a students' meeting.
' You hate the English folk, yet you speak their language
better than your own. You prate of Swadeshi, say you wi l l
wear only Indian-made loin-cloths, yet you vaunt your know-
ledge of the English tongue; you rode here on an English
foot-carriage along roads made by the English, where the
lamps are fed by the lightning wire and not by country oi l . The
bomb you wi l l prepare wi l l without doubt be set in an English
tobacco-tin, and you wi l l buy or steal English gramophone
needles to tear your enemy's flesh.' (p. 155.)
Mr . Henr y Bruce is another novelist who has t ri ed to
analyse the causes of the ' gr owi ng sedition' in I ndi a and
to expose ' the hi dden sources of anarchy'. The Eurasian,
t hough published i n 1913, shows that i t was wr i t t en i n
1910. There is a reference in the story to the death of
I N D I A N P O L I T I C S A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N N O V E L S 205
Ki n g E dwar d V I I and t o D hi ngr a who murdered Sir
Curzon Wyl i e i n L ondon. Mr . Bruce's analysis of the
causes of I ndi an discontent shows some understanding.
T he pri nci pal cause i s the wi t her i ng contempt i n whi ch
the Engl i shman i n I ndi a, especially the T ommy, holds
I ndians.
1
Corporal Dekker stands for the Br i t i sh soldier
of this type. Dekker once goes to shoot and is suspected
of maki ng l ove t o some Mahrat t a women wor ki ng i n a
field. T he villagers seize h i m and t aki ng away his gun
1
Several wri t ers find in E ngl i sh education the main cause of I ndi an
sedi t i on. Sir Henr y Cunni ngham, wr i t i n g in the ' eighties, speaks of *a
vast half-educated class, wi t h just l i t t l e knowl edge enough to be a
dangerous t hi ng and to feel at a loss what to do wi t h its newl y found
powers' . Mr s . Penny refers t o the over pr oduct i on of B. A . ' s who, instead
of feeling grateful f or their education and enlightenment, are idle and
discontented. Mr s . Kennet h Combe has no doubt that I ndi an students
in E ngl and are ' pot ent i al sedition- mongers' . T hey bel ong to a class whi ch
'screams insolent imprecations against the aut hori t y to whi ch it owes its
very existence, the class whi ch has endeavoured to undermine the t ri ed
l oyal t y of our beloved I ndi an army i t s el f . Mr s . G . H. Bell' s arguments
showi ng that educated I ndi a is not fit for self- government, possess the
mer i t of or i gi nal i t y:
' E ducat i on is not necessarily the faculty, or talent f or gover ni ng,
especially education whi ch i s not of nat i onal gr owt h. European women
are wel l educated, but they can' t gover n. T he educated native can' t either.'
Mr . A r t h u r Wallace in Slipped Moorings makes a soldier say to L o r d
Brenzett that I ndi a should never have been educated. ' " We have no r i ght
to conquer", says he, "and at the same t i me to gi ve the people aspirations
in al l directions, whi ch when they seek to realize, we must explode at the
muzzle of aL ee- Met f or d. " ' Miss I rene Bur n si mi l arl y holds that the count ry
was bei ng f l ooded wi t h B. A . ' s' a f r ui t f ul cause of sedi t i on' . Mr . H. K.
G or don declares ' t hat the present t ur moi l i n I ndi a i s due i n no small
measure to the effect of the heady literature of freedom upon people not
habituated to the envi ronment in whi c h free i nst i t ut i ons have developed' .
Mr . John E yt on characterizes an I ndi an student t hus:
' T he I ndi an student is the pr oduct of an age of doubt ; he has learned
enough to l augh at his forefathers, but not enough to discriminate between
the genuine and the t awdry elements of the new age. Stripped naked of
t r adi t i on he asks f or a si gn; and the gaudier it is the more l i kel y is he to
accept i t . Bei ng an empt y vessel he is easily filled wi t h nonsense but there
is a hope f or hi m. What is easily filled is easily poured out . ' (The Dancing
Fakir, p. 137.)
Mr . R. J. Mi nney has dr awn a sketch of a student i n Mot i ha r i whose
half- formed mi nd was ' the most suitable substance f or moul di ng i n the
nat i onal cause'. T hi s is done by reckless politicians, very often f r om
questionable mot i ves.
206 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
and his game-bag, pi ni on his hands behind his back and
tie hi m t o a wooden post. Thi s treatment of Dekker i s
regarded as a shock to Br i t i s h prestige. No i nvest i gat i on
is made i nt o the affair. A relief party is sent to rescue
Dekker. T he villagers are fined a few hundred rupees and
puni t i ve police are planted upon the village for the next
half-year, wi t h a hi nt not to be t oo gentle.
1
Dekker does
not escape unpunished. He is degraded. Hi s Colonel' s
address at the degradation of Dekker is characteristic.
' "Men of the Dartmoor Regiment," says the gallant Colonel,
"let me never hear of such a thing happening again. It ought
not to be possible. At present the women of I ndia (and the
men are not much more!) make mock of you. My words are
for your private guidance, not for publication. I don' t say
that you should lightly shoot, without orders. But at least,
when set upon by natives, use the weapons which God gave
you! I say that, and I'll bear you out. Do not hit a native if you
can help i t , but if you must, then hit hard; and every regiment
in India wi l l subscribe to see you t hrough!" ' (p. 141.)
T he civilians are generally a l i t t l e more restrained in t hei r
speech than the Colonel of the D ar t moor Regiment, but
bot h the soldier and the ci vi l i an t hi nk alike. Mr s . At ki ns' s
dislike and distrust of I ndians were pr of ound. T o bot h
Cherry and Mr s . A t ki ns , being ' wholesome E ngl i sh-
women, nat i vedom as such was indiscriminately heathenish
and repugnant' .
2
The aut hor agrees wi t h Mr s . A t ki ns
and says,
'Doubtless, this shows a sad narrowness of outlook. Pos-
sibly, in this very narrowness lies the safety of our race; even
if as a result, we have to march down to our ships, and sail
away from I ndia. ' (p. 69.)
Mr . E dwar d Vi ncent , the T h i r d Assistant Collector at
T ul si pur , typifies another class of Br i t i sh officials i n I ndi a.
He was attending a fair at Pahuli when he saw Narayan
Rao Wassu standing f ul l on the road hol di ng a ' ski mpy
cot t on umbrel l a over his head' . Vincent' s di gni t y was
1
p. 140.
2
p. 69.
I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS 207
hur t at the way in whi ch Narayan stared at hi m, and he
struck Narayan wi t h his r i di ng whi p f ul l across his f ace.
1
He f el t happier and less f everish af ter that. He di d not
know that he had struck the ' grandson of the most
dangerous p ol i t i ci an i n I ndi a' , G. R. Wassu of the Vi ceroy' s
Counci l . The incident caused a stir al l over I ndi a. In
the end, however, Vi ncent is made to apol ogize and is
transf erred to Sind, ' an al most penal col ony' . Narayan
Rao, wi t h the scar on his face not yet heal ed, goes to
Eng l and onl y t o become a conf irmed ni hi l i st . Mr . Bruce
does not seem to l ove I ndi a or Indians more than any
of his characters, but his anal ysis of I ndi an ni hi l i sm or
anarchism contains el ements of truth.
Mr . S. M. Mi t r a i n Hindupore (1909) gives his readers
' a peep behi nd the I ndi an unrest' . The novel is interesting
as g i vi ng an Indian' s views on the subject. The author
brings out Lor d Tara t o Indi a and takes hi m t o Hi ndup or e,
enabl ing h i m t o see things f or himsel f . Lor d Tara f al l s i n
l ove wi t h Princess Kamal a, a ' perf ection of womanhood' ,
and marries her. The novel seems to have been wr i t t en
f or propaganda purposes. It i s meant t o show the f ol l y
of the Government i n f avour i ng Mohammedans
2
and
f ai l i ng to real ize the f orce of Hi ndui s m. The rul ers are
described as cal l ousl y indif f erent to the most cherished
f eel ings of the peopl e. They do not know the peopl e
around t hem. They t rust unscrupul ous Eurasian inspec-
tors of pol ice more than princes of ancient bl ood. The
Government i t sel f creates unrest and t hen it appoints
commissions t o i nqui re i nt o its causes. Accor di ng t o
Mr . Mi t r a i t i s of f icial s l i ke the Eurasian Hunt , heads of
1
p. 161.
2
In this connexion it is interesting to note the views of some Anglo-
I ndian novelists. Mrs. Penny opines in The Unlucky Mark that the
Mohammedan, 'who is not a man of words but of deeds, has no love for
the glib-tongued Hi ndu' . Mr . L. Beresford makes the second rising fail
because the Mohammedans realized that 'British rule, however disadvan-
tageous to them, was preferable to a Hi ndu regime'. Mrs. Adams Beck
frankly writes in The Way of Stars 'that hatred between the Hi ndu and
the Mohammedan is the great buttress of our power in I ndia', (p. 120.)
2 0 8 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
departments l i ke Col onel I ronsi de who t ol d a Raja to
his face ' that after shaking hands wi t h a Hi n d u he always
had a hot bat h' , and non-officials l i ke Mr . T oddy, who
embi t t er the relations between I ndians and Engl i shmen.
Mr . Mi t r a' s novel is more l i ke a gui de- book t han a story
wi t h l i v i n g men or women, or even wi t h interesting
incidents. Hi s E ngl i sh i s not good and his Hi ndust ani
is worse. But occasionally the monot ony of his style is
relieved by f l ashes of humour .
56. Novels of the second period of Indian nationalism.
Partly due to the War , there was not much pol i t i cal
agi t at i on i n the count ry dur i ng 1914-19. But then came
the Mont agu- Chel msford Reforms, the Rowl at t Act s, the
act i on of General Dyer at Amr i t sar , f ol l owed by Mahatma
Gandhi' s Satyagraha movement. T he hi st ory of those
strenuous days may be read in several novels that appeared
i n 1922 and the f ol l owi ng years. Mr s . E. W. Savi i n several
of her novels, particularly Rulers of Men (1922); L t . -
Col onel W. P . D r u r y i n The Incendiaries (1922); Mr . R. J.
Mi nney i n The Road t o Delhi (1923); Mr s . G. H. Bel l i n
In the Long Run (1925) and The Foreigner (1928); Mr . E. M.
Forster in A Passage to India (1925); Mr . E dwar d T homp-
son in An Indian Day (1927) and A Farewell to India (1930);
Mr . H. K. G or don i n Prem (1926) and The Shadow of Abdul
(1928); Mr . A. C . Br o wn i n Dark Dealing and Mr . Y.
E ndr i kar in Gamblers in Happiness (1930); Mr s . Beatrice
Sheepshanks in The Sword and the Spirit (1928); N or a K.
Strange in Mistress of Ceremonies (1930) and Mr s . Theodore
Pennell in Doorways of the East (1931) i nt roduce or discuss
the pr obl em of I ndi an self- government, or analyse the
causes of I ndia' s host i l i t y towards the Br i t i sh. These
names include some of the greatest wri t ers of A n g l o -
I ndi an f i ct i on of recent times.
The pr evai l i ng note i n most of the books of this
per i od i s one of surprise at the apparent abdication of
aut hori t y. Mos t of the wri t ers condemn the Reforms
I N D I A N P O L I T I C S A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N N O V E L S 209
and their authors whole- heartedly. I n Rulers of Men, Mr s .
Savi combines a v i v i d pi ct ure of the I ndi an unrest wi t h
the story of Derek Lang' s l ove for an Ameri can g i r l .
Derek L ang i s Mr s . Savi's t ypi cal ruler of men. He
believes that the E ngl i sh wi l l hol d I ndi a as l ong as there
are diverse races and religions in the count ry, and ' that
wi l l be for ever' . He does not believe that the Reforms
have in any way lessened I ndia' s need for the E ngl i sh.
'They wi l l continue to need us more as greed of power
brings out the worst in human nature.' (p. 4 )
Der ek condemns the interference of the ' arm- chair pol i t i -
cians' who have no first- hand knowl edge of I ndi a, and
who do not understand the psychology of the I ndi an
mi nd.
1
He regrets that st rong admi ni st rat i on i s gi vi ng
place t o vaci l l at i on, i rresol ut i on, and t i mi di t y.
' " N ot many years ago," he sighs, "native editors and printers
served terms of imprisonment for publishing political articles
not nearly as inflammatory and libellous as those appearing
now-a-days in the Native Press wi t h impunity. " ' (p. 90.)
I ndi an politicians l i ke Chunder, ' the most vociferous
among Bengal patriots, howl i ng for Swaraj' , according t o
1
T hat I ndians arc temperamentally unfi t for democracy and l ove a
' s t r ong' government finds expression i n several non- pol i t i cal novels. Mr s .
Ma ud D i ver makes the ' pat r i ot i c' Sir Lakshman S i ngh say in Lilamani
that ' no worse har m coul d befall t o I ndi a than that Great Br i t ai n shoul d
cease to be paramount power. . . . But in order f or bei ng paramount she
must be, in best sense, a power; not mere figurehead or rash experimentalist
shi ft i ng now t o this f oot n o w t o that' .
Mr . Hobar t - Hampden says ' either we must go on r ul i ng as we have
done for the past half- century or soaccording to our western not i ons
of justiceor else we had better clear out altogether' .
Mr s . Penny repeats the same views i n several of her novels. Wyt ha l l ,
the Commissioner of Police of Shivapore, t hi nks that ' Rank i mperi al i sm
i s what I ndi a want s. T he people cannot understand our democratic
system. E qual i t y is a fearsome doct ri ne to them, cut t i ng at the r oot of
caste as it does. T hey are terrified at i t ' . A nwar - ud- D i n, ' One of the best'
of I ndians, holds extreme views. He t hi nks that the Br i t i sh G over nment
by its curious tendency to impose western methods on eastern people is
weakening its o wn power. By western methods he means the pr i vi l ege
of free speech and a free Press. He regards these as dangerous weapons
i n the hands of those wh o do not understand them,
P
2 1 0 I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
hi m, are the curse of I ndi a. He wo u l d gi ve t hem a dose
of the ' cat' . Mr s . Savi believes that I ndi a wants men l i ke
Derek and regrets that General Dyer who 'saved a cri t i cal
situation by drastic measures' should have been sacri-
ficed to pacify ' native publ i c opi ni on' . She criticizes the
Government as weak- kneed and makes the Amer i can
heroine say what she probably feels herself:
' " I f we Americans had the ruling of I ndia, we' d soon show
what a strong hand means. The Britisher plays too much to the
gallery, so is in danger of losing the game." ' (p. 328.)
I n several other novels of Mr s . Savi whi ch are not
pol i t i cal in intent as the Rulers of Men, she expresses her
pol i t i cal views i ndi rect l y. She makes the Missy Baba
say in Baba and the Black Sheep:
' "Father used to say that I ndia can only be ruled successfully
by our compelling the fear as well as the respect of the people.
Weakness in their eyes is contemptible, therefore our policy
must be determination and strength." ' (p. 61.)
I n On the Rack she wr i t es :
' Everything is in a deuce of a waylabour difficult since
Gandhi was allowed a free hand too long, and the price is
rotten.' (p. 81.)
But she does not attach much importance to the 'boast
and bravados of a section of half-educated Bengalis' , f or
' i t wi l l be put down wi t h a st rong hand when the need
arises'. ' Wh o notices the bar ki ng of the street dogs?'
she asks in The Reproof of Chance'that's what it amounts
t o. ' She advocates that dangerous and r abi d dogs shoul d
be muzzled and done away wi t h 'lest they communicate
rabies t o the rest'. She is sure that the Government wi l l
put down sedition wi t h a st rong hand, but is surprised at
its pol i cy of ' shut t i ng the stable door after the steed is
stolen, i n matters of I ndi an pol i t i es' .
Mr s . G . H. Bel l points out ' the outrageous error' of
I ndi an pol i t i cs of the times and says
'that the politician in I ndia took his eye off the land and
I N D I A N P O L I T I C S A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N N O V E L S 211
turned it on to the political situation in Westminster, watched
the betting rather than the game'.
She says in In the Long Run:
'Once British rule is subordinated to I ndian rule wi t hi n the
frontiers of I ndia, it wi l l have no wor d of command capable
of repressing anarchy and tyranny.'
1
(p. 31.)
N or a K. Strange comments i n passing on pol i t i cal
conditions in I ndi a, in Mistress of Ceremonies (1930)a
commonplace novel of A ngl o- I ndi an l i fe. She agrees
wi t h the fel l ow who said that I ndi a wo u l d be lost on the
fl oor of the House of Commons. Self- government, accord-
i ng t o her, i f granted t o I ndi a, wi l l lead t o chaos.
' I n the past history of Kanara, I sometimes read a vision
of the future of I ndia, if it were left to its own devices. Terrible
internal strife, followed by a series of foreign invasions, and
the final conquerorsthe jungle wi t h its attendant hand-maid,
malaria.' (p. 193.)
She has every sympathy for I ndians who honestly mean
t o do their dut y by their count ry. But when the crisis
comes the whi t e man who wi l l make good i n I ndi a wi l l
be ' the free- booter, the bol d buccaneer wi t h a t ur n f or
guerri l l a warfare' .
Mr . R. J. Mi nney' s novel , The Road to Delhi, presents
a v i v i d account of pol i t i cal I ndi a ten years ago. T he
motif of the novel is the disillusionment of a village boy
who, as a student at the Presidency College, Calcutta, is
dr awn i nt o the vort ex of I ndi an pol i t i cs, repents of his
1
What woul d happen if the E ngl i sh were to leave I ndi a is a favouri t e
theme of A ngl o- I ndi an novelists of the first quarter of the t went i et h
century. Mr s . P erri n has expressed the vi ew, in A Free Solitude, that if
I ndi a were left to herself f or a hundred years or even less, there wo u l d not
be left a single trace of western ci vi l i zat i on. Mr s . Penny is of opi ni on that
i f the E ngl i sh were t o leave I ndi a, I ndians wo u l d relapse i nt o barbarism
and wo u l d not retain their freedom l ong, f or they woul d be exposed t o the
ravages o f the tribes o f the N o r t h . Mr . Hi l t o n Br o wn sees the comi ng
anarchy in the influence of the agitators on the pl ant at i on coolies. ' I ndi a' s
goi ng t o the devi l . I t wo n ' t be a whi t e man's count ry l ong. ' Mr . Hobar t -
Hampden says that i f the E ngl i sh were t o leave I ndi a, ' the weak wi l l go
t o the wa l l , the st rong wi l l grab what they can' .
2 1 2 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
activities later, and ends by becoming a preacher of loyalty
t o the Government . Mr . Mi nney cannot understand the
agitation against the Rowl at t Bi l l s, particularly when i t
was expressly stated that the repressive laws ' woul d not
be put i nt o action unless the need arose'. He accounts
for the Non- Co- operation Movement by saying that ' the
stern repression of the trouble i n Amri t sar by General
Dyer supplied the leaders wi t h a monster grievance' .
' He [Mr. Gandhi] accordingly preached the creed of non-
violence. A nd this, together wi t h his fasting as a form of
penance for the sin of bloodshed that occurred on his account
and his manifest other- world grief, gave hi m a semblance of
piety that was soon to gather into a halo of saintliness. He
ordained that the country should fast too, knowing that each
pang of hunger would cause the people to brood on the reason
for their fasting.' (p. 162.)
A v i v i d account of the hartals i n connexion wi t h the vi si t
of the Prince of Wales is gi ven.
' When the morning of the 17th November, in the year of
grace 1921, dawned in Calcutta, it dawned upon a dead city.
Even in the European quarter there was not the slightest sign
of native activity. A few sahibs were out driving their own
motors. Even private chauffeurs refrained from work. Not
a bullock cart, not a taxi, not a hackney carriage, not a refuse
cart. The streets lay unscavenged. Not a native shop was open.
The bazaar was silent and deserted. When night came the
streets were unlighted, unt i l some sahibs went round carrying
ladders, to light a few lamps. The men in the employ of the
gas company were on strike and many streets were without
light altogether. It was the completest hartal imaginable. It
surpassed the expectations even of those who had worked so
hard for its achievement.' (p. 209.)
Because Europeans and l oyal I ndians coul d not tolerate
another such hartal any more than the Government , they
organized themselves i nt o a band of c i vi l guards. Clashes
wi t h the followers of Gandhi were inevitable. Serious
riots occurred, f ol l owed by i mpri sonment on a large scale.
I NDI AN POLITICS AND ANGLO-INDIAN NOVELS 213
'The jails were filled, but room was found for still more.
Thousands were taken into custody and still further thousands
offered themselves as volunteers. It was a bitter struggle.'
(p. 211.)
Mo t i h a r i , the hero of the book, gets i nvol ved i n the ri ot s
l i ke other students, and takes del i ght in the insults offered
t o Europeans. Wh e n his pat r on H. G. T hought s i s felled
to the earth wi t h a heavy stick, he suddenly recalls the
past kindnesses of the Amer i can. T hi s man had saved
his l i f e, had raced wi t h death for h i m, had gi ven h i m
a house i n Calcutta, and had helped h i m i n other ways.
Mo t i h a r i i s transformed. He bids farewell t o his com-
panions, even t o his l ove for N a l i n i , and i n spite of the
odds against h i m becomes a preacher of co- operation and
l oyal t y. Mot i har i ' s t ransformat i on is as i mprobabl e as
the l ove of a Hi n d u g i r l for the adopted son of a Moha m-
medan egg-seller.
L t . - C ol onel W. P. D r ur y' s novel , The Incendiaries', takes
f or its theme the f ol l y of wel l - meani ng Engl i shmen wh o
al l ow themselves to be expl oi t ed by clever I ndi an sedi-
t i oni st s. I n t hi s novel we have an i ncredi bl y f ool i sh
Member of Parliament and an i ncr edi bl y vul gar and
cowardl y official wh o i nvol ve themselves i n German
i nt ri gues t o end Br i t i s h rul e i n I ndi a. Col onel D r ur y' s
pi ct ure of A ngl o- I ndi a n officials does t hem l i t t l e credit.
T hei r arrogance and i nordi nat e pri de are realistically
painted. T he chi ef i nci dent of the story i s the projected
attack on a pi cni c part y by a mob of I ndi an conspirators.
T he book i s ent ert ai ni ng enough, but i t i s not l i kel y t o
please Angl o- I ndi ans.
Mr . H. K. Gor don' s f i r s t novel , Prem, was publ i shed
i n 1926. I t i s sponsored by Sir Mi chael O ' D wye r , wh o
has cont r i but ed a f or ewor d t o i t . T he book that Sir
Mi chael has lauded to the skies as 'a genuine book' about
t he I ndi a of to- day i s very l i t t l e more t han a bundl e of
prejudices and half- truths characteristic of the class of
Angl o- I ndi ans of wh o m Sir Mi chael hi msel f i s a l eadi ng
2 1 4 I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
representative. One quot at i on w i l l suffice t o gi ve the
reader an idea of Mr . Gor don' s pol i t i c a l vi ews.
' N o , most certainly the villager does not want the English-
man to go. He is a simple-minded soul, easily duped i nt o
riots and excesses, and sometimes stampeded t hough never
convinced, by specious arguments and appeals to his passions.
Yet in his heart of hearts he has not hi ng but contempt and
suspicion for the f r ot h of the cities f r om whi ch the politicians
are recruited, for none knows better than he the greed and
dishonesty of the lawyers, the corruption and sycophancy of
the native courts, the exaction of petty officials.' (p. 73.)
He does not t h i n k t hat I ndi ans c oul d gove r n themselves
and remarks t hat ' E ngl i s hmen were r u n n i n g , and t hat
onl y Engl i s hmen c oul d r u n , an admi ni st r at i ve machine
designed by themselves'. He holds t hat the uni versi t i es
are ' t u r n i n g out fresh batches of pot ent i al mal cont ent s'
every year. He condemns t he Reforms scheme concoct ed
bet ween themselves by t wo 'amateur const i t ut i on- monger s'
and regrets t he gr adual disappearance of the 'easy personal
cont act between r ul er and r ul e d' , t he f oundat i on of the
' most wonde r f ul E mp i r e - bu i l di n g experi ment t hat t he
w o r l d has ever seen'. Hi s characters are mere symbols
chosen t o i l l ust rat e a t heor y. I n P r em Na r a i n we have t he
honest, h a r d- wo r ki n g , l ong- sufferi ng agr i cul t ur i st wh o ,
by senseless extravagance, br i ngs hi ms el f i n t o the clutches
of t he vi l l age bania. Badr i Pershad represents an exact i ng
l a ndl or d whose one desire i s t o dispossess Pr em N a r a i n
of his l and, by fai r means or f o u l . He i s contrasted w i t h
T hakar Ha r pa l Si ngh, t he ol d- fashi oned bu t generous
l a ndl or d, l oya l t o t he backbone, wh o i s hor r i f i ed at t he
idea of t he E n g l i s h handi ng over t he 'reins of G o v e r n -
ment t o a l o t of chat t er i ng l awyer s' . I n Ma nga l Ram,
' t he fai l ed B. A . ' , we have a caricature of t he educated
I n di a n , ' a h ybr i d pr oduc t of west ern educat i on' , wh o
c oul d speak and wr i t e E n g l i s h i n t he i di o m of t he babu,
wh o had ' a p r o f o u n d cont empt f or those of his f e l l ow-
count r ymen f or w h o m t hei r count r y' s ways were g o o d
I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS 215
enough' , but wh o had not acquired ' the faintest under-
standing of E ngl i s h cul t ure and E ngl i s h ideals' . I n
Gr aham we have the t ypi cal D i s t r i ct Magistrate, the
mai-bap of the poor , down- t r odden agri cul t uri st s, wh o ,
t hough ' shor n of much of his aut hor i t y, i s s t i l l l ooked
up t o i n his di st ri ct as the l ocal embodi ment of the mi ght
of the si rkar' . Runni ng between the story i s the l ove of
P rem Nar ai n for Parbat t i , the beautiful wi f e of Mangal
Ram. I n maki ng Parbatti declare her l ove for Prem
Nar ai n, Mr . G or don gives us a pi ct ure of I ndi an woman-
hood t hat i s not impossible, but hi ghl y i mprobabl e. No
Hi n d u wi f e makes l ove i n the manner of Parbatti. T he
par t i ng scene, however, is t ouchi ng.
' The woman gained her piteous victorythe woman and
the Brahmin. She was not Prem's: she never could be Prem's.
That r i gi d, white-clad figure in its corpse-like sheetings was
no more his than if in fact she was already shrouded for the
final journey to the burning ghat.' (p. 319.)
Mr . Gor don' s next novel , The Shadow of Abdul (1928),
is a di st i nct i mpr ovement upon Prem. I t s pl ot is simple
l i ke that of Prem, and i t i s better constructed and more
human. I n this novel the artist has overcome the propa-
gandist. I f we can admi t t hat an O xf or d graduate, a
Member of the Legi sl at i ve Assembly and the foster
brot her of the Raja of Dhar amkot , t ur ni ng a r evol u-
t i onary, coul d adopt dacoity as his profession, the pl ot
may be said t o r u n on smoot hl y and naturally. T he
i nhuman outrage of A b d u l , the masalchi, on Sylvia at
the tender age of t wel ve, colours al l her l i f e, and accounts
f or her extraordinary hatred of al l I ndians. He r openly
i nsul t i ng and ungrat eful treatment of Joshi seems i nexpl i -
cable but f or the t wi s t t hat her character underwent i n
her earlier years. T he undisguised cont empt i n wh i c h
E ngl i s hwomen hol d I ndians onl y serves t o fan the fire of
race-hatred whi c h no Hu g h Fr ampt on can suppress.
Joshi suffers the extreme penalty of l aw as a pol i t i cal
dacoit. I n rest ori ng Sylvia t o her father and her l over , he
216 I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
generously repays the l i t t l e acts of kindness shown t o h i m
by Hu g h dur i ng his undergraduate days at O xf or d. I n
Joshi the aut hor seems to be maki ng an effort to overcome
his racial prejudices. I f he has not qui t e succeeded i n
doi ng so, it is because he is not a greater artist t han he is.
Sir George Delahey i s the usual type of Engl i shman wh o
keeps I ndi a safe f or E ngl and. He shows a Spartan or
Roman ideal of dut y i n suppressing al l feelings of l ove
f or his daughter, when they clash wi t h dut y. As examples
of the author' s descriptive power we may ment i on the
pol i t i cal dinner at Simla, the bal l gi ven by the Raja of
Dhar amkot at Mussouri e, ' the Subalterns' Paradise'a
bal l whi c h is i nt erpret ed as a cunni ng bl ow to Br i t i s h
prestige by a hypersensitive A ngl o- I ndi a.
57. Novels of the third period.
I n the novels of the t h i r d per i od of I ndi an nat i onal i sm
cover i ng onl y the last few years, the pr evai l i ng note is
one of sadness and regret as voi ced by Mr . E dwa r d
T homps on. There is occasionally an attempt to under-
stand t hi ngs f r om the I ndi an poi nt of vi ew. Besides Mr .
T homps on, t wo other novelists, Mr . E ndr i kar and Mr s .
B. Sheepshanks, indicate some change i n the out l ook.
I n Gamblers i n Happiness, Mr . Y. E ndr i kar i s nervous
because the ' agitators have succeeded in maki ng an impres-
si on on the agriculturists and t r adi ng classes'.
' Mi nd you, I do not say, we have no friends left; amongst
the older and more level-headed men there are many who
regard the present agitation wi t h profound alarm, if only
because of its disastrous effect on the younger generation
whi ch is beginning to lose the tradition of respect for its
elders. So far our I ndian subordinates, wi t h hardly an excep-
t i on, have remained staunch, but the strain on their loyalty
is severe.' (p. 93.)
He does not consider I ndi ans f i t f or self- government
because of the climate of I ndi a.
' My private opinion is that unless the Al mi ght y sees fit
I NDI AN POLITICS AND ANGLO-INDIAN NOVELS 217
t o change the climate of I ndia, I ndia w i l l never make good
alone.' (p. 136.)
T he changed out l ook of Engl i shmen i s also show n by the
f o l l o w i ng sympathetic observat i on.
'We Englishmen have not the imagination to put ourselves
in the place of an I ndian, I mean an educated I ndian. How
should w e like it if a foreign race imposed themselves upon
us, kept all the important posts and "pl ums" in their ow n
hands and t ol d us w e w ere not fit to govern ourselves ?' (p. I 35.)
Mr s . Beatrice Sheepshanks's The Sword and the Spirit is
an i nt erest i ng addi t i on t o the large number of A ngl o -
I ndi an pol i t i cal novels. Mr s . A nne S t i rl i ng, w ho became
a w i d o w short l y after her arri val i n I ndi a, surprised
everybody by goi ng t o ' a dreadful place' called A nd har i , '
l eavi ng the delights of Calcutta. Her l ove f or A cl and,
an unhappi l y marri ed educationist, the activities of I ndi an
revol ut i onari es i n I ndi a, and the usual glimpses of A ngl o -
I ndi an l i fe f o r m t he substance of this novel . G o p i N at h
Bannerj i , one of the Servants of the People, a cul t ured
I ndi an of refined manners, w ho becomes a revol ut i onary,
is sympathetically draw n. Many a Gandhi an phrase is
put i nt o his mout h. For example, he says t o Mr s . S t i rl i ng,
' " N o enemy to you, Mrs. Stirling. I seek only freedom for
ourselves. Freedom to rule badly if need be. Freedom to
make mistakes. The rule of the w est is for evi l and not for
good. Hatred has filled my heart tow ards this evil. I seek so
far as w i t hi n me lies, to destroy i t . But if any time it is w i t hi n
my pow er to do you service, it shall be done. "' (p. 81.)
A cl and i s i nf ormed about the revol ut i onary activities of
G o p i N at h and he w arns t he Superintendent of Pol i ce,
but Mr . Payne considers i t humi l i at i ng t o be w arned by
a member of the educational service, and snubs hi m.
Moreover, he does not w ant t o encourage disaffection by
means of prosecutions. T he result i s a ri ot . T he treasury
is l oot ed, banks are set on fire, and w hi t e men battered
t o death, f ol l ow ed by Mart i al L aw and f i ri ng at a meet i ng
218 I N D I A N POLI TI CS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
i n the Mango P ar k: i n short, the whol e tragedy of Amr i t sar
is repeated. T hat is how G opi N at h Bannerji learns the
difference between the swor d and soul force as weapons
f or gai ni ng pol i t i cal freedom. He says t o Mr s . S t i r l i ng:
' "The dead have taught me, that to fight the West wi t h the
West's own weapons is both wrong and foolish. . . . N ow I
have learnt that by the sword, no man be he of the East or of
the Westcan truly conquer.' ' ' (p. 298.)
T he story has been wor ked up in a not t oo clear, mystical
vei n, t hough it is apparent f r om the begi nni ng that Acl and
and Mr s. S t i r l i ng wi l l marry. T he one beautiful passage
in the book is at the end when Mr s. S t i r l i ng is movi ng
out of A ndha r i :
' The train roared onwards, yet beyond its sound and fury,
there lay on either side the peace of dawn. For mile upon
mile there was little to see but l ow scrub and cactus; an
occasional palm; a heron motionless by a pool of stagnant
water. Through a sleeping village they flashed. Here was a
group of mud huts and a wel l ; here was a temple, and a
banyan tree. Upon the outskirts of the village, through a veil
of mist, she saw the dark figure of a man driving his cattle to
the fields. A nd through the haze of whiteness she saw another
man, his face turned towards Mecca. A nd he was upon his
knees.' (p. 319.)
Mr . Hami sh Bl ai r i n ' 1957' looks f or war d t o the cen-
tenary of the I ndi an Mut i ny, when the Br i t i sh aut hori t y
in I ndi a woul d be reduced to a shadow, and the life and
propert y of E ngl i sh people woul d not be safe. There
wo u l d arise a Hardy of the Vol unt eer Corps who, l i ke
the free-lances of the eighteenth century, woul d save the
E ngl i sh and restore their lost prestige. A number of
I ndians are i nt roduced as rebels, who almost exterminate
the c i vi l and mi l i t ar y popul at i on of D el hi . Af t er con-
ver t i ng a princess of a friendly Mohammedan State to
Christianity, the hero is marri ed to her and appointed
Gover nor of Bengal. Mr . Bl ai r dislikes D el hi as the
I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS 219
capital of I ndi a and makes the Gover nment r et ur n t o
Calcutta.
' I n my opinion Del hi stands condemned as the capital of
India. It stands condemned as a capital at all. Del hi is not
a capital; it is a battleground, a graveyard. . . . It is a centre
of r ui n and desolation, not a city whi ch should be rebuilt as
the capital of the British Empire in India. '
' British power rests upon the sea, and that is why the
founders of the Empire established their capital at Calcutta,
one of the great ports of the wor l d, ensconced in the upper
reaches of a river which no stranger can navigate wi t h safety.'
(p. 329.)
1
Mr s . Theodore Pennell (Miss A. Sorabji by bi r t h) i n
Doorways of the East (1931) traces the i nt eract i on of East
and West i n the life-story of Ram Di t t a and his wi f e,
Kamal a. Mr s . Pennell opens her story i n the Punjab wi t h
a t r i but e t o her husband, and gives a pen-port rai t of Mr .
Pennell, the great Bannu doct or, t al l , l i t he and blue-eyed,
wh o ' l ooked l i ke a young god' i n his Pathan costume.
Ram Di t t a i s i gnor ed after his marriage, and the rest of
the book i s devot ed t o the experiences of Kamal a i n
I ndi a and Engl and. Kamal a begins t o believe i n free l ove,
and l i ke the I ndi an conjurer' s mango tree, al l of a sudden
blossoms i nt o a r abi d preacher of khaddar and Swaraj,
and a believer i n the cul t of the bomb. She i s ki l l ed by
the bomb whi c h was meant for the Gover nor at a Un i -
versi t y Convocat i on. The pl ot and characterization of
this story are much poorer t han those of Mr s . Pennell's
previous novel , The Children of the Border. In her c r i t i -
ci sm of the demand f or Swaraj she is very bi t t er, mor e
1
I t is ihtercsting to note that Sir G. O. Trevelyan, writing in 1864,
thought that Calcutta was quite unsuitable as the capital of I ndia. Hi s
reasons are that Calcutta is not sanitary, that its climate is pestilential, that
it is not central, that at Calcutta the supreme Government cannot be
impartial, that I ndia is to a certain extent misgoverned from this cause and
Bengal over-governed, and that Calcutta is no Rome and has no heart-
breaking associations which gather round a chief city. Sir George Trevelyan
did not favour Del hi either as the capital of I ndia. He suggested Jubbul-
pore. (Competition Wallah, chap. vii.)
220 I N D I A N POLITICS A N D A N G L O - I N D I A N NOVELS
bi t t er t han any Angl o- I ndi an wr i t er . Her chapter on
Khaddar reads l i ke a pol i t i cal essay. Ram Di t t a, who
calls his ancestors ' i di ot i c' , is her ideal hero, as Kamal a
is her bete noir. Kamala has no balance, and is entirely
swayed by vani t y. Mr s . Pennell intends to show that a
g i r l havi ng no background of r el i gi on and f ami l y t r ai ni ng
must end badly. Bu t even in f iction Kamala' s fate seems
to be t oo cruel. The f ol l owi ng passage summarizes Mr s .
Pennell's vi ew of the rel at i on between I ndi a and Engl and,
whi c h is remarkable f or its or i gi nal i t y:
'It is, to my mind, absurd to talk of friendship or enmity
between England and India, as we do. An autocratic man
looks upon his wife as his possession but she is his wife, even
if she has no glory but that which is a reflection of his own.
And if she has a fortune, she is all the more prized by hi m.
Wel l , India is the wife wi t h a fortune. . . .' (p. 133.)
Mr . S. Woods Hi l l ' s book Mahatma has a pol i t i cal pu r-
pose: t o show that the story of I ndi a i s the story of
cor r u pt i on, racial animosities and utter selfishness of the
communities that make up Hi ndust an. Pincham suffers
because he is honest in the mi dst of unashamed, rampant
dishonesty. Ganekhar (later on hailed as Mahatma) thus
expresses the t r u t h about I ndi a t o Pi ncham:
' " You are at the centre of four warring forces. They are
tearing India apart, the India which is false to itself, is tainted
wi t h unscrupulous commercialism and selfish opportunism.
The worst of East and West is fused in Modern India. . . . "'
(p. 218.)
The book i s of l i t t l e use.
E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON 233
i nf er i or to A Passage to India. ' Mr . Forster' s i magi nat i on' ,
as Mr . Ed wi n Mu i r points out in The Nation and Athe-
naem, 'rose wi t h the act i on, Mr . Thompson' s surrenders
before i t . '
1
But his knowl edge of I ndi a i s equally i nt i mat e
and his sympathy equally human and sensitive.
Hi s hero, Vi ncent Hamar, is a young Engl i sh magistrate,
wh o i s not enamoured of Indians. But havi ng decided
a pol i t i cal case in favour of the I ndi an accused, he is
regarded by his count rymen in I ndi a as pro-native, whi c h
is interpreted to mean ' ant i -Engl i sh, seditious, a publ i c
danger, a t rai t or, a socialist, a communi st , an atheist,
a bolshevist' . Angl o- I ndi a is scandalized and Hamar is
transferred t o Vi shnugr am, ' an unt i dy mofussil t o wn ,
wi t h a popul at i on bur st i ng t hr ough its sleeves of streets
and tenements'.
' I t was a place of half-baked babus, cringing, insolent,
seditious, wholly unprimitive except in their personal habits
and sanitation; and a European station that chattered and
quarrelled, quarrelled and chattered.' (p. 8.)
He i s treated wi t h suspicion by the small gr oup of
Engl i sh residents at Vi shnugr am whi l e the Indians pre-
sent addresses of welcome t o h i m, gratefully al l udi ng t o
his i mpar t i al i t y as a judge. There he meets Hi l da Manner-
i ng, an independent, spi ri t ed g i r l who prefers solitude,
' Indi a' s greatest gi f t ' , t o the compul sory sociability of
the Uni t ed Engl i sh Nat i on.
2
She i s f ond of lonely rides
t o the romant i c ruins of Vi shnugr am and appears t o be
the ' Spi r i t of Freedom l ooki ng on a wo r l d i n servi t ude' .
Vi ncent Hamar falls i n l ove wi t h her. Hi s l ove i s not
immediately ret urned, but Hi l da yields i n the end, out of
admi rat i on for his devot i on t o dut y and his scrupulous
justice that make h i m appear pro-nat i ve and ant i - I ndi an
by t urns.
Wi t h this unexci t i ng pl ot , Mr . Thomps on draws some
very fi ne characters, bot h Engl i sh and I ndi an. He has
1
July 1927.
2
An Indian Day, p. 116.
234 E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON
also gi ven us some of the most beautiful and poetical
descriptions of the I ndi an dawn and midday, and I ndi an
life and scenery. Mr . Thompson clearly shows how racial
prejudices affect our opi ni on of the same man. Hamar,
the just Engl i shman of the Lambert garh case, who was
acclaimed by Indians as ' the one pure spi ri t in a naughty
service' , was called by the same Indians an unscrupulous
perverter of the law because of his judgement i n the
Vi shnugr am Conspiracy case. Hamar sympathized wi t h
the Chatterjee brothers and felt that they were doi ng
what Bruce, Wi l l i a m Tel l , and Washi ngt on had done wi t h
the f ul l applause of later ages. But what coul d he do?
As a judge, he ' had to do his j ob' .
Mr . Thompson has great admi rat i on for the type of
man l i ke Hamar who 'gets on wi t h the j ob' irrespective
of what others say about hi m. He has known just magis-
trates l i ke Hamar who were misunderstood bot h by t hei r
count rymen and by Indians.
The scene i n the record r oom o f Hamar' s court is f ul l
of gentle touches, showi ng Mr . Thompson' s f i r st - hand
knowl edge of I ndi an subordinates. The Ol d Seristadar,
Ab d u l Jabber Khan, a Mussulman wi t h a vast, snowy
beard, showed h i m the court records, ' wi t h the maxi mum
of courtesy and the mi ni mum of i nf or mat i on' . Hamar i s
stung by a hornet and loses his temper. The ol d man
l ooks upon h i m rebuki ngl y, and Hamar apologizes t o
hi m, but he wanted t o give a wi ggi ng t o this ' whi t e-
bearded father of slackness'. He is surprised and ashamed
because he does not understand what he t hought was
a Bengali wor d, but whi ch turns out t o be Engl i sh.
Besides Hamar, Mr . Thompson' s sympathies are for
Fi ndl ay, the selfless missionary of Kanthala, a ki ndl y,
lonely man t r yi ng t o do good wo r k under most depressing
circumstances. Findlay' s heart is heavy wi t h despair, as
he knows that he has failed as a missionary. Hi s i nt i macy
wi t h Hi ndus has made h i m ' hal f a vedantist' . Hamar likes
Fi ndl ay. He is one of those rare men who remain always
E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON 235
companionable, even t hough they say l i t t l e. Findlay in
his unselfishness and enthusiasm is unconscious of the
misery of his wi fe and delicate daughter. It i s t oo late
when the realization comes t o h i m that the I ndi a he had
served was a 'false dei t y' , a demon, for wh o m he had
flung away his jewel. He is a beaten man, wi t h everyt hi ng
gone except the i ndomi t abl e w i l l that continued t o serve.
'Life's radiancy, life's peace and hope, had vanished, his
skies and his earth were voi d of God. Onlyeven though
God had forsaken hi m, still he was resolved to serve Hi m
well, them, if not Hi m, his fellows. By this religion he woul d
cling to the last. It might be that the light woul d return. If
not, no matter. He woul d get his job done, for this is the
religion of the English.' (p. 287.)
As a contrast t o Hamar and Fi ndl ay Mr . Thompson gives
us t wo sympathetically dr awn portraits of Neogyi , the
Di st r i ct Magistrate, and Jayananda, the Sanyasi.
Jayananda Sadhu, once an I. C. S. , who had resigned
under a cl oud and had been an active pol i t i ci an dur i ng
the tempestuous days of ant i -Part i t i on agi t at i on, appears
to be a modi fi ed port rai t of Ar abi ndo Ghose. The Sadhu
i s proficient i n Yoga. Mr . Thompson considers his retire-
ment as something i nhuman ' when men and women are
dyi ng by the mi l l i on' . Jayananda i nt ent on saving hi m-
self cannot save others, and is different f r om those men
who ' do their j ob' . The gospel of such men, according
to Mr . Thompson, is a ' hi dden gospel f r om the Gentiles
who never dream that there is any j ob for t hem to do' .
The Sadhu tells Al den that the one t hi ng Engl i shmen
lack is ' the grace of the Lo r d Jesus Chri st ' .
' " And unt i l you can show us your peace, we wi l l not believe
in your victory. It is not energy that proves holiness. A child
or mad dog can rush round and round. " ' (p. 272.)
In this cri t i ci sm of West ern restlessness t hr ough Jaya
nanda, Mr . Thompson offers a cri t i ci sm of Chri st i ani t y
and an explanation of its failure i n Indi a. Hi s ideal,
however, is not Jayananda but Findlay, and he hopes
236 E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON
that they also wi l l be saved who ' do their j ob' and sacri-
fice themselves in so doi ng.
If Al den i s a cri t i c of Hi ndui s m and Indians, Jayananda
is a cri t i c of Christianity and the Engl i sh. He tells Al den
that what vexes the Indians most in the Engl i shman is
' "Your nobly moral airs. The way you have persuaded your-
self that the Empire is just a magnificent philanthropic insti-
tution, disinterestedly run for the sake of an ungrateful wor l d.
That's where your brag comes i n. You don' t brag about your
poetryor your men of scienceor your martyrsor any
of the things that really exist." ' (p. 278.)
In the sketch of Kamalakanta Neogyi , the magistrate
and collector of Vi shnugr am, Mr . Thompson gives a
sympathetic picture of an I ndi an who, l i ke Hamar, was
doi ng his j ob. Neogyi , according t o Mr . Thompson, i s
an anachronism i n the Indi a of to-day. He was an I ndi an
who was serving the Br i t i sh Raj, and serving i t i n the
spi ri t of a generation that had vanished for ever; it was
the ghost of an ol d sentiment that functioned t hr ough
hi m. He longs to have been bor n a Roumanian or a
Bulgar, or anyone except an I ndi an.
' "We get the worst of both wor l ds, "' he says bitterly, to
Hamar, ' "our own and that one of yours in which we serve."'
(p. 221.)
I n Neogyi and the Commissioner Deogharia, Mr .
Thompson exemplifies the difficulties and drawbacks of
Indi ani zat i on of the higher services. Neogyi complains
that he has to administer the affairs of a mi l l i on people
i n the poorest and most i gnorant di st ri ct i n Bengal.
' " My God! what a j o b ! " ' said Neogyi. ' " My own people call
me* a traitor and work against me. And you Englishmen
sneer and are jealous, and laugh at me! " And his voice rose
almost to a shout"for Commissioner you set over me the
damnedest, vilest, oiliest, basest rascal that even India under
British rule ever produced." ' (p. 146.)
1
1
The only other novelist who discusses the question of the participa-
tion of Indians in the administration of their country is Mrs. Penny. The
E . M. FOfRSTER A N D E D WA R D T HOMP S ON 237
Neogyi understands his Engl i sh colleagues and is l i ked
by t hemwhat a contrast to the times when Ki p l i n g
wr ot e The Head of a District! He has one weakness, the
l ove of maki ng l ong speeches. But , otherwise, he does
not talk much, and has di gni t y, sense of dut y, and effi-
ciency. If he has ' an i nferi ori t y complex' , he keeps it
under cont r ol .
'Nevertheless, the ties that bound him to the alien empire
that he served were looser and more flexible than those which
had bound his father.' (p. 35.)
Deogharia, the Commissioner and the official chief of
Neogyi and Hamar, is a sketch of a bad officer, and a satire
on Indi ani zat i on. Hamar thinks that i t i s the dut y of the
Engl i sh i n I ndi a t o protect Indians f r om bloodsuckers of
their own race, such as Deogharia, and refuses to shake
hands wi t h hi m.
Mr . Thompson' s book i s f ul l of acute and shrewd
observations on Indians and Angl o- I ndi an life. No one
escapes his keen satire. Li ke his own Al den, he is an
enthusiast ' where the people of the land were concerned' .
He possesses Alden' s ' irresponsible cheerfulness'. Hi s
comment on the pride and exclusiveness of the ci vi l i an
is trenchant. He speaks of the ' herd ethos' that rules that
har dwor ki ng and conscientious class, the I.C.S., and
knows that a rapprochement between the covenanted ruler
of mi l l i ons and a non-official in a small mofussil station is
l i ke the companionship of a ' t i ger and sambur and pi g on
diehard poi nt of vi ew is expressed by Bri an Fairoake in One of the Best.
He cannot believe that Indians can be as good as the Engl i sh. Lady
Weybr i dge regards the experiment of admi t t i ng Indians i n place of
Engl i shmen as ri sky. She regrets ' t o see the posts whi ch our sons shoul d
fill, occupied by men whose standard o f morals is founded on a different
t r adi t i on f r om that whi ch is the backbone of the Englishman' s code' .
Harlesden, the Pol i t i cal Agent at Shivapet, in The Rajah, and an ' advanced
pol i t i ci an' , is inclined to believe in the theory that ' I ndi a shoul d be f or
Indi ans; not for the baboos of I ndi a, but for the native princes wh o had
been dispossessed in the past. The claims of the moder n Brahman he
held in contempt'.
238 E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON
some lessening stretch of si l t ' dur i ng the floods. There
' the forest l or d' is tolerant, and even courteous.
' Even so, in a small mofussil t own, the I.C.S. man is glad
to tennis and dine and shoot wi t h missionary or education-
ist or policeman or coolie-catcher. But his preference is for
flocks of his own ki nd; and when these are at hand, self-respect-
i ng outside acquaintances leave him to them.' (pp. 175-6.)
He is ful l y conscious of the touchiness of Indians, as of
the bad temper of the Engl i shman in the East. Al den is
made to quote a Bengali student who regarded a simple
statement that the Ganges was a somewhat muddy stream
as an ' i nsul t at i on to our mother' .
Hi s criticism of the Bri t i sh attitude towards Ameri can
tourists who, l i ke Miss Mayo, race t hr ough I ndi a and
wr i t e books on their experience, is outspoken. Mr .
Thompson does not mince matters :
' And Hilda thought, Britain is restive about this Empire
of hers, she does not care what her own people think, but she
is anxious to conciliateif necessary, to deceivethese spies
who come from outside, especially if they come from that
annoying, powerful, wealthy America that is so highly moral
and meddling. So instinctively, as well as from deliberate
policy, the administration had gone out of its way and fed this
woman wi t h flattery as a prize cat is fed wi t h cream. She was
now purring and happy; she was going back to America,
she t ol d Hilda, to tell her people that "these natives" were
"vurry unreasonable" and there was "more real democracy"
in the British Government of India than she had ever
believed.' (p. 214.)
Mr . Thompson' s book i s f ul l of such observations on
men and manners. Hi s power of construction, even that
of characterization, may appear to be laboured, but the
charm of An Indian Day lies in the reaction of a cultured
and artistic mi nd t o I ndi a at a t i me of pol i t i cal and i nt el -
lectual ferment.
The scene and some of the characters of the story of
Mr . Thompson' s next book A Farewell to India (1931) are
E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON 239
the same as of An Indian Day. The pl ot interest is slighter,
and the excursions i nt o I ndi an pol i t i cs somewhat t i r e-
some. But as a record of the di si l l usi onment of a mi ssi on-
ary (part l y autobiographical) wh o had devot ed t went y
years of his l i fe t o the service of I ndi a, endeavouri ng t o
br i ng about a better understanding between Engl and and
I ndi a, of his sor r ow at his failure and bitterness at the
pervert ed scheme of t hi ngs, A Farewell to India is a ver y
human book. Robi n Al den i s the pr i nci pal character i n
the story. He has to face the consequences of pol i t i cal
strikes and hartals among the students of his college at
Vi s hnugr am i n the absence of Dougl as on leave, dur i ng
the days of ' an i mperi ous and reckless Nat i onal i sm, j er k-
i n g his students back and f or t h l i ke puppets' , and i s
t hor oughl y disgusted bot h wi t h the Indians and the
Engl i s h. Mr . Thomps on criticizes this phase of I ndi an
nat i onal i sm. Al de n i s his mouthpiece. Di nabandhu Tar -
kachuramani is a Bengal nationalist leader wh o l ooks on
non-violence as a pri vat e fad of Gandhi . He tolerates
Gandhi because he i s ' useful wi t h the wo r l d outside' ,
especially wi t h Amer i ca. Al de n regards Gandhi ' s non-
violence as ' just part of the whol e f ool er y' and t hi nks t hat
Gandhi i s ' l i v i n g by i nst i nct and passion and not by
reason any l onger' .
I
Jayananda Sadhu does not t hi nk t hat
there w i l l be peace as l ong as ' the non- vi ol ent humbug
talks t o the look-what-we-have-done-for-India humbug' .
Peace can onl y come ' when the unbr aggi ng I ndi a comes
face t o face wi t h the unbr aggi ng Engl and' . Hi s pen-port rai t
of Gandhi , ' a man wh o had ceased t o be one of us, and
had become an elemental bei ng, a gust bl owi ng up f r om
the earth, a passion enclosed (and barely enclosed) in a
wi zened, wor n- out body' , is s t r i ki ng. He does not care
f or Gandhi ' s economics wh i c h he considers ' t went y years
or mor e out of date' , or f or his hi st ory ' grotesquely at
variance wi t h act ual i t y' , but i n Gandhi he sees a man i n
wh o m 'centuries of pover t y, and expl oi t at i on had f ound
1
p. 141.
240 E. M. FORSTER AND EDWARD THOMPSON
a voi ce' , a human reed t hr ough wh o m ' suffering was
speakingnot its ownbut a nat i on' s' .
' The Spirit of God' , so mused Al den when he heard Gandhi
speak (and 'trembled as a skilled oarsman might when he
first hears Niagara') 'has used this man, and has nearly done
wi t h hi m. He cannot last much longer. No human body
could be the lamp of such a flame and persist. He has done
his wor k and wi l l be going. I can see a score of places where
he has been wrong, and often woefully wrong. But I wish
my people could have been his friends. I know he's wr ong,
yet I daren't say he's wr ong. ' (p. 145.)
Al de n, wh o is considered by Indians as a sort of a geni al
madman wh o knows t oo much about t hem, i s saved
f r o m actual madness by his sense of humour , his l ove
f or , and wanderings i n , the jungles, and the l o v i n g care of
his wi f e and sister-in-law. To o conscious of his failure,
f i ndi ng hi msel f the ' loneliest man i n al l I ndi a' , battered i n
heal t h and shaken i n soul , he bids farewell t o I ndi a wh i c h
had dr awn h i m i n al l ' the eager hopefulness of his f i r st
manhood' and wh i c h was becomi ng now 'featureless and
voiceless' .
As a psychol ogi cal study of an i ndi vi dual , Robi n Al de n,
A Farewell to India is a book of out st andi ng mer i t . The
descri pt i on of the mela of Lekteswar shows t hat Mr .
Thomps on coul d have wr i t t e n a novel of real I ndi a had he
not , l i ke his o wn Al de n, taken I ndi an pol i t i cs ' t oo seriously' .
Th o u g h a Chri st i an he i s impressed by the devot i on of t he
wome n pr ayi ng i n the sanctuary of the ' Great Go d ' .
' I t was not these ignorant women of the poorest and most
backward district in Bengal who were praying. It was the
procession of womankind through the ages. . . . Watching
the tense, excited faces, John and Robin saw the l ook that
was once on St. Theresa's and St. Joan's faces. It was l i t t l e
that was asked of the Di vi ne, and they were wi l l i ng to pay
all they had for itthey asked only fulfilment through pain
and drudgery, and for another life to be the crown and f ul f i l -
ment of their own. ' (p. 254.)
CHAPTER X
I N D I A N H I S T O R Y I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N
A
VERY large amount of Angl o- I nd i an fi c t i on consists
of books i l l ust rat i ng some phase of the hi st ory of
I ndi a, past or present. Most of these books have one
characteristic i n c ommon; i f they are good hi st ory, they
are bad novels, and i f they are good novels they are bad
hi story. Most of t hem i mi tate Scott or Bul wer L yt t on,
and have no hi gher ai m than that of reproduc i ng pi c -
turesque scenes or sensational i nc i dents. I n character-
dr awi ng, bot h hi stori c al and i magi nati ve, they are poor.
60. Buddhist period.
The story of Buddha and Buddhi sm has attracted
several wri t ers. Paul Carus i n his story of Buddhi st
theology, called Amitabha (1906), contrasts Buddhi sm
wi t h Brahmani sm. The Pilgrim Kamanita: A Legendary
Romance (1911), by Ka r l A d o l f Gjellerup, translated by
J. E. L ogi e, i s a story of the 'last days of the Buddha and
gives a movi ng desc ri pti on of his death' .
1
The latest
wr i t er to be attracted by the c harm of the Buddha and
his teachings i s Mr s . L. Adams Bec k. Her Splendour of
Asia, l i ke Sir E d wi n Ar nol d ' s Light of Asia, is a t ri but e to
one of the greatest teachers of the wor l d . Paul Mor and ,
in The Living Buddha, imagines the Buddha as l i vi ng in the
modern atmosphere of Paris and N e w Y or k, and attempts
t o show how he woul d react t o hi s new surroundi ngs.
I t i s remarkable that these great romances should have
been wr i t t en by men of nati onali ti es other than Engl i sh.
The 'pale pur i t y' of the founder of Buddhi sm and hi s
doctrines of N i r vana do not seem to appeal to the large
mass of patrons of Engl i sh fi c t i on.
1
Baker, Guide.
R
242 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I CT I ON
61. Hindu period.
T he H i n d u peri od of I ndi an hi st ory, as also the Pathan
peri od, has been left almost untouched by story- tellers.
I t was onl y i n 1930 that Mr . Panchapakesa Ayyar, of
the I ndi an C i vi l Service, published his historical romance
of Anci ent lndia, Baladitya. T he novel treats of the
overt hrow of Kanishka' s Empi re by the Huns, who
succumbed t o the influence of H i ndu culture and
ci vi l i zat i on and became the progenitors of the Rajputs.
Mr . Ayyar has t ri ed to picture a distant past. Hi s descrip-
tions are occasionally v i v i d , and show considerable reading
and industry. T he characters, however, are puppets, and
gi ven to preaching. T he book has a definite purpose:
to pay homage to long- forgotten heroes l i ke Baladitya
and Yasodharman, and to prepare I ndians against the
' next horde of barbarians who may invade I ndi a i n the
future' . Sir H u g h Clifford in The Downfall of the Gods
(1911) describes the over t hr ow of the Khmer Empi r e of
Cambodia in the t hi rt eent h century, but his book is
Eastern, not I ndi an. T he Pathan peri od st i l l awaits its
novelist.
62. Moghul period.
I t i s t o the Mo g h u l peri od and t o the subsequent hi st ory
of the Engl i sh conquest of I ndi a that the maj ori t y of the
historical novels relate. T he splendour of the Mo g h u l
empire, its romance, and its gl amour have been repro-
duced i n several novels orepute. Mr s . F l ora A nni e Steel
in king-Errant (1912), A Prince of Dreamers (1908), mis-
tress of Men and The Builder (1928), deals wi t h the reigns
of the four great Moghul Emperors of I ndi a. What
Mr s . Steel says in her preface to King-Errant is true of al l
these novel s: ' T hi s is not a novel , neither is it hi st ory. '
These novels are romanticized biographies. I n King-Errant,
Mr s . Steel describes the life of Babar, ' the first of the
dynasty whi ch we misname the Great Moghul s' . She has
t r i ed her best to present
I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION 245
' wi t hout flaw, the lovable, versatile, volatile soul whi ch wrote
down its virtues and its vices, its successes and its failures,
wi t h equally unsparing t rut h, and equally invariable sense of
honour and humour.' (Preface.)
She has onl y added the i nci dent of the crystal b o wl , and
the details of Babar's subsequent marriage to Maham.
Mr s . Steel styles herself a most ardent admirer of Babar
' who had wo n hal f H i ndust an' , not so much by the s wor d
as by statesmanship.
1
A Prince of Dreamers is in the same
manner an exhaustive study of A kba r and his dreams of
the regeneration of the wo r l d , and of creating a uni t ed,
happy, prosperous I ndi a. Mr s . Steel succeeds remarkabl y
i n por t r ayi ng the vari ed l i fe of the per i od i n a realistic
manner and i n analysing the myst i c side of A kbar ' s wo r k
and ideals. Mistress of Men presents Jahangir, ' the corn-
pleat l over ' , a mo v i n g human story founded on hi st ori cal
facts. The Builder, a story of Shahjahan the Magni fi cent ,
completes the record of f our of the great emperors of
I ndi a. Mr s . Steel uses hi st or y as a backgr ound, as a
gorgeous stage, i n The Builder. T he central i nci dent of
the story i s t he great l ove wh i c h i s embodi ed i n the T aj .
She has reproduced the pi ct ure of the desolate soul of the
bereaved ki ng wi t h s ki l l and art i n the manner of Mr s .
L . Adams Beck. I t i s the humani t y of the great Mo g h u l
emperors t hat Mr s . Steel emphasizes in these romances.
T he biographies of these ki ngs are i n themselves romances,
and Mr s . Steel's mer i t lies in a sympathetic underst andi ng
of men and manners, i n the selection of salient events, and
the s ki l l and i magi nat i on wi t h wh i c h they have been
reproduced.
The Near and the Far (1929) by Mr . L. H. Myers is an
ext raordi nary book of the t i me of A kbar . T he aut hor
says i n his preface that i t i s not an hi st ori cal novel , ' nor i s
i t an at t empt t o por t r ay specifically ori ent al modes of
l i v i n g and t hi nki ng' . He i s frank i n admi t t i ng t hat he has
done what he l i ked wi t h hi st or y and geography, and has
1
P. 294.
244 I N D I A N HI S T ORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
distorted or i gnor ed facts when they were inconvenient.
I n spite of this, The Near and the Far succeeds in repro-
duci ng the atmosphere of the t i me of A kbar i n an exquisite
manner, more successfully at any rate than the dry text-
books of history. Mr . Myers has caught the spi ri t of the
age, and t r i ed to lay bare the soul of the Great Emperor
who attempted to reconcile the conflict of creeds by
foundi ng a universal church. H i s ski l l in dr awi ng charac-
ter i s seen not onl y i n the delineation of A kbar , his t wo
sons, and Sheikh Mobarek, Akbar' s spiritual adviser, but
also i n the portraits of fictitious characters: the Budd-
hist Rajah A mar who i s weary of the wo r l d ; H ar i Kha n
(an impossible name), his brother- in- law, who is a f ol -
l ower of Omar Khayyam i n his lamentations over the
evanescent nature of human bliss; the charmi ng Sita, the
Rajah's Christian wi fe, and the disillusioned G okal whose
objects of l ongi ng and despair were ' the beauty of nature
i n its mindlessness, the beauty of instinct i n its t hought -
lessness, the beauty of yout h in its ignorance' .
1
G okal ,
l i ke all other characters, is gi ven to i nt rospect i on; after
an age- long search G okal reaches the f ol l owi ng con-
clusion :
' I t is better to laugh and weep like a child than to follow
the wisdom of the wisest.' (p. 74.)
I ncidents are ski l ful l y i nt ert wi ned wi t h characters; H a r i
Khan' s passionate l ove affair wi t h Princess L al i t a inciden-
t al l y introduces us to the strange sect of Vamacharis. T he
book is not complete in itself and the author promises
a sequel.
2
But as it is, it is one of the cleverest of I ndi an
historical novels, wr i t t en in an easy, chaste, and smooth-
1
P. 75.
2
I t s publ i cat i on is announced now, under the title Prince Jali. T he
essence of it is the drama in a boy' s mi nd, as he discovers the circumstances
of his wo r l d and reacts to them. Jali is a l i t t l e precocious. Gunevati' s
fate is gruesome. On the whol e, t hough it is more concentrated in feeling,
Prince Jali seems an advance on its predecessor. Mr . Myers is a novelist
whose interest in ideas does not i mpai r his interest in people. ( T hi s note
is based on The Times Literary Supplement).
I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I CT I ON 245
fl owi ng style. T he author i s successful i n pr ovi ng that
the t hought s, feelings and aspirations of the people i n the
t i me of A kbar are the t hought s, feelings and aspirations
of al l times, and what may seem so far and distant is, in
spite of the differences of envi ronment and t i me, after al l
very near.
Mr . Romesh Chandra D u t t in The Slave Girl of Agra
(1909) gives a pi ct ure of the dark palace intrigues of the
Mo g h u l per i od i n general, or of the dramas of human l ove
and hatred that were enacted t hen behi nd the scenes. I t is
a translation of his Bengali novel , ' Madhabi Kankan' .
T he book describes social l i fe i n the sixteenth century
and the begi nni ng of the seventeenth century. Mr . D u t t
wr ot e several other hi st ori cal novels of the Mo g h u l per i od
i n Bengali, not al l of whi c h have been translated i nt o
Engl i sh. Mr . R. Kr i shna i n his romance, Padmini (1903),
gathers romant i c facts i nt o a story rel at i ng to the defeat
of the Hi ndus at T al i kot a i n 1565, leading t o the di srup-
t i o n of the great empire of Vijayanagar. T he rise and fal l
of the great ci t y of Vijayanagar forms the subject of Ena
Fitzgerald' s novel Patcola: A Tale of a Dead City (1908).
Meadows T ayl or in A Noble Queen (1878) uses the romance
that surrounds the name of the Queen of Ahmednaggar,
wh o is respected as the preserver of Beejapur, and especially
f or the heroic resistance she offered to the Mo g h u l armies
of A kbar . Mr . L oui s Tracy, i n Heart's Delight (1907),
introduces us t o the court of Jehangir and t o Sir Thomas
Roe.
Seventeenth century', Aurangzeb and Shivaji.
O mi t t i n g Mr . Mi chael Macmi l l an' s j uveni l e book I n
Wild Mahratta Battle (1905), the onl y novel of i mport ance
i nt r oduci ng Shivaji i s Tara by Meadows T ayl or . T hi s
book describes the victories of the Mahrattas under
Shivaji over the armies of Beejapur. T he manners, customs,
and the t ur bul ent state of the l and in those days are f ai t h-
f ul l y reproduced. T he hi st ori cal por t i on f ol l ows the
63.
246 I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N
accepted accounts of the peri od. Ki n g A d i l Shah of
Beejapur, distracted by the threatened attacks of Emper or
A l amgi r on the one hand, and depredations of Shivaji on
the other (his o wn minister and Ko t wa l bei ng i n league
wi t h the enemy), is depicted as a brave, just, and merci ful
ki ng. A f z ul Khan, his general, is a brave, chivalrous, and
devoted kni ght . T he life of Shivaji i n his mount ai n fast-
nesses, his fondness for religious plays and Kuthas, his
wor shi p of the goddess Bhawani , his craftiness and his
courage, and especially the influence that his mot her exer-
cised on h i m, and how he l oved and respected her, are
described i n a number of chapters f ul l of v i v i d , dramatic
scenes. T he murder of A f z ul Kha n by Shivaji and the
r out of A f z ul Khan' s army are remarkable examples of
dramatization of hi st ory. Meadows T ayl or has not much
respect for Mahrattas. I n Shivaji himself, and i n Tannajee
Mool sray and Mo r o T r i mmu l he lays stress on the crafti-
ness and crookedness of Mahratta politics and character.
He draws a v i v i d por t r ai t of the great Mahratta leader
who was l ooked upon wi t h feelings of respect and l ove
mi ngl ed wi t h awe, even as an ' i ncarnat i on of di vi ni t y' ,
by his fol l owers.
'Seated as he was amidst a crowd of friends and attendants,
the Mahratta Rajah seemed, in the distance, almost contempt-
ible, from his small stature and plain insignificant appearance.
Dressed in ordinary white muslin, the only ornament he wore
was the "Ji ka" or jewel for the turban, which sparkled wi t h
valuable diamonds. A l i ght red shawl drawn over his shoulders
protected hi m from the somewhat chi l l wi nd, and before hi m
lay his terrible sword Bhawani, and the large black shield
of rhinoceros hide which he usually wore. A nearer view,
however, gave a different impression. Somewhat dark in
complexion, wi t h a prominent nose broad in the nostril;
large soft eyes, small determined mouth and chin; a t hi n
moustache curled up at the ends, and bushy black whiskers
shaved on a line wi t h his earformed a countenance at once
handsome and intelligent; while his slight figure, apparently
more active than strong, evinced by its little movement even
I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION 247
while sitting, a power of endurance which was confirmed by
the expression of his face.' (p. 409.)
64. East India Company.
Miss H i l da G r egg or, as she is known better, 'Sydney
C. G r i er ' , a wr i t er who has romanticized the hi st ory of
Br i t i sh I ndi a in a series of historical novels, gives us a
glimpse of the life in Engl i sh settlements on the west coast
i n the latter hal f of the seventeenth century or dur i ng the
rei gn of Aurangzeb in I n Furthest Ind: the Narrative of
Mr. Edward Carlyon of the H.E.I.C.'s Service (1899). She
describes the life of Engl i shmen at Surat and then takes
the reader t o Goa t o show hi m the I nqui si t i on at wor k,
auto-da-fe, and the ceremonies connected t herewi t h. These
European settlements l i ved i n fear of Mahrattas' inroads
under 'Seva Gi' . But Edwar d Carl yon recognizes at the
same t i me that 'Seva G i ' was
' I n t rut h the only man that in this strait could avail to
protect us against the Moghuls' . (p. 247.)
'Seva Gi' s' courtesy and hospitality to stranded Europeans
are acknowledged.
'So courteously did the barbarian carry himself towards
us that while we tarried wi t h him, he appointed a butcher for
our sole service, and had hi m slay a goat for us every day
since the Gentues eat no flesh meat, but he, knowing that we
Europeans were accustomed thereto, woul d not suffer us to
miss i t . A nd on our departing, he did give us many gifts,
yes even to our servants and cooleys.' (p. 265.)
Aurangzeb' s port rai t i s of interest:
'A man beyond middle age, very gray and reverend of
countenance and most majestic of person. His habit consorted
well wi t h his air, being a cassock of white satin, very delicate
gold, and a sash of rich woollen stuff about his middle. His
turban was of gold cloth, wi t h a string of great pearls woven
therein, and a plume set wi t h very fine diamonds in the fore-
front thereof.' (p. 220.)
248 I NDI AN HISTORY I N ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION
Mr . F r ank R. Sell has wr i t t e n a r omant i c novel , Bhim
Singh (1929), wh i c h relates to the same per i od. I t is a
char mi ng story of Raj put chi val r y and romance i n the
spi r i t of T od' s Rajasthan. I t deals wi t h the di scomfi t ure
of Aur angzeb i n t he battle of Berach. T he aut hor has
kept fai rl y close to hi st or y, and where he invents episodes,
t hey are framed t o show Raj put ideas of sport , l ove,
honour , and war. Bh i m S i ngh i s an ideal Rajput Prince,
l o v i n g Princess A mba l i ka and l oved by the heroic Prema-
bai , the daughter of T ha kur G opi na t h of Ghanerao. T he
book opens wi t h the descri pt i on of the festival of Ahai rea.
Princess A mba l i ka i s an exquisitely pr opor t i oned d o l l .
But Premabai i s mor e representative of the brave and
beaut i ful Rajput maidens wh o i n i nt el l i gence, pat r i ot i s m,
and val our have r i val l ed t hei r men. H er silent l ove f or
Prince Bh i m S i ngh lends a not e of pathos t o the st ory.
Aurangzeb' s character is one- sided. He appears as t he
f ami l i ar i dol - smashi ng fanatic. Mr . Sell, however, pays
a t r i but e to the Emper or ' s intelligence and shrewdness.
T he s ki l l w i t h wh i c h he outmanoeuvres Prince A kba r
and saves hi msel f and his t hr one wi ns praise even f r o m
his adversaries. Mr . Sell's knowl edge of Me war, and
especially of Udai pur , is accurate and his descriptions
picturesque. Wi t h t he except i on of Mi ss H i l d a G r e gg
ment i oned before, the onl y ot her novel i st wh o has wo v e n
a romance about the early hi st or y of the East I ndi a C om-
pany i s Mr s . F. E. Penny. Diamonds (1920), her onl y
hi st or i cal romance, relates t o t he end of the seventeenth
cent ury whe n the Company was s t i l l a t r adi ng body. She
describes t he ' free- traders' ( who refused to recognize the
Company' s monopol y) and Portuguese and D u t c h com-
pet i t or s ; she sketches E. Yal e, President of t he settlement
at F o r t St. George, wh i c h she knows t hor oughl y. T he
wo r k i s we l l done, but Mr s . Penny seems t o be l acki ng i n
hi st or i cal i magi nat i on. H e r past l ooks l i ke the present.
As a wr i t e r of cont emporary I ndi a, however , she has
a recognized pos i t i on i n A ngl o- I ndi a n l i t erat ure. Dia-
I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N 249
monds shows her usual characteristics, her sober style and
gi f t of pai nt i ng types, but i t does not add much t o her
reputation.
As may naturally be expected, a very large number of
A ngl o- I ndi an hi st ori cal novels are based on incidents of
the Br i t i sh conquest of I ndi a. Several novels centre r ound
the career of Clive and describe the events leading up
to the battle of Plassey. Most of these novels are juvenile
in character. I n most of t hem a young scapegrace is made
t o wi n honour and weal t h i n the campaigns of Cl i ve.
T he Black H ol e incident i s described i n al l its hor r or i n
several novels and the character of S iraj- ud- Dowla painted
in dark colours. Miss Gregg' s novl Like Another Helen
(1899), is superior to ordinary stories for boys. I n this
book she vi vi dl y describes the capture of Calcutta and the
battle of Plassey. Many historical personages are i nt r o-
duced wi t h success, and praise and blame dul y meted out .
T he book i s wr i t t en i n the f or m of letters relating the
adventures of Sylvia I rene. T he language and style are
ol d, and the way in whi ch incidents and characters are
painted produce the impression that one is reading a
contemporary document. Ralph Darnell by Meadows
T ayl or deals wi t h the same peri od.
Miss Gregg' s t hi r d novel , The Great Proconsul (1904),
takes us t o the times of War r en Hastings. I t i s wr i t t en i n
the f or m of memoirs of a lady bel ongi ng t o the household
of War r en Hastings. T he book gives an account of the
revol t at Benares, the Mahratta and the Carnatic Wars,
and the dissensions i n the C ounci l of the G over nor -
General. T he character of War r en Hastings is painted
wi t h sympathy and s ki l l , and f ul l justice done t o the great
qualities that have made h i m one of the heroes of Br i t i sh
hi st ory. H i s love for his wi f e, his tact, his diplomacy, his
gentleness are al l depicted wi t h force. T he book is a
remarkable picture of the life of Engl i shmen i n Calcutta
at the close of the eighteenth century. Sir El i j ah I mpey,
L ady I mpey, her jealousy of Mar i on Hastings, Sir Eyre
2 5 0 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
Coote, L ady A nne Monson' t he l i fe of the concerts and
card parties' and a granddaughter of Charles I I are
br ought back t o l i ve again i n the pages of this novel .
A not her i nt erest i ng book rel at i ng t o this per i od i s
warren of Oudh (1926) by Mr . Ri chard B. G amon, wh o
has attempted t o gi ve i n this novel an account of the l i fe
of the ' Settlement' of F or t Wi l l i a m dur i ng the t i me of
War r en Hastings and of the court and camp of Asaf-
ud- D owl a, Nawab of O udh. T he struggles between the
Engl i s h and the F rench are t ypi fi ed i n the persons of
Wa r r e n of O u d h and Chevalier- I sidore Boleslas Dusel i n,
wh o are rivals i n t hei r l ove for Miss Br unei . T he book
is valuable not so much for its story of l ove and adventure
as f or the l i ght that i t t hr ows on those times. Mr . G amon
has succeeded i n capt uri ng the atmosphere of this pi c-
turesque per i od and has reproduced it creditably, bar r i ng
a few mi nor slips here and there. We find Europeans
usi ng ' snuff- horns' , hair- powders, mo v i n g about i n phae-
tons, whiskeys and sedan-like bocha palanqueens, attended
by 'coffrees' or A f r i can slaves, smoki ng huqqas wi t h
amber mouth- pieces, pl ayi ng a game of quad, t redi l l e, or
f or mi ng a ' partie at pi cquet ' , not di sdai ni ng moor i sh f ood-
stuffs, atta, gram, rice and dhal and eating chupattis and
' f r y rice i nt o murri' . T he f ol l owi ng extract describes the
pol i t i cal condi t i on of Bengal.
' The [Sountal] raid takes place months ago. The harassed
villagers appeal to their headman. He seeks the aid of some
one in authorityan ease-loving Zemindar, a pot-bellied
potentate of this Subah. This cove lends a gracious ear and
writes out a chit asking the Nabob for assistance and reparation.
Nabob writes another chit to the Kumpani Bhadur and forgets
all about it because of a new doxie or something. The urgent
appeal finally reaches us [English] when it is recalled to his
Excellency's amiable recollection by some chance circumstance
and the Sountals have packed up and gone home. Ever the
way of the Gentoo.' (pp. 39-40.)
I n order t o get t o the ' cont i nent ' f r om the Settlement
I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N 251
borders, a ferry was necessary.
1
T he travellers had to
keep an open eye for thugs.
2
A ' f er i nghi ' was such an
u n k n o wn bei ng t hat he was taken f or ' a great l o r d ' i f not
an ' i ncarnat i on of Vi s hnu' .
3
Cri mi nal s were ' caged and
rattaned' .
4
We have also a gl i mpse of A saf - ud- D owl ah
and his cour t . T he N awab is described as a young man
about twenty- seven years of age, wi t h a fair ski n and
pleasant cast of countenance. He had a small moustache
and deep b r o wn eyes whi c h shone honestly and frankl y
enough. He wor e a ' caftan of green vel vet , and a t ur ban
of musl i n, i n wh i c h an egret pl ume was fastened by an
emerald- studded clasp'.
5
65. Begum Somru.
A few novels centre r ound the romance of Begum
S omr u, so called because she was the wi d o w of Wal t er
Reindhart, ni cknamed Sombre. Wal t er Rei ndhart was one
of the unpr i nci pl ed 'free-lances' who t ook service under
the vari ous cont endi ng chiefs dur i ng the last fifty years
of the eighteenth century. Lieutenant- General G. F .
Ma c Munn, wh o has recently publ i shed his hi st ory of the
Mut i ny, opens his book, A. Free Lance in Kashmir (1915),
wi t h an account of the campo of Begum S omr u and
describes ver y v i v i d l y the state of anarchy t hat prevai l ed
i n her army. D a v i d Fraser, the son of a major i n the army
of the East I ndi a Company and of Sultana A l u r i Suddozai,
who coul d not obt ai n service under the Company on
account of his bi r t h, agrees to carry a message of the
Begum t o Salabat Kha n, the D ur r a ni G over nor of Kash-
mi r. H i s adventures i n Kas hmi r arising out of his physical
resemblance t o the G over nor , and Mi r i am' s l ove for h i m
and t hei r marriage, take up the rest of the vol ume. T he
sketch of A zi zun, the dancer, and of Pere Jean A r mande
St. H i l ai r e du Plessis of the Society of Jesus are good.
General MacMunn' s knowl edge of mi l i t ar y dispositions
1
p. 83.
2
p. 84.
3
p. 96.
4
p. 119.
5
p. 140.
2 5 2 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
and mi l i t ar y tactics i s shown t o advantage i n this book.
T w o other books, The Foreigner (1928) by Mr s . G. H. Bel l ,
and Quest and Conquest (1929), by Mr . V. E. Bannisdale,
i nt roduce George Thomas, the jehazi Sahib, and describe
his relations wi t h Begum S omru. George Thomas was a
T i pperary peasant, illiterate and i nt el l i gent , unscrupu-
lous, ki ndl y, courageous, and f ul l of ambi t i on, wh o sold
his services to I ndi an princes and French adventurers. T he
novels gi ve a v i v i d account of the days of the ' great
anarchy' , when French and Engl i sh soldiers of fort une of
questionable repute f ought for the cont r ol of I ndi an
statesand of their rulers, armies, and revenue. T he
character of Begum S omru, her greed, passion, and cruelty,
as wel l as her administrative powers, are ski l ful l y por-
trayed. Mr s . Bel l thus describes the Be gum:
' The Begum was I ndia herself: the mystery, the attraction,
the melancholy, the sense of endless echo, the pulse of passion,
were hers. No longer girlish, but in the ful l tide of feminine
maturity, she was handsome as a tree is handsome, strong, deep-
rooted, majestic. She was a wheat-coloured woman, and the
dark sari she wore made a moon-shaped thing of her l ow brow.
Her eyes were blackened wi t h kohl and her fine aquiline nose
asserted itself as against the soft ripe beauty of her lips. There
was nothing meagre about the Begum's figure, which was
bundled up dolefully in a heavy embroidered Bokhara shawl.
She wore trousers and a kurta and embroidered turned-up
shoes.' (p. 36.)
As an exercise of the i magi nat i ve faculty this por t r ai t i s
wonder f ul ; but i t i s doubt f ul i f Mohammedan begums
at the end of the eighteenth century wor e saris. I t is
interesting t o compare this por t r ai t wi t h t hat gi ven by
Mr . Bannisdale in Quest and Conquest.
'Female attendants now appeared and drew back the cur-
tains of the litter. Inside it, propped wi t h innumerable cushions,
sat a fat native woman in a tumbled sari, wor n over baggy
trousers, wi t h a much stained brown persian shawl t hrown
over her head and shoulders, revealing a few oily locks escap-
i ng from under a tinsel cap. Her complexion was pale for one
I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION 253
of her race, and sallow, and her hooked nose and small pierc-
i ng black eyes gave her the appearance of an overfed hawk.'
(P. 950
Mr s . Bel l introduces us t o the bl i nd Emper or , Shah A l a m.
T h o u g h his ' t hr one and harem had been di shonoured' ,
he d i d not strike any ' manl y b l o w t o defend either or
regain either' . He is represented as weari ng
'a pr i m green coat wi t h a Persian shawl pattern woven i nt o
i t , and a headgear like a skittish nightcap adorned by a tiara',
(p. 101.)
Mr s . Bell' s vol ume i s f ul l of l ocal col our and many
hi st ori cal events and personages. Mr . Bannisdale's book
i s simpler. I n other respects he and Mr s . Bel l wo r k
on the same pl an. Bo t h i nt roduce George Thomas
as a handsome, stalwart adventurer wh o wi ns the heart
of the Begum but wh o i s i n l ove wi t h an Engl i s h woman.
Mr s . Bel l makes h i m f al l i n l ove wi t h the neglected wi f e
of an officer of the East I ndi a Company, whi l e Mr . Ban-
nisdale depicts the hardships of Mar i a Lestineau, an I r i s h
g i r l of a respectable fami l y wi t h wh o m he was i n l ove
before he came out to I ndi a. A c c or di ng to both he was
marri ed to a Mohammedan slave of the Begum. Bot h
i nt r oduce A ppa, bot h refer t o the Begum' s quarrel wi t h
Le Vassoul t , her at t empt ed suicide and Le Vassoult' s
death on heari ng the r umour of the Begum' s death. Bo t h
relate the i nci dent of her bei ng made a prisoner by her
cruel son Balthasar S omr u or Zaffer Yab Kh a n , of her
bei ng chained to a gun f or seven days, and her rescue by
George Thomas. There i s not merely si mi l ari t y of pl an
i n the case of the t wo wr i t er s, but sometimes even si mi -
l ar i t y of language. T he significance of t hei r publ i cat i ons
at t hi s t i me is made clear by Mr s . Bell' s Preface and Mr .
Bannisdale's Dedi cat i on.
L i k e t he Battle of Plassey, t he Mysor e wars w i t h H yde r
A l i and T i p p o o Sultan are described i n many novel s.
Scott' s The Surgeon's Daughter and Meadows T ayl or ' s
Tippoo Sultan have been ment i oned before. G. A. Henty
254 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N
in The Tiger of Mysore (1895) and J. Percy Groves in The
Duke's Own (1887) wr i t e stories for boys dealing wi t h the
siege of Seringapatam.
66. Wars in the nineteenth century.
Mos t of the books dealing wi t h Mahrat t a life and
Mahrat t a wars, wi t h the exception of W. B. Hockl ey' s
Pandurang Hari, are meant for young readers. T hey are
based on the current histories of the per i od but show
imperfect knowl edge of local condi t i ons. F . P. G i bbon
in The Prisoner of the Gurkhas (1903) describes the adven-
tures of an Ensi gn in Ocht erl ony' s campaign against the
Gurkhas. G. A. Hent y' s On the Irrawaddy narrates the
adventures of Stanley Brooks i n the Burmese campaign
of Sir A r chi bal d Campbell. Mr s . Maud Di ver ' s book,
The Hero of Herat (1912), is a t r i but e to El dr ed Pot t i nger,
the brave defender of Herat , and i s more of bi ography
t han f i ct i on. Mr . Herbert Hayens in Clevely Sahib (1896)
and Mr . G. A. H ent y in To Herat and Kabul (1901) deal
wi t h the same per i od i n t hei r usual manner. Mr . H . M.
Wallis 'embodies an authentic story of L o r d Gough' s
S i kh Campaign'
1
in An Old Score (1906). Miss H i l da
Gregg' s f r ont i e r romances, The Path to Honour (1909), its
sequel The Keepers of the Gate (1911), and the Advanced
Guard (1903), are much i nferi or to her previous books.
A ct ual facts of hi st ory are mi xed wi t h stories of l ove and
war, but the knowl edge of I ndi an life displayed i s i n many
places far f r om accurate. F or example, Rajah Partap
Si ngh and his l i t t l e son, Khar ak Singh, who pay a vi s i t
to Gerrard, are offered the hookah kept f or occasions of
this sor t ! N o I ndi an wo u l d dream of i nsul t i ng a S i kh
guest, whether distinguished or not , by the offer of a
hookah. We are t o l d that
'Gerrard took a whiff himself, then passed the mouthpiece
to his guestsbut it was politely refused wi t h a sanctimonious
glance at the servants', (p. 31.)
1
Baker, Guide to Historical Fiction, p. 408.
I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON 255
I t appears that Gerrard and his fri end Charteris wo u l d
have annexed empires wi t h the ut most ease. But they
were mere ensigns and coul d not act wi t hout orders. The
.Warden of the Marches (1901) is a story in defence of the
' f or war d' pol i cy on the F ront i er. Miss H i l da Gr egg is at
home i n dealing wi t h Engl i sh characters.
A n interesting and finely dr awn picture of mi l i t ar y and
official life of the Pan jab after its annexation, havi ng for
its theme the struggle between a st rong Commander- in-
Chi ef and an equally strong Governor- General , is gi ven
by Miss Gr egg in Two Strong Men (1923). T he sketch
of Sir Henr y L ennox ' obstinate, self- opinionated, con-
temptuous of civilians and politicals, outspokenly and
indiscreetly critical of the methods of others, yet an
excellent soldier and administrator and a warm- hearted
lovable man'
1
i s wel l dr awn. He has the strength of
purpose of those great soldiers who have made the Br i t i sh
Empi r e what i t is. Hi s anxiety for the better housi ng and
better treatment of the Br i t i sh soldier i n I ndi a i s genuine.
' " N o, miss," says he to his daughter Sally, "I have the health
of my brave soldiers to think of. 'Leave it to the Board; they
know the country and understand what they're about', says poor
silly Blairgowrie, but they don' t. They know nothing about the
amount of air a European soldier needs in this climate, and they
care less than nothing about the poor fellow's hot-weather
miserycooped up all day in a barrack-room wi t h no more than
space for his bed, and nothing to do but stupefy himself wi t h
vile intoxicants, t i l l he goes mad or dies a ruined wreck! I ' l l
rescue our men before I talk about going home. "' (p. 91.)
Miss Sally, her father's favouri t e, is also powerful l y dr awn.
H er l ove for Maj or Delany and their private marriage
supply the love- interest to the book. T he scene when
the bed- ridden Delany makes Sally herself wr i t e a letter
t o his l i t t l e war d, Miss Wi l c r i c k, his supposed fi ancee, i s
conceived i n a spi ri t of del i ght ful humour . T he book i s
not a novel of incident. I t moves on i n a series of v i v i d
1
The Times Literary Supplement.
256 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
dialogues usually between Sir H enr y and one or other of
the characters of the story. T he dialogues have a tendency
to become monot onous. There is something of Miss
Gregg' s ol d power i n this book, but her first three novels
are distinctly superior to her later wor ks.
67. Novels of the Indian Mutiny.
A large number of A ngl o- I ndi an novels are concerned
wi t h the Mut i ny. T he Mut i ny was f ul l o f acts o f i ndi vi -
dual heroism. To the heroes of hi st ory, the novelists
have added a large number of heroes of fi ct i on.
T he earliest novel i n whi ch the Mut i ny i s mentioned i s
The Wife and the Ward; or, A Life's Error (1859), later on
published as A Woman's FortitudeA Tale of Cawnpore.
It introduces the Nana Sahib. The Dilemma, A Tale of the
Mutiny by Sir George T omkyns Chesney is the first f ul l -
fledged novel of the Mut i ny. Nei t her The Wife and the
Ward nor Seeta treats the Mut i ny as the basis of its
pl ot . Sir George T omkyns Chesney's book is part i cu-
larly interesting, as he hi msel f t ook part in the Mut i ny.
I t describes i n some detail and wi t h the knowl edge
of an expert how a band of Engl i shmen defended a
small mofussil station, Mustaphabad. Colonel F alkland
is the hero of the story and sums up in his person al l the
heroism, t error, and tragedy of the Mut i ny. A soul of
honour dur i ng peace, a hero dur i ng war, he is left a shape-
less, mut i l at ed man, wi t h a face so disfigured that he
hi msel f is horri fi ed at his appearance. He now realizes
that Fate has cut h i m off f r om al l that made life dear. I t
wo u l d have been a great novel but for the last part whi ch
does not fit in wi t h the rest. Falkland' s desire to see
O l i vi a is natural, and O l i vi a is a beautiful creature true
t o l i fe. But the author i n his desire t o make the novel
interesting has made it unnecessarily sensational. F al k-
land's ret urn to Engl and after havi ng been taken for
dead (l i ke another Enoch Ar den) is fool i sh. T he scenes
of fire and madness are t oo melodramatic. T he l ove-
I N D I A N H I S T O R Y I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N 257
interest of the story i s cleverly kept up, but i t i s unneces-
sary, and Ol i vi a' s marriage t o Ki r k e spoils the uni t y of
the pl ot ; Ar t h u r Yor ke i s no better t han the conven-
t i onal character of fi ct i onal l heroism, nobi l i t y and self-
sacrifice, and i n l ove wi t h a woman who does not care
for h i m. Mr s . Polwheedle, however, i s an i nt erest i ng
Angl o- I ndi an, a type of womanhood i mmor t al i zed by
Ki p l i n g . The love-story and Mr s . Polwheedle r emi nd
one of The Wife and the Ward. In 1873 Col onel Meadows
Tayl or publ i shed Seeta, in whi c h the Mu t i n y is used as
a background. The fi gure of Azr ael Pande i s wel l dr awn,
and he moves f r om place to place l i ke Fate itself. The
more hor r i bl e aspects of the Mu t i n y are not i nt roduced.
The attempts of the mutineers t o wi n over the r ul i ng
chiefs to t hei r cause are interesting. In a chapter ent i t l ed
' The Mi ssi on of Azrael Pande', Tayl or shows how weak
nawabs l i ke D i l Kha n Bahadur of Pattapur and waver i ng
rajahs were prevailed upon to range themselves against
the Engl i sh. The pl ot of Mr . D. H. Thomas' s novel , The Touchstone
of Peril, A Tale of the Indian Mutiny, (1887, second edi t i on),
i s l ai d i n an i ndi go factory i n the Upper Provinces. The
planter' s dwelling-house is a Mohammedan mausoleum,
converted i nt o a bungal ow. The planter, Mr . Neale, and
his wi fe are wai t i ng f or the ar r i val of t hei r daughters,
Mar y and Chloe Neale. The life story of the t wo charmi ng
gi rl s i s developed i n the book, wi t h the st or m of the
Mu t i n y r agi ng r ound t hem. The t wo characters are effect-
i vel y contrasted. Ot her women characters are also admi r-
ably port rayed. Mr s . Neale, a woman of st erl i ng character,
the Collector who elects to die at his post rather t han find
safety i n fl i ght , Mr s . Graham, the heathen Burmese wi d o w
of a Scotch sergeant, are t rue t o nature. In Col onel Peter
Mo n k we have a por t r ai t of the ol d type of Company' s
officer:
'He was an Anglo-Indian, pure and simple. Al l his sym-
pathies, all his knowledge, all his family traditions were
s
258 I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N
connected wi t h I ndia . . . Hindustani had been his infant
language; he had gone to England at the age of twelve; had
shivered through four summers and three winters, had come
away rejoicing, and had never gone back again. His grand-
mother was a native of I ndia, but his own mother having been
a fullblooded Scotchwoman, most of the traces of the cross
had been obliterated. Notwithstanding all this, or because of i t ,
what Peter Monk prided himself on most was that he was an
Englishman . . . . But his deepest sympathies were really wi t h
I ndia and its people. His intercourse wi t h the natives had
not been of that purely formal and enforced character it is in
the case of most Englishmen of position, but of a really
friendly character. He spoke the language like themselves,
knew its turns of speech; he knew their mode of thought, or
rather had a similar one; he knew their forms of politeness.
He had married a native lady of good family. In his younger
days he had fought many a main of cocks wi t h the Nuwab of
Lucknow and the young princes of Del hi . He took a genuine
personal interest in the sports and pastimes of his men. He
not only respected the caste prejudices of the natives, but shared
them.' (p. 16.)
Mr . Thomas also draws an i nt erest i ng por t r ai t of Zul f i kar
A l i Kh a n , once t he head of a weal t hy Mohammedan
f ami l y, ' a wh i l o m roue, t ur ned devotee and bi got , an
erst whi l e D e l h i court i er become a rebel head centre' .
T he value of Mr . Thomas' s book lies as much i n t he i n -
si ght t hat i t affords i nt o the l i ght s and shades of I ndi an and
Engl i s h character as i n his f ai t hf ul pi ct ure of the supreme
risis i n the hi st or y of the Br i t i s h Empi r e i n the East.
1
The Afghan Knife (1879), a t hree- vol ume novel by Rober t
A r mi t age S t e r nda l e , T he Peril of the Sword (1903) by
Col onel A. F . Har cour t , The Devi l ' s Wind by Patricia
We n t wo r t h ( Mr s . G. F . D i l l o n ) , R ed Year (1908) by L oui s
T r acy, and Red Revenge (1911) by Charles E. Pearce,
mai nl y deal wi t h Cawnpore massacres.
In The Afghan Knife t wo hi st or i cal persons are i n t r o -
duced, Syed H yder A l i wh o i s meant f or A z i mul l a h Kh a n ,
1
Calcutta Review, 1887.
I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION 259
the chi ef A gent of the Nana Sahib, and the clever, beautiful
R ani of Asalghar who i s the R ani of Jhansi. I n The
Devil's Winda notable piece of wor knot onl y do we
see A zi mul l ah Kha n as the va ki l of the Nana Sahib in
Engl and, ' the i dol of the season', but T ant i a T o p i , Bala
Sahib and the Nana Sahib of Bi t t oor himself. T hi s is how
the Nana Sahib is described.
'In one of the chairs sat a very stout man, dressed all in
white. His t hi n muslin shirt was fastened at the neck by a
great red jewel, but it opened below, exposing t wo hands'
breadth of the fat unwholesome flesh upon his chest. His
small white turban was almost entirely covered wi t h gold
lace, and a thick gold chain hung down into his lap. Between
the gol d lace and the gold chain, his face had a yellowish
look, for the skin was fair and tightly stretched across the
fat cheeks and heavy sensual chin. He was clean shaven, and
there were lines about the mouth and eyes, whi ch should not
have been on any human face, but in spite of these the general
effect was one of good-natured self-indulgence. . . . Emerald
peacocks perched upon golden pinnacles ornamented the
hookah from whi ch he smoked, and as he smoked, his eyes
went to and fro continually and showed a bloodshot ri m. '
(p. 179.)
T he love- story of R i chard Mo r t o n marri ed t o the fl i ght y
Adel a and l ovi ng H el en Wi l mo t is a crude and sensational
var i at i on of The Wife and the Ward, Mr s . C rowt her reminds
one of Mr s . Polwheedle. Mr . L oui s T racy gives a popul ar
and v i v i d account of the tragedy of Cawnpore and the
Siege of L uc know. I n addi t i on t o the famous Engl i shmen
of hi st ory and Emper or Bahadur Shah, he has i nt roduced
the Emperor' s daughter, Roshanara Begum. T he events
of the Mut i ny are related wi t h ghastly realism. T he
adventures of Maj or Ma l c ol m and his servant C humr u
and t hei r hairbreadth escapes make sensational readi ng.
A ccor di ng to the author, the wo r k is more ' a hi st or y
t han a romance' . Mr . Charles E. Pearce has added another
book i n whi c h, l i ke Mr . T racy, he relates the horrors and
crimes of the Nana Sahib and his associates.
2 6 0 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
A mo n g novels rel at i ng t o the siege and rel i ef of L uc k-
now may be ment i oned With Sword and Pen: a story of
India in the Fifties (1904), by H. C. I r wi n . T he aut hor
describes the events leading t o the annexation of O udh,
l i fe i n a native court , and the rel i ef of L uc knowa simple
story of adventure wi t h plenty of go i n i t . Love Besieged,
A Romance of the Residency of Lucknow, is another story by
the same author in whi c h he carefully fol l ows hi st ori cal
events.
Many novels of the Mu t i n y describe the siege of D e l hi ,
the general condi t i on of the count ry before the outbreak
of the Mu t i n y , and the causes that l ed t o i t . T he interest
of Maj or J . N . H . Maclean's book R ane (1887), a legend
of the Mu t i n y , is due to the fact that he was actually a
witness of the events he describes, and t ook an active
part i n many of the tragic scenes he depicts.
1
Mr . R. E.
Forrest has wr i t t e n t wo books dealing wi t h the Mu t i n y ,
Eight Days (1891) S w r o d of Asrael (1903). T he latter
describes the adventures of an officer who escaped
f r om the revol t ed sepoys. Col onel H ar cour t relates the
adventures of an Engl i shwoman i n the besieged ci t y of
D e l hi in Jenetha's Venture (1899) and introduces several
hi st ori cal characters, H odson, N i chol s on, Mont gomer y,
and Rajab S i ngh, Hodson' s spy. ' Ma xwe l l Gr ay' ( Mar y G.
T ut t i et t ) uses the Mu t i n y as the mai n pl ot of her story In
the Heart of the Storm (1891). I nci dent al l y questions l i ke
those of women' s ri ght s are discussed i n this book.
68. Siege of Delhi, and Mrs. Steel.
T he most i mpor t ant book dealing wi t h the siege of
D e l hi , and a comprehensive novel of the Mu t i n y i s On
the Face of the Waters (1896) by Mr s . F. A. Steel. I n her
aut obi ography, Mr s . Steel tells us that this book occupied
her t hought s f or many l ong years' in a way ever since
I came out to I ndi a' . She tells us that she rewrot e the
fi ft h chapter ' fourteen separate t i mes' .
2
To collect i nf or -
1
Calcutta Review, 1908.
2
The Garden of Fidelity, p. 198.
I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N 261
mat i on for her book she returned t o I ndi a i n 1894. I n
Bombay she saw Vi ol et N i chol son, otherwise ' Laurence
H ope' . Wi t h the permission of the Panjab Government
she inspected confidential papers relating to the subject
preserved i n the D el hi Offices. She f ound many of the
records so interesting that she i mpl or ed the Government
t o place t hem i n some museum. ' T here were t i ny notes
i n qui l l s, one i n a chupat t i , and confidential reports f r om
al l quarters.' She wor ked at t hem ' l i t eral l y day and ni ght '
and learnt much that was absolutely new. At Kasur
she steeped herself in the habits and thoughts of the
common f ol k. At D el hi she learnt C our t ways and the
more ci vi l i zed life of a bi g ci t y. She used t o p r o wl about
the alleys and bazaars, and wo u l d miss no oppor t uni t y of
vi si t i ng good families, especially those who claimed
descent f r om the royal Mo g h u l Dynasty. She tells us
that there were about three hundred and fifty pensioners,
al l cl ai mi ng blood- relationship wi t h the Great Moghul .
T hey were most l y helpless women whose pensions aver-
aged f r om five to ten rupees a mont h and who supported
themselves by kalabutoon or the manufacture of gol d
thread. Mr s . Steel was anxious to gain i nf or mat i on
especially on one subject, Maj or Hodson' s capture of the
Mo g h u l Princes in Humayun' s T omb. She tells us that
she succeeded at last in get t i ng ' the testimony of an eye
witness of considerable aut hori t y' and that she adhered to
that account.
1
I t is thus that Mr s . Steel wr ot e her romance On the Face
of the Waters, and it is therefore not surprising that the
hi st ori cal por t i on of the wo r k i s punct i l i ousl y accurate.
I n her preface she says that even the account of the sham
cour t at D el hi is ' pure hi st or y; and the picturesque gr oup
of schemers and dupesall of wh o m have passed t o t hei r
account di d not need a single t ouch of fancy i n its
presentment' . T hi s is the best cri t i ci sm of the book.
T he historical and the imaginative parts, however, are
1
I bi d. p. 218.
262 I N D I A N HI STORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N
not wel l harmonized. I n a great hi st ori cal novel , i magi na-
t i o n not onl y re-creates the past, but makes the dr y facts
of hi st ory gl ow wi t h l i fe. Separation of fact and f i ct i on
i nt o t wo wat er- t i ght compartments i s impossible. T he
best parts of the book are those in whi c h the past has been
i magi nat i vel y re-createdthe auct i onof the deposed K i n g
of Oudh' s propert y, J i m Douglas' s (or 'James Greyman' s' )
romance wi t h Zor a- bi bi and the description of the n o w
almost extinct t ri be of the many-faced Bunjara, Jhungi -
Bhungi or S i ddhu T i d d u . T he event immediately pre-
ceding the Mut i ny, i.e., the sentencing of eighty- five
soldiers of the 3rd Bengal Cavalry to ten years' penal
servitude for refusing t o put up wi t h the i nsul t t o t hei r
r el i gi on, and its effect on the t roops and the people, the
tactlessness of Carmichael S myt h and the helpless anger
of the wise Crai g, are vi vi dl y painted. T he house of
Gul anari i n the T h u n d i Bazaar, the meetings of Princess
F arkhoonda Zamani or Newasi and A bul - Bukr , the air
of mystery, the vague rumours and the threatening at mo-
sphere of an i mpendi ng disaster before the mor ni ng of
May I o, 1857, are described wi t h i magi nat i on. T hr ough-
out the story the love- interest has been sustained. T he
relations of J i m Dougl as wi t h Kat e Er l t o n and Tara
constitute the fictitious as distinguished f r om the hi s t or i -
cal por t i on of the book. Tara wh o again and again
declares her resolve to become suttee, lives upon the few
crumbs of l ove that J i m Dougl as t hr ows t o her. T he
Emper or Bahadur Shah i s the pantaloon of hi st ory, t hi nk-
i n g more of his poet ry t han his cr own. He is as soft clay
i n the hands of his Shia Queen, Zeenut Ma i hl . Mr s .
Steel's account of hi st ori cal events and persons does not
materially differ f r om the account of we l l - known hi st or-
ians. T he murder of the Mo g h u l Princes she condemns
as want on and ruthless. She adds to the pathos of t he
tragedy by describing how Princess F arkhoonda Zamani
di ed i n her ruth, cr yi ng for A b u l , bei ng unable t o bear
the shock.
I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON 263
A l l accounts of the Mu t i n y must be sad. T he ext i nct i on
of a great empire and its leaders, however inefficient, is
never a cheerful event.
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that whi ch once was great is passed away.
(Wordsworth)
Mr s . Steel's account of the fal l of D e l hi evokes grief, and
we say this as a compl i ment to Mr s . Steel's art. As an
example of the emot i ve prose of Mr s . Steel, the f ol l owi ng
descri pt i on of the Ri dge at D e l hi may be quot ed:
' The Ridge itself was not unlike some huge spiny saurian,
basking in the sunlight; its tail in the river, its wider, flatter
head, crowned by Hi ndoo Rao's house, resting on the groves
and gardens of the Subz-mundi or Green Market, a suburb
to the west of the t own. It is a quaint fanciful spot this Del hi
Ridge even wi t hout the history of heroism crystallized into its
very dusta red dust which might almost have been stained by
blooda dust whi ch matches that history, since it is formed of
isolated atoms of rock, glittering, perfect in themselves, like
the isolated deeds whi ch went to make up the finest record of
pluck and perseverance the wor l d is ever likely to see.' (p. 106.)
There are several other novels of the Mut i ny. These
bel ong t o the class of f i ct i on called ' Juveni l e' . Of this
nature are In Times of Peril (1883) by G. A. H ent y,
For the Old Flag (1899) by C. R. Fenn, Terrible Times (1899)
by G. P. Raines, -The Disputed V.C. (1803) by Captain
F. S. Breret on, Barclay of the Guides (1908) by ' Her ber t
Strang' , When Nicholson Kept the Border by J. Cl averdon
Wo o d , and A Hero of the Mutiny by Escot t L y n n . I n al l
these stories young Engl i s h heroes per f or m valiant deeds,
and under ext raordi nari l y di ffi cul t conditions uphol d t he
honour of the Br i t i s h F l ag.
T w o other novels, t hough they do not bel ong t o t he
j uveni l e class, are of no hi gher standard. ' H. Seton Me r r i -
man' takes the reader t o Calcutta and D e l hi , Engl and and
Ceyl on, and gives a few glimpses of Ni chol son i n Flotsam.
T al bot Mundy' s Rung Ho!, publ i shed i n 1914, i s the other.
I t i s notable f or three characters t hat are we l l dr awn,
264 I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION
t he t ypi cal l y pr oud, l oyal , and resourceful Rajput chiefs,
Mahommed Gunga (a curious name) and A l wa , and the
young Engl i sh hero ' Chota Cunni gan Bahadur' .
T he Mu t i n y so much abounds i n movi ng incidents and
deeds of heroi sm and barbarism, of comedy and tragedy,
o f l ove and treachery, that i t wi l l never cease t o appeal t o
students of hi st ory and literature. But i t i s so complex i n
detail, so extensive in range, and so profuse in deeds and
men that any attempt t o t el l a consecutive story of i t i s
di ffi cul t . A c t i o n is sol i d, narrative is linear, said Carlyle.
T hi s is wh y it is difficult to convert even a simple act i on
i nt o a st rai ght forward narrative. But when hi st ory comes
i nt o contact wi t h fi ct i on, when fact clashes wi t h fancy
and when race prejudice and pri de bl ur the vi si on, the
compl exi t y of the task increases beyond the powers of
ordi nary story- tellers. I t is, therefore, not surpri si ng t hat
nearly al l the Mu t i n y novels so far wr i t t e n are poor speci-
mens of art. T hey ai m at presenting as complete a pi ct ure
of this cataclysm as possible. But they onl y succeed in
col l ect i ng together a large number of scenes and incidents
bot h real and i magi nary, wi t hout bei ng able t o uni fy
t hem i nt o an artistic whol e. I n al l these novels there i s
no character who can compete i n bri l l i ance wi t h the actual
persons who rose i nt o prominence dur i ng the Mu t i n y and
wh o adorn the pages of hi st ory. N o r do we come across
any character l i ke Dickens' s Darnay or Thackeray' s
Esmond. T he I ndi an characters i nt r oduced are either
treacherous vi l l ai ns or spies. T he romance that invests
t he name of the Rani of Jhansi, the Ma u l v i of Fyzabad,
or T ant i a T o p i , the deeds of val our and sacrifice performed
by many an I ndi an i n defending and g i v i n g shelter t o
Engl i shmen, women, and chi l dren at the ri sk of t hei r lives,
t he struggle of t he sepoys between regard f or t hei r
Engl i s h officers and l ove f or t hei r r el i gi on, the feelings
of pat r i ot i sm that must have actuated many I ndians t o
j o i n the rebels, the f i nal tragedy of the Mo g h u l Dynast y,
the pathetic si t uat i on of hundreds of men and women of
I N D I A N HI S T ORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I O N 265
r oyal b l o o d wh o were at once reduced t o beggary, the
misery of t he c i v i l popul at i on dur i ng and after the siege
of D e l h i , and the r el i ef of L u c k n o w and Cawnpore, have
either been altogether i gnor ed or receive perfunct ory
treatment. Some Engl i s h wr i t er s l i ke Sir G. O. T r evel yan
and Mr . Ed wa r d T homps on have t r i ed t o show t he ot her
side of t he medal. Bu t t hey have wr i t t e n histories not
novels. We awai t wr i t er s wh o w i l l not onl y si ng paeans
of vi c t or y but wr i t e tragedies of defeat.
69. Annexation of Upper BurmaMiss Tennyson Jesse.
T he subsequent hi s t or y of A ngl o- I ndi a n hi st or i cal
novels does not cont ai n any novel of i mport ance, wi t h
perhaps one except i on, The Lacquer Lady (1929) by Miss
T ennyson Jesse. A f t er t he Mu t i n y t he onl y wars t hat
di st ur bed the peace of I ndi a were on the F r ont i er or i n
Afghani st an, or those t hat l ed t o t he annexation of Upper
Bur ma i n 1885. Sir H e nr y Mo r t i me r D u r a n d describes
t he adventures and love-affairs of an Engl i s h officer i n
t he Second A f gha n Wa r in Helen Trevenyan (1892). Cap-
t ai n F . S . Br er et on takes up the st ory of t he T h i r d A f gha n
Wa r in With Roberts to Candahar (1907). T he stories oft
mi nor campaigns and expeditions against f r ont i er tribes
are discussed separately i n the present wo r k i n chapter V I .
T he I ndi a n H o me Rul e Movement and t he activities of
the Congress, wh i c h f o r m such a pr omi nent feature of t he
pol i t i cal hi s t or y of I ndi a i n t he f i r s t quarter of the t we n-
t i et h cent ury, have a separate chapter devot ed to t hem.
Mi ss T ennyson Jesse's novel , however, demands separate
treatment, not onl y on account of t he pos i t i on of Mi ss
Jesse among t he famous wr i t er s o f Engl i s h fiction o f
to- day, but because of t he meri t s of the book itself.
Mi ss Tennyson Jesseis not an A ngl o- I ndi a n novel i st
in t he st ri ct sense. in The Lacquer Lady, wh i c h is t he onl y
nove l i n wh i c h she deals w i t h I ndi a, she merel y selects
a per i od of Br i t i s h I ndi a n hi st or y f or the exercise of her
i magi nat i on. . She deals w i t h t he Burmese Wa r wh i c h
266 I N D I A N HI S TORY I N A N G L O - I N D I A N F I C T I ON
resulted i n the annexation of Upper Burma i n 1885, i n -
cidentally i l l umi nat i ng a dark corner of recent hi st ory.
Miss Jesse acknowledges in her preface to the book that it
was f r om the late Rodway Swinhoe, 'expert in matters
Burmese and the Father of the Mandalay Bar' that she
learnt ' the true story of the causes whi ch led to the
annexation of Upper Burma' , how i t was ' F anny' and her
love-affair, and not the pretext of the Bombay- Burma
corporat i on that at last drove the I ndi an Government
i nt o act i on! I f Miss Jesse's claim i s just, i t woul d appear
that but for the disappointment of ' F anny' , the Ma i d of
H onour of Queen Supaya-lat, i n her love-affair wi t h a
Frenchman, and her vindictiveness, the I ndi an G over n-
ment mi ght have allowed the French to consolidate their
influence i n Upper Burma. I f that be the true cause of
the Burmese War , Miss Jesse has made a valuable cont r i -
but i on to history, besides adding a first- rate book to the
list of interesting novels relating t o I ndi a. I t i s for the
historian to sift fact f r om fiction, and this, in the absence of
independent historical evidence, is not an easy task. But
as a book of fiction, imaginatively re- creating a part of
I ndi a i n the last quarter of the nineteenth century, whi ch
is not familiar to I ndians themselves, Miss Jesse's novel
deserves unstinted praise. I t gives a v i v i d picture of the
Ki n g d o m of A va i n the ' eighties, the last of the despotic
realms where ' rivals were st i l l destroyed on the accession
of the new Ki n g , where palace intrigues st i l l , whi l e D uf -
feri n rul ed i n I ndi a and Gladstone i n Engl and, mi ght
determine life or death for hundreds of people' , and
where young girls of the royal family of Burma were
slaughtered wholesale by repeated bl ows of a heavy club
on their throats. I t is a strange country and a stranger
l i fe t o whi ch Miss Jesse introduces us. T he description
of the G em city of Mandalay, wi t h its hi gh rose-red walls,
its myr i ad houses, its gol den spires, its scarlet palaces, its
gol d and whi t e pagodas; of the palace wi t h its L o r d
Whi t e Elephant ' receiving his breakfast of mi l k, drawn
I NDI AN HISTORY IN ANGLO-INDIAN FICTION 267
by hi msel f f r om the breasts of Burmese women' ; of
Supaya-lat, the Centre Princess who has ' no loves or
hates' ; of palace intrigues dur i ng the illness of Ki n g
Mi n d o o n ; of the gruesome slaughter of the princes and
princesses; of the life in the palace where ' t i me i t sel f
was oddl y different f r om t i me i n the west' ; of the ' four
dressings of Supaya-lat' and of the march of General
Prendergast to the Eastern Gate of the Sacred C i t y, show
the undoubt ed literary powers of Miss Jesse. T hat she
knows the value of artistic restraint is shown by her
description of the deposition of Ki n g T hi baw.
' The sun was almost setting when Thibaw turned his head,
before getting into his cart to look his last at the palace, and
the seven-tiered Pyathat was l i t all along its edges as by fire.
He looked, he did not speak, and he allowed himself to be put
into the cart. Eight white umbrellas were carried over the
cart in sign of royalty, but not the ninth to which he had been
entitled as the ruler of Ava. ' (p. 323.)
The Lacquer Lady is the best of A ngl o- I ndi an hi st ori cal
novels. T he characters of T hi baw, of Supaya-lat and his
ministers are dr awn ful l - l engt h. Of the fictitious charac-
ters, Fanny stands out supreme, a masterpiece of creative
i magi nat i on.
CHAPTER XI
T H E MYS T E RI OUS EAS T
Or ANGL O- I NDI AN MYSTERY NOVELS
A
CONSI DERAB L E number o f novels bel ong t o the class
whi ch may be designated by the general t er m
' mystery' . Thi s class includes the detective novel , the
novel of cri me, the novel of adventure (search f or jewels
or hi dden treasure), and the esoteric novel havi ng for its
motif a peep or an attempt at a peep i nt o the unseen.
Novel s of this class are very pl ent i f ul . I ndi a as a l and of
mystery and myst i ci sm, I ndi a as the birth- place of many
occult sciences and practices, of curious rites, ceremonies,
and superstitions, I ndi a as a l and of unt ol d weal t h and
priceless jewels, either l yi ng bur i ed i n the gr ound or
concealed in strange ways and places, and lastly, I ndi a as
a l and of secret societies, of revol ut i onary propaganda, of
German or B olshevist machinations, has attracted many
wri t ers of f i ct i on.
70. Jewel hunting.
Myst ery novels i n whi ch the element of mystery i s
connected wi t h priceless diamonds or rare pearls have been
ver y popul ar. Perhaps i t was the success of Wi l k i e Col l i ns
in The Moonstone, a perfect story of its ki nd, and later of
Stevenson's tales ent i t l ed The Rajahs Diamond wh i ch
produced a host of i mi t at or s. The Moonstone was published
in 1868 and fourteen years later (1882) appeared Mar i on
Crawford' s Mr. Isaacs: A Tale of Modern India, a t hr i l l i ng
mystery novel that has somet hi ng of the fascination of
the Arabian Nights. The pr ot ot ype of Mr . Isaacs was
Mr . A. M. Jacob, the Hebr ew jeweller who was i nvol ved
i n the famous Hyderabad D i amond case. The esoteric
B uddhi st wh o captivates the Engl i sh g i r l i s said t o have
f or his model a not ori ous Persian merchant wh o had a
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 269
dispute wi t h the Nazi m about a famous di amond. The
Naulahka by Ki p l i n g and Balestier Wol cot t is another of
the famous novels, havi ng for its pl ot the quest of a
famous necklace by an Ameri can adventurer, who had
promised t o present i t t o the wi fe of the President of the
Railway Board.
Most of the novels published i n the first quarter of the
nineteenth century, and havi ng for their theme the search
after or the occult influence of some precious stone or
mysterious jewel, are generally of a l ow order of meri t .
Some titles are curious. The Purple Pearl by Ant hony
Pryder and R. K. Weekes i s amusing. It i s i n I ndi a alone
that ' purpl e' pearls are found, to be handed over to
Engl i sh lords by l ove-l orn I ndi an Begums. The Beads of
Silence by L. Bamburg is a poor i mi t at i on of The Moonstone.
These 'beads of silence' are brought over f r om I ndi a.
They are amulets of such magic power that any one
t ouchi ng t hem wi t hout the permission of their keeper
(a Priest) dies suddenly. ' Ganpat' , in Stella Nash, weaves
a tale r ound a strange green jade and hidden treasure, the
sight of whi ch staggers even the solid Monocl oi d.
' I f the Government of India hears about them they' ll go up
through the roof, cut the Ar my budget for ten years, and
hurriedly take off half an anna from Salt on the strength of
this unearned increment.' (p. 328.)
It is a notable story above the ordinary level, in whi ch the
love-interest has been kept subordinate to the t hr i l l of
adventure. Paul Mer r i man is wel l drawn. He is a st rong,
silent, and splendid man, and his l ove for Stella Nash ' wi t h
eyes of deepest grey under slumbrous lids of faultless
curve' gets the reward whi ch it wel l deserved. A piece
of green jade inspires the romance of Tal bot Mundy' s Om.
It takes the reader f r om the plains of Hi ndust an t o the
valley of the Abors t hr ough the mysterious regions across
the Himalayas. ' Ganpat' has wr i t t en t wo other romances
of this type, A Mirror of Dreams (1928) and Speakers in
270 THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
Silence (1930). The first is a close i mi t at i on of Ki p l i n g ,
the second is based upon an or i gi nal idea, to wi t : there
must be ultra-audible sounds just as there are ul t ra-vi ol et
rays. The Speakers in Silence speak a language of t hei r
own, aki n t o the language of birds and beasts, and they
organize a conspiracy against manki nd (not merely against
the I ndi an Government or the Br i t i sh Empi re)a con-
spiracy wi t h its roots i n Lahore. ' Ganpat' possesses
i magi nat i on and a keen sense of humour. Hi s romances
of Central Asia and the mount ai n fastnesses of Ti bet are
popular but crude. A mystery story requires a we l l -
planned and r i gi dl y constructed pl ot , and ' Ganpat' is weak
i n const ruct i on. J. I. Emery' s Luck of Udaipur takes the
reader back to the I ndi a of three centuries ago' an I ndi a
shrouded i n sinister mystery' . The Luck of Udai pur i s
a great di amond whi ch is stolen by an Engl i sh adventurer
i n the service of a nei ghbour i ng State. On account of the
loss of the stone Udai pur suffers defeat in war. Lady
Chi t t y' s 'the Black Buddha, pi l ed t hi ck wi t h strange coi nci -
dences and hairbreadth escapes, takes us over three con-
tinents. The pl ot is of the type of a cinema scenario.
Roy Rushwor t h, the son of an I ndi an Rani and Professor
Rushwor t h, is heir to an Engl i sh peerage, but the marriage
certificate of his mot her is missing, as also papers relating
to a hi dden treasure. The Black Buddha, ' the consecrated
confederate of evi l doers' , is the repository of the secret.
Obvi ousl y Lady Chi t t y has confounded Ka l i wi t h the
Buddha, for who woul d associate wi t h the gentle Buddha
and his worshippers deeds of vi ol ent crime at t ri but ed
to t hem? There are several mystery novels connected
wi t h the jewels of Ka l i and her wor shi p. Hel en Fairley' s
Kali's Jewels is a silly story of ' hereditary transmission'
of cr i mi nal instincts. The quest of Kal i ' s jewels, 'crystals
of water, opals of fi re, and rubies of bl ood' , i s the crude
device adopted to remove an undesirable husband. Miss
Fairley' s knowl edge of I ndi a and Indians may be j udged
f r om her reference t o Abdul l a as a Hi ndu. The l ove of
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 271
Sunita, ' wi t h large fawn-l i ke eyes set wi de apart in a small
oval face of ri pe wheat col our i ng' , for Er i c Dane leads
nowhere. John Easton in his Matheson Fever (1928)
describes an ancient Hi n d u goddess (!) called ' Ram Chan-
dra' , a sort of goddess whi ch, according to the author,
' almost persuades one to be a missionary or rather an
I nqui si t or ' ' a gross, obscene figure' , worshi pped by the
coolies. Matheson, a Bombay bookmaker, loses his life
in the attempt to possess an emerald sacred to the goddess.
It is a poor t hr i l l er , ill-conceived and badly developed,
to whi ch neither hamadryads and black panthers, nor yogis
and sadhus l yi ng stretched on beds of spikes, nor storms
and cyclones are able to i mpart l i fe. The most enjoyable
t hi ng in the bookunless our fancy has been caught by
the younger Miss Pettigrew, the policeman' s daughter
who desperately strove to make the station bri ght eri s
the famous couplet of Ki p l i n g :
Now it is not good for the Christian's breath to hustle the
Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles, and he weareth
the Christian down.
The Brand of Kali by Eleanor Pegg and The Vengeance of
Kali by I an Marshall appeared onl y recently. Miss Pegg's
book is superficial, but I an Marshal l has managed to pr o-
duce a tolerable story of mystery and murder. The sight
of Ka l i staggered Chi avocchi :
' I t represented a woman, but the maddest dreams of a
drunkard or an opium maniac could not produce anything
more frightful. It was the very apotheosis of all that is ob-
scene and bestial.' (p. 200.;
The Curse of Kali by Ar t h u r Greeni ng has not hi ng to do
wi t h either the jewels of Ka l i or the mysterious rites
connected wi t h her worshi p. Ka l i i s the goddess of thugs,
and this romance i s concerned wi t h t hem. T o m Tempert' s
fi ancee, Ma ud Gor don, i s ki dnapped by thugs and his
father is murdered by t hem. Maud' s escape f r om death
272 THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
is we l l planned. The sacrifice of beautiful maidens at the
alkar of Ka l i forms the subject of Joan Conquest's romance,
Leonie of the Jungle (1921). Leoni e, the pret t y daughter of
a V. C. , havi ng been subjected to mesmeric influences as
an i nfant , behaves strangely in Engl and. Her aunt, a lady
wi t h a past, practically sells her to Sir Wal t er Hi ckl e, but
Leoni e loves Jan Cuxson. In Madho Krishanaghar she
has an I ndi an l over whose hypnot i c power she is unable
to resist. Af t er Sir Wal t er' s hor r i bl e death she is dr awn
towards I ndi a, meant t o be sacrificed t o Ka l i , but an
opport une earthquake and the gallantry of her I ndi an
l over save her dramatically. Madho Krishanaghar dies to
save her. As a story the book is t oo f ul l o f l u r i d details.
As an expression of Joan Conquest's sympathy for Indians
and a pi ct ure of the wor shi p of Ka l i i t i s remarkable. She
describes the ' or i gi nal goddess' i n al l her t error.
' Yet it is not the horror of the repulsive physique hewn
in stone whi ch holds you breathless before her; you know it is
stone you are l ooki ng at, just as you know that the Sphinx is
stone; but as wi t h the Sphinx you feel the life of centuries throb-
bing through the carved monster; you feel that its breath,
which is about you, is the wi nd which has swept across the
desert places and teeming cities of the East; you feel that the
eyes which are upon you have seen all things; in fact, you are
almost mesmerised by the force of worship before you sud-
denly wrench yourself violently round to face the sun outside
the open door.' (Ch. xxxvi i i , p. 185.)
Joan Conquest has a sense of humour , whi c h occasionally
relieves the g r i m atmosphere of the mai n story. She tells
us that ' I . C. S. ' when wr i t t en i n f ul l means ' God' s Anoi nt e d' ,
that Angl o- I ndi a suffers f r om ' social myopi a' , and that
Eurasian speech i s ' l i ke t he br oken f l i ght of mai med birds
over a l a wn i n the process of bei ng mo wn ' .
' The Golden Lotus by Mr . G. E. Locke is a detective
story cent ri ng r ound the death and the w i l l of the wealthy
Sir Jarvis Wal r eddon, wh o had gone out t o make a for-
tune and wh o ' wasn' t t oo particular how he di d i t ' . He
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 273
'had his own code of ethicsnever preyed upon any white
man and was a staunch and loyal friend. On the other hand,
he di d not hesitate to loot Indian temples wholesale and carry
off their richest treasures', (p. 306.)
Amo n g the achievements of t hi s Engl i s h kni ght are his love
f or a Rajput Princess, Tara La l , wh o m he carried i nt o t he
fastnesses of the Himalayas, and the l oot i ng of the t empl e
of the goddess Tashna, i n t he Ki n g d o m of Ramaghad,
wh i c h contained a rose-pink di amond of almost fabulous
value, k n o wn as the 'star of dawn' . The l oot i ng of t he
di amond creates for h i m a host of enemies. The Golden
Lotus is a medley of plots and mot i ves. Mr . Locke' s
knowl edge of I ndi a is superficial. ' Tar a L a l ' as the name
of a Rajput princess is bad enough, but when the aut hor
tells us t hat Hafi z Ali was the Hi n d u chauffeur of the
Gol den Lot us , we begi n t o suspect that the aut hor does
not k n o w much about I ndi a.
71. Novels of the occult.
Qui t e a number of mystery novels derive t hei r i nspi ra-
t i o n f r om the occult, the esoteric, or the spi ri t ual element
i n I ndi an l i f e. J ohn Henr y Wi l l me r i n his book, The Tran-
sit of the Souls (1910), says:
' Al t hough modern civilization has worked and is wor ki ng
many changes in India, yet the echo of the past remains, the
spirit of departed grandeur, of magnificent follies, hovers over
ruined mosque and temple.' (p. 25.)
I t i s a simple tale of the marvel l ous. The soul of t he
Nawab of Lu c k n o w enters the body of Charlie Beeton
and the soul of Beeton enters the body of the Nawab.
Bo t h are i n l ove wi t h Et he l Far wel l . The aut hor thus
finds an excuse f or cont rast i ng the heroic Engl i s h gentle-
man wi t h the cowar dl y I ndi a n beast. Mme Z. L. Cava-
l i er' s The Soul of the Orient (1913) is an or i gi nal st ory of
ast rol ogy and eastern myst i ci sm, p r o v i n g that t o ' Amer i ca
and the Ameri cans, mor e t han t o most countries, i s i t
gi ven t o revere the or i ent ' . In C. E. Bechhofer' s The
T
274 THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
Brahmin's Treasure (1923), the hero, a young Engl i shman
i n Indi a, i s t or n between the r i val attractions of love and
occultism. He is drawn towards oriental occultism by an
ol d Sadhu, deformed and dehumanized by his austerities.
Richard E. Goddard in his-Obsession (1925) exploits
the Hi n d u doctrine of reincarnation or transmigration.
Colonel O' Keefe, his wi fe, much younger in years, and his
Hi n d u butler and shikari, Bharat Singh, ' a pukka Bunjara'
who di d not know 'any other language except Hi ndu' ,
1
are, in fact, reincarnations of three famous French cr i mi -
nals. The novel is silly, but the description of the Chaupati
Beach and of the fakir who refused to be photographed
and who mul t i pl i ed hal f a dozen grains of rice is good.
Wi t hout cause Mr . Goddard indulges i n a l ong tirade
against self-government for I ndi a and repeats the settled
convi ct i on of Engl i shmen i n Indi a that i f ' Great Br i t ai n
stopped pol i ci ng the place there woul dn' t be a vi r gi n nor
a rupee left in Bengal wi t hi n six mont hs' .
Mr s . L. Adams Beck, who wr ot e sometimes as ' E. Bar-
r i ngt on' , wi t h the exception of Mr s . Penny, i s the most
i mport ant among those writers who have been attracted
by oriental occultism. The Way of the Stars (1926) is
based on the mysticism of the East and Bolshevist influence
in Indi a. The Splendour of Asia is a t ri but e to the Buddha
and Buddhi sm. The House of Fulfilment (1927) is an i magi -
native story of the Hi ndu science of yoga. The scene is
l ai d in Simla and Kashmi r where are revealed several
marvels, i ncl udi ng the discovery of a comrade of Hi uen
Tsang, st i l l miraculously alive! The Ninth Vibration (1928)
is a collection of stories showi ng Mr s . Beck's knowledge
of eastern mystery and myt hol ogy and her admi rat i on
for Buddhi sm. The stories relate to I ndi a, Burma, China
and Japan, and reproduce in Mr s . Beck's flowery style
the romance that lies behi nd eastern mysticism. The ol d
bridle-way that leads up to the Shi pki Pass and the
mysteries of Ti bet recalls al l the marvels of the East; the
1
p. 64
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 275
Khybe r Pass reminds her of si l ken Samarkand and Bok-
hara. Occasionally she uses language that is t oo mystical
f or a l ayman.
'Sometimes it is the echo of the Ni nt h Vi brat i on and there-
fore of harmonic t rut h. You are awake now. It is the
day-time that is the sleep of the soul. You are in the Lower
Perception, wherein the t r ut h behind the vei l of what men
call Reality is perceived.' (p. 25.)
But on the whol e she wri t es clearly and v i v i d l y . She
believes i n the doct ri ne of rei ncarnat i on, i n the gl or y of
Buddhi s m and the possi bi l i t y of its r evi val , and i n the
monks wh o k n o w t hei r previ ous bi r t hs. Her heroi ne,
Br y n h i l d I ngmar , and Vanna Lo r i n g are ' some sexless
emanation of nat ural t hi ngs' . She describes Br ynhi l d as
'an expression herself of some passion of beauty in Nature,
a thought of snows and starry nights and flowing rivers
made visible in flesh', (p. 41.)
Mr s . I ngmar , on the other hand, stands for ' t he negat i on
of al l beauty, al l hope save t hat of a wo r l d r u n on the
lines of a model muni ci pal i t y' because she believes onl y
i n the evidence of reason. Mr s . Beck has wonder f ul l y
reproduced the charm of Kas hmi r i n her second story,
The Interpreter. She t hi nks t hat Indians understand what
l i fe is, and she longs for, ' the splendour and r i ot of l i fe
and col our ' of I ndi a. The Building of the Taj Mahal is a
beaut i ful piece of wor kmanshi p and its appeal i s al l the
greater because it is not so deeply myst i cal .
'So grew the palace that should murmur, like a sea-shell,
in the ear of the wor l d the secret of love.
' Veiled had that loveliness been in the shadow of the palace;
but now the sun should rise upon it and t ur n its i vor y to gol d,
should set upon it and flush its snow wi t h rose. The moon
should lie upon it like the pearls upon her bosom, the visible
grace of her presence breathe about i t , the music of her voice
hover in the birds and trees of the garden. Times there were
when Ustad Isa despaired lest even these mighty servants of
276 THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
beauty should miss perfection. Yet it grew and grew, rising
like the growth of a flower.' (p. 241,)
Ri ght l y said the great builder, ' I t was Love also that
bui l t , and therefore it shall endure' .
72. Novels dealing with conspiracy against the British Raj.
Many novels are devoted to I ndi an sedition and Bolshe-
vi st conspiracies t o engineer a r evol ut i on i n I ndi a. I n
Sentenced to Death by R. Mackray, Hol i day Br owne, the
hero, grapples wi t h sedition and saves I ndi a. He is pur-
sued by vengeful Indians. Hi s adventures and hairbreadth
escapes are more absorbing than the progress of his l ove-
affair. Mr . Percy James Brebner' s The Gate of Temptation
(1920) is a meaningless tale in whi c h Bocara, an Ori ent al
Professor of Languages, looks f or war d to the day when
Indians and other peoples wi l l rise i n revol t and dri ve
out al l foreigners. In order to hasten this end, he uses a
poisoned r i ng and his beautiful Engl i sh wi fe Estella to
k i l l al l ' the r ul i ng intelligences of the European nations' .
A br i l l i ant Engl i sh surgeon, who is fascinated by Estella,
and her favourite dog, ' Great Dane' , frustrate his designs.
Red Vulture (1923) by Mr . Frederick Sleath deals wi t h
a great Ori ent al conspiracy to destroy the Br i t i sh Empi r e.
The conspiracy is headed by a Eurasian money-lender
i n Engl and. John Henry, the innocent Engl i sh hero, who
is forced to lead a cri mi nal l i fe, defeats it after a series of
extraordinary adventures and t hr i l l i ng escapes. Mr s . F. A.
Steel has also wr i t t en a t hr i l l er , The Law of the Threshold
(1924). I t is a comprehensive tale of modern I ndi a, melo-
dramatic and bizarre i n subject and treatment, f ul l of
revol ut i onary conspiracies and a mysterious air of some-
t hi ng i mpendi ng, wi t h promi nent parts assigned t o Bol -
shevist and German agents. Li k e the earlier novels of
Mr s . Steel it is r i ch in characters and incidents. She
succeeds i n mak i ng the fl esh creep. Mr . John Ferguson
has wr i t t en ' a fairy tale and a melodrama'
1
called The
1
p. 34.
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 277
Secret Road. The mai n interest of the story lies in the
efforts o f the Rajah o f a h i l l state t o dr i ve out the B r i t i s h
by wo r k i n g on the superstitions of the natives, wh o
believed t hat a mystic power lay in a certain B umal i stone
presented t o the founder of his dynasty by the snake-god,
and lost at the t i me of the B r i t i s h Conquest. A substitute
for this di amond i s pr ovi ded by the Bolshevists, and thus
the stage i s set f or publ i c r epet i t i on of the di vi ne grant of
the Stone of Power, whi c h i s t o be the signal for an ant i -
B r i t i s h expl osi on. The B r i t i s h Empi r e i s saved by the
i ndi scret i on of an amorous danci ng- gi r l , ' the Mo o n of
Del i ght ' , wh o lives i n the street of ' the Seven Stars' and
wh o loves ' a raw-boned Scotchman called Saunders', a
f el l ow al l freckles and red hair. The adventures of Mr .
Mc Ne vi l l e , t i nged wi t h l ove and romance, i n the quest of
t hi s stone makeup this ' fai ry tale' . The Black Scorpion (1926)
of Mr . Al ast ai r Shannon i s another story havi ng for its pl ot
a huge t errori st conspiracy t o over t hr ow the B r i t i s h Gover n-
ment i n I ndi a and t o murder every European i n the count ry.
A common feature of al l the murders commi t t ed by the
gang, wh i c h baffles the C. I . D. , is the stencilled mask of a
black scorpi on on the body of the vi ct i ms. Jack Calthorpe
of the Madras C. I . D. succeeds i n capt uri ng the whol e gang
of ' phi l osophi cal revol ut i onari es' , headed by Azeem, the
cul t ur ed Cambri dge graduate wh o hates the West l i ke
poi son. We are t ol d t hat i t was by consort i ng wi t h several
not or i ous Indi ans in the Uni t ed States that he i mbi bed a
hatred against ' Great Br i t ai n' s alleged br ut al i mper i al i sm' .
1
Mr s . L. Adams Beck has also wr i t t e n on the myst i ci sm
of the East. Her The Way of Stars seems to be i nspi red
by the discovery and openi ng of Tut-ankh-amen' s t omb.
Mr s . Beck makes her Engl i s h hero Mi l es Seton and his
fri end Conway d i g open the t omb of the ancient Egypt i an
Queen Nefert . The general motif of the story i s f ound i n
the bel i ef that
' when the door is opened for them, these buried royalties
1
P. 44.
278 THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
and i ndeed t he lesser f r y alsoreincarnate and gi ve t r oubl e.
They w i l l have i t t he Kai ser was b o r n j ust after t he t o mb of
Rameses t he Twe l f t h was opened' , ( p. 24.)
The Bolshevists, ut i l i zi ng this belief, reincarnate Queen
Nefert as the Russian beauty ' who pulls the heart strings
of Orsinoff, who rides the count ry wi t h wh i p and bi t ' ,
and br i ng her i nt o the zenana of the l oyal Ma hmud Mi r za,
the dark, t al l ruler of Mi anpur , ' just a bi t of the real o l d
Indi a, kept l i ke a curio in a cabinet' . The Bolshevist pl ot
failsas i t was bound todue mai nl y t o the vigilance of
Colonel Gi f f or d, a wise and pat ri ot i c Engl i sh officer of
the secret service, the heroic Mr . Seton, and the equally
heroic Miss Venetia, Seton's fiancee. Seton does not
possess any i ndi vi dual i t y and is easily befooled or hypno-
tized. He i s dominated by the st rong personalities of
Revel and Colonel Gi f f or d.
The novel i s a hot ch-pot ch of i mprobabi l i t i es, of
ancient Egypt and modern I ndi a, of Or i ent al mysticism
and metaphysics, hypnot i sm, crystal reading, the f our t h
dimension, and Bolshevism. But i t i s we l l wr i t t en. The
fi gure of Shah Begam, the mot her of Mahmud Mi r za, i s
i mposi ng. Mr s . Beck has ski l ful l y reproduced the flavour
of Persian life and i di om i n Shah Begam's speeches. The
pi ct ure of the zenana of the Ami r of Mi anpur , t hough
brief, shows knowl edge. But i t i s the por t r ai t of Jadrup
Gosein, the I ndi an mystic, whose face was ' the perfection
of human beauty for the eye that can pierce the unessen-
t i al t o the soul ' , whi ch reveals Mr s . Beck's appreciation
of ' the perfume of the hi dden spi ri t ual mysteries under-
l yi ng the gol den and col oured ve i l of the vi si bl e life i n
I ndi a' . To her
' India is a dark woman, gliding wi t h soft bare feet behind
the curtains of the palace. She is the jewelled mystery, the
perfume of the rose. Hers is the magic that, if it ever vanished
into the hard light of day, wi l l leave the whole wor l d beggared
of its most poignant romance', (p. 99.)
Whe n the sullen tide of the Russian armies had r ol l ed
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 279
back, leaving ' desolation behi nd and a sad qui et ' , Mi l es
Seton completed ' the one lesson of life wo r t h l earni ng' ,
i n the quiet of the Hi mal ayan heights. An d he owed i t
al l t o Jadrup Gosein,
'a man of the ancient Aryan people, who knew not where
his next meal woul d come from, if not from the hand of charity.
He had learnt the possibility of touching hands wi t h the
Divine Consciousness which man carries wi t h hi m from bi rt h
to bi rt h. And whoso has learnt that secret is invulnerable.
Al l darts fly past hi m, all swords are blunted', (p. 305.)
Mr . Alexander Wi l son' s The Mystery of Tunnel 51 and
The Devil's Cocktail are ordi nary detective stories, havi ng
for their theme the exposure of Bolshevist activities i n
I ndi a by the Intelligence Depart ment . The pl ot of The
Mystery of Tunnel 51 is simpler t han that of The Devil's
Cocktail. Maj or El l i ot , who is carryi ng i mpor t ant plans
of front i er defence f r om Simla t o the Vi ceroy at De l hi , i s
murdered i n Tunnel No . 51, and the plans are stolen.
Sir Leonard Wallace, the Head of the Br i t i sh Intelligence
Depart ment , is sent for. He succeeds in t raci ng out the
Bol shevi k agents responsible for Maj or El l i ot ' s murder,
and recovers the plans. Sir Leonard succeeds more by
bl uf f and chance than by the exercise of his extraordinary
talents. The novel has no local colour wo r t h the name.
But i t i s interesting t o learn that ' the disastrous ri ot s of
last year' (1927) in the Panjab were ' entirely due to
Russian influence' , that the Russians are interested in
communal disturbances, as they 'keep the Government
and t roops f ul l y occupied' , and that under the cloak of
communal ri ot s ' the movement wi l l start whi ch i s i nt en-
ded t o dri ve the Br i t i sh out of I ndi a' .
1
The Devil's Cocktail is a more sensational novel . It
shows how the Br i t i sh Intelligence Department unravels
a Bolshevist pl ot whi c h threatened the peace not onl y
of I ndi a, but of the wo r l d . The novel i s f ul l of t hr i l l s.
Rahtz offers Hu g h a cockt ai l wi t h cholera baci l l i i n i t ;
1
P. 271.
28o THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
Hugh' s sister is ki dnapped; a Eurasian g i r l , Ol i ve Gr eg-
son, accuses Hu g h publ i cl y of seduction at the cl ub dance;
ruffians are engaged t o mur der Hu g h and his t wo com-
panions,Cousins and Mi l es of the Amer i can Secret Service.
A l l this i s very crude. However , the experiences of Hu g h
Shannon at a Mos l em College in I ndi a, based on personal
knowl edge and most l y of an aut obi ographi cal nature, are
i nt erest i ng. In Mahommed Abdul l a h, we see the sympa-
thetic por t r ai t ur e of Mr . A. Yusaf A l i , late Pri nci pal of
the Islamic College, Lahore. Hi s prai sewort hy attempts
to raise the status of the college are frustrated by a suspi-
cious and f ool i sh college managi ng commi t t ee, and un-
t h i n k i n g professors ' bor n and bred i n a system of cr am' .
Anot her story of Bolshevist attempts t o create t r oubl e
in I ndi a is The Devil's Tower by ' Ol i ver Ai n s wo r t h ' (Sir
Henr y Sharp). The book i s we l l wr i t t e n, i s f ul l of good
humour , and shows the author' s evident enjoyment of
the vi gor ous t hrobs of adventure wh i c h enl i ven its pages.
But the aut hor does not possess much knowl edge of
I ndi a. For a Rajput Maharani to address her husband as
' Raj y' is inconceivable. The Raja is the hackneyed Rajput
hero of Angl o- I ndi a n story-tellers.
' I wo u l d t hat our revered Wal t er Scott was alive t o
i mmor t al i ze i t [the story] i n one of his fascinating
romances' , says the di si l l usi oned Scottish communi st ,
Mr . Smi t h. A n d ' Ol i ve r Ai n s wo r t h ' betrays the influence
of Scott i n every chapter. As a t hr i l l er the book may we l l
be compared to Scott' s The Surgeon's Daughter.
I t i s remarkable t hat Angl o- I ndi a n wr i t er s have pr o-
duced no good detective novel . Indian Detective Stories by
S. B. Bannerjea are i ncr edi bl y bad. Charles Barry in The
Smaller Penny has attempted a detective st ory but it is
i nart i st i c and unconvi nci ng. The Burqa by Hazel Campbel l
i s a story wr i t t e n wi t h mor e care and s ki l l . Rama Rao,
a pat r i ot i c Hi n d u , is murdered on the sea between Lo n d o n
and Bombay. The act i on i s compl i cat ed by sub-plots and
at t ent i on i s pai d t o details, but the element of mystery
THE MYSTERIOUS EAST 2 8 1
is excessive and the sol ut i on unsatisfactory. In Dark
Dealings, Mr . Andr e w Cassels Br o wn introduces almost
al l the accepted elements of a mystery novel a haunted
Engl i s h count r y house, an I ndi an faki r, a l ove romance,
and a wor l d- wi de conspiracy t o liberate I ndi a f r om Br i t i s h
rul e. An Angl o- I ndi an, home on leave, solves the puzzle.
Mr . G. Frederic Tur ner in his A Bolt from the East (1917)
introduces Mi r za, ' the t r adi t i onal I ndi an Prince of hi gher
mel odrama' , whose self-imposed mi ssi on is to sterilize t he
human race. The book i s overl ai d wi t h d u l l disquisitions
on pai n, reincarnation and microbes. Out hwai t e, l i ke
most Angl o- I ndi ans, i s ' a disbeliever i n Europeanised
natives' and at once sees in the doings of Mi r za ' a treach-
ery t o the Br i t i s h Raj ' . Of I ndi an mystery novels, Sir
Henr y Sharp's "The Dancing God (1926) may be taken as
a fair specimen. Gi r dhar i La l , the unfort unat e possessor
of the Danci ng God, is murdered near the machan (for
shoot i ng tigers) of Sir Pri am Postlethwaite. The latter had
unsuccessfully t r i ed t o buy the Go d . The pl ot hangs r ound
t hi s mysterious murder. Sir Priam' s nephew suspects his
uncle. But Sir Pri am, who has also disappeared, is sup-
posed to have been murdered by I ngr am, a dishonest
employee of Sir Pri am. The story i s complicated by I n -
gram' s l ove for Miss Postlethwaite, and by the disappear-
ance of the Danci ng Go d f r om the Templ e of Pi pl ani . At
the end the reader learns that the scoundrel of the piece is
after al l Moha n La l , the son-in-law of Gi r dhar i La l . The
characters have no backbone. The aut hor tries to relieve
the monot ony of the pl ot by maki ng Gr i s h Babu t al k i n
' babu Engl i sh' . The antics of t he apparently imbecile Mr .
Daunt are not amusing.
Miss Hazel Campbell' s The Servants of the Goddess (1928)
i s a readable t hr i l l er i n t he vei n of Sir Ri der Haggar d,
wi t h some influence of Mr . H. G. Wel l s. The Servants
of the Goddess, or ' snow-men' , are a race of abor i gi nal
inhabitants of Bisanta, who, l i ke Mr . Wel l s' s Mor l ocks ,
are doomed t o l i ve under gr ound. They are cannibals,
282 T HE MYSTERIOUS EAST
wi t h extraordinarily acute eyesight, developed t hr ough
constant peering in the dark. They cannot bear l i ght ;
their heads are hairless, ski n bleached dead whi t e, gr owt h
stunted, and figure stooping. The h i l l Raja of Bisanta on
his death-bed wi l l s away his State to Maj or Mor t i mer , ' in
payment of a debt bot h of cash and of gratitude' .
1
Maj or
Mor t i mer starts for Bisanta wi t h a band of companions
and relatives. He prepares for the expedition wi t h the
care of the ' Bellman when he went a-hunting of the Snark' .
2
Even the padre is not forgot t en. For when the vi l l ai n is
defeated and everyt hi ng ends happily, marriages are i nevi -
table. Pasenadi, the H i g h Priest of Bisanta, is the vi l l ai n of
the story. The Maj or and some of his companions are
trapped in a subterranean dungeon and left to the mercy
of the t erri bl e Servants of the Goddess. They are even-
tually rescued f r om a horri bl e death.
Miss Hazel Campbell seems to possess a fertile i magi -
nat i on. But she shoul d have known that even a h i l l
Raja cannot bequeath his State to anybody he likes. She
unnecessarily scares her hero by maki ng the new Labour
Government pass the Home Rule for I ndi a Bi l l , whi ch
makes I ndi a ' a Federation of States under the cont r ol
of a central, and of course purely I ndi an, Government at
Delhi' . 3
1
p. 18.
2
The Times Literary Supplement, 1928.
3
p. 161I.
CHAPTER X I I
E A S T A S S E E N BY WE S T
or ANGL O- I NDI AN NOVELS OF I ND I AN L I F E
T
HE number of novels i n whi c h the Engl i sh are either
altogether absent, or play a mi nor role, is compara-
t i vel y small. I n the Angl o- I ndi an fi ct i on of earlier days
I ndi a and Indians occupied a more promi nent posi t i on
than they do now. I ndi a was t hen new t o most Engl i sh-
men, and anyt hi ng wr i t t en about a strange count ry, to
reach whi ch it t ook eight to nine mont hs, was eagerly
devoured. A mo n g the early famous Angl o- I ndi an novel -
ists who wr ot e novels of I ndi an l i fe, W. B. Hockl ey,
Col onel Meadows Tayl or, Alexander Al l ardyce, Ki p l i n g ,
and Mr s . Steel, have already been dealt wi t h elsewhere.
About the end of the nineteenth century several wri t ers
of mi nor importance, under the influence of Ki p l i n g ,
selected I ndi an life as the theme of their novels. Mr . R. W.
Frazer wr ot e Silent Gods and Sunsteeped Lands in 1895. It
consists of seven short stories and sketches, remarkable
for a realistic presentation of I ndi an life and manners.
Mr . R. E. Forrest' s The Bond of Blood (1896) is a v i v i d
romance based on one of the t erri bl e Rajput customs,
later on ut i l i zed by Mr . O t t o Rot hfel d i n a few of his
stories i n Indian Dust. Mr . W. H. G . Ki ngs t on wr ot e
The Young Rajah: A Story of Indian life and Adventures in
1897, rel at i ng the deeds of a brave and handsome hero,
a fai t hful tigress, treacherous ministers and an ol d fool i sh
rajah. The author does not seem to know much about
I ndi a. In 1898, Mr s . Penny's first book,'The Romance of
a Nautch Girl, was published as a sample of her vol umi nous
wo r k whi c h was yet t o come.
73. Mrs. F. E. Penny.
Since the publ i cat i on of Nautch Girl, Mr s . Penny has
been wr i t i n g on an average one romance of I ndi an or
284 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
Angl o- I ndi a n l i fe every year. He r latest book is The Wish-
ingStone (1930).
1
Some of her books have been discussed
before. The maj or i t y of her novels, whatever be t hei i
mai n theme, have a backgr ound of the religious practices
of the Hi ndus of Sout h I ndi a, whi c h, nat ural l y, interested
the wi f e of a missionary. I n her aut obi ographi cal book,
On the Coromandel Coast, she discusses some of these
practices. In one passage she says:
'Europeans look on the idolatrous practices of the heathen
wi t h varied feelings. Many pass them by wi t h a scornful
contempt, as though they were beneath their notice. Some are
repelled, others merely show an idle curiosity, whi ch is too
often mingled wi t h a flippancy that gives offence to the keen-
wi t t ed native. A few openly ridicule the worshippers of idols,
a method that does not assist the missionary in his endeavour
to teach the people better things.' (p. 260.)
Mr s . Penny's treatment is neither scornful nor fl i ppant .
She watches, makes an effort to understand, and records,
often wi t h mi ngl ed feelings of bel i ef and disbelief. As
a missionary she expresses her abhorrence of heathen
rites, pagan practices and ani mi st i c beliefs, but the
artist i n her i s interested. She quotes Ma r k Twa i n wi t h
approval .
'One t hi ng is sure; They [the natives of India] are much
the most interesting people in the worldand the nearest to
being incomprehensible. At any rate, the hardest to account
for. Their character and their history, their customs and their
religion, confront you wi t h riddles at every turnriddles whi ch
are a trifle more perplexing after they are explained than they
were before. You can get the facts of a customlike caste, and
Suttee and Thuggee and so onand wi t h the facts a theory
whi ch tries to explain, but never quite does it to your satis-
faction.' (Following the Equator (1897), vol . I I , chap. xi i . )
(i ) The mysterious East. It is this mystery and uni nt el l i gi -
b i l i t y of t he Hi n d u r el i gi on that attracts Mr s . Penny as a
romancer of moder n I ndi a. Thi s i s we l l i l l ust rat ed by The.
1
Since then Mrs. Tenny has published three more novels.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 285
Sanyasi (1909). The strange power that the Sanyasi exercises
over those who come i nt o contact wi t h hi m and the practice
of bei ng entombed alive ( whi ch leads to the Sanyasi's death)
are realistically described. In Dilys (1903) Mr s . Penny
shows her fami l i ari t y wi t h the strange life of I ndi an gypsies.
The Unlucky Mark (1909) is based on superstitions regard-
i ng the l ucky and unl ucky marks of a horse. Sir Da v i d
Dereham, who rides the horse wi t h the unl ucky mark,
wi ns the race, but dies. Sacrifice (1910) deals wi t h the
' meri ah' or human sacrifices prevalent among the Khonds
of the Eastern Ghats. The long-lost son of the Rajah
of El l anore is saved f r om bei ng sacrificed as an offering
t o the enraged earth goddess by Ma r t i n Wal di ngham,
assistant to the agent in Ganjam. Inci dent al l y Mr s . Penny
contrasts Hi ndui s m wi t h Chri st i ani t y, and suggests that
the standards of humani t y and nei ghbourl y l ove are l ower
i n Hi ndui s m than i n Christianity. She t hi nks that Hi n d u -
i sm wi t h its fatalistic tendency does not encourage the
exercise of heroic or active virtues. In The Rajah (1911),
she shows the gr i p that local customs have even on
educated and cul t ured Indians l i ke the Rajah of Shiva-
pore. The Malabar Magician (1912) gives a por t r ai t of
Kur umba, a hypnot i st , crystal-gazer, di vi ner, and mystic
of the Malabar jungles. Thi s wi l d man, so strange i n
his l ove and hatred, reminds t he reader of the Sanyasi.
He appears again in The Tea-Planter but has lost some of
his mystery. Even Love by an Indian River (1916), t hough
i t deals wi t h the l ove of Ant hony Basildon for a r i ch
Amer i can g i r l (incidentally contrasting Ameri can wi t h
Engl i sh character), i s remarkable for the v i v i d picture of
Kar l i maya wor shi p i n an out l yi ng vi l l age of southern
I ndi a, of the power and influence of the Mahant and
Pujaris over the masses, the t ri cks to whi c h they resort
i n order t o keep t hei r hol d over the people, and of the
difficulties and risks to whi c h Engl i sh officials are ex-
posed i n I ndi a when t hei r beneficent activities come i nt o
confl i ct wi t h the age-long superstitions of the people.
286 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
The scene in whi ch l i t t l e Sunnie desires to say his prayers
to Miss Margery Langford because he can see her, and
not to God whom he cannot see, is t ouchi ng. Miss Lang-
f or d had to consent to 'act as a k i nd of deputy for the
child' s Dei t y' . Living Dangerously, one of the few novels
of Mr s. Penny i n whi ch the chief characters are all
Engl i shmen, depicts the belief of the natives in the earth-
spirits demanding sacrifice f r om gol d seekers, whi ch is
curiously connected wi t h the death of Sir George Avel on
in the dolmen. Mr s. Penny shows that the native super-
stitions are baseless and that Sir George' s death is the
result of natural causes. Yet the fact of his death occurri ng
where it does, and in the manner it does, lends a terrible
significance to native beliefs. The Swami's Curse (1922),
t hough wi t hout a homogeneous pl ot , is a storehouse of
i nformat i on about Hi ndu customs and superstitions. The
account of secret, devilish machinations of Savalu's mot her
and his wi fe Thiara, inspired by the wi cked Swami and
his chela, against his Engl i sh friends, and the scene at
ni ght in the cremation gr ound, are gruesome. Mr s . Penny
reverts to the favourite theme of hypnot i c powers,
possession, second sight, and haunted houses in The Wish-
ing Stone (1930). Miss Daphne Fernandez, a beautiful
Eurasian, possesses a wi shi ng stone, an alexandrite; by
day it is dul l green, by ni ght it has a red ray that is not
visible to every eye. By means of this stone she can get
whatever she desires. For example, she wished for the
death of Mr . Henley of the Forest Service and he died.
Mr s . Penny is careful to explain that he died a perfectly
natural death, but Miss Fernandez believes that she ki l l ed
hi m, whi l e the native coolies t hi nk that Mr . Henley died
because he gave orders for the removal of a tree in whi ch
a demon was supposed to reside. Mr . Dangerfield, an
estranged husband wanderi ng about in Indi a, witnesses
some awful ceremonies of pr opi t i at i on of the ri ver deities.
He t hi nks that what he saw was a human sacrifice. Hi s
friend Ashmere sums up the attitude of Mr s. Penny to
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 287
t he strange beliefs of the large mass of Hi ndus of southern
I ndi a.
'Theoretically I don' t believe in i t , but l i vi ng among these
peoplepracticallywell, one doesn't know what to believe.'
( p. 125.)
( i i ) . Life of the zenana. Anot her i nt erest i ng feature of Mr s .
Penny' s novels i s the description of the l i fe of the Hi n d u
as we l l as Mu s l i m zenanas of southern I ndi a. Mr s . Penny
must have vi si t ed some of these zenanas herself and con-
versed wi t h the ladies there. Her pictures of zenana l i fe
are monot onousl y uni f or m. No Engl i shwomanand
many are the women novelists wh o have wr i t t e n about
t he zenanahas ever seen anyt hi ng wo r t h admi r i ng i n the
I ndi an andrun. The onl y story ( omi t t i ng the sketches of the
Hi n d u and Mohammedan zenana-life gi ven by Meadows
Tayl or i n Tara) k n o wn t o the present wr i t er , i n wh i c h
respectable I ndi an ladies are shown to be a l i t t l e better
t han animals, is A Rajput Princess by Mr . Ot t o Rot hf el d.
I n this respect, Mr s . Penny, wi t h al l her opport uni t i es,
has not been able to rise above the average l evel of An g l o -
I ndi an romancers. A Mixed Marriage, The Inevitable Law,
Love in a Palace, Desire and Delight, A Question of Colour,
The Rajah, The Rajah's Daughter, The Two Brides, al l gi ve
t he same description of the zenana.
A zenana, accordi ng to Mr s . Penny, is a place where
' t he dayl i ght even at the best of times does not penetrate
t o any extent' ,
1
where ' enqui ry f r om the outside wo r l d i s
baffled by the al l power f ul influence of Gosha rules' , the
gosha coveri ng ' i n addi t i on t o women' s faces and figures,
injustice, t yranny, f avour i t i sm, cruelty, and cri me' ;
2
where
tears are common and self-restraint never known, where
o l d and young cry l i ke babies, and where no one takes
any notice of an extravagant display of gri ef;
3
where the
mot her-i n-l aw uses stick, fire, and sack to subdue the recal-
ci t rant daughter-in-law, and where the enraged daughter-
1
The Rajah's Daughter, p. 103.
2
Desire and Delight, p. 189.
3
A Question Love, p. 112.
288 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
i n- l aw, seizing her by the hair, tries to bite her;
1
where the
women are busy onl y wi t h t hei r tongues, or quarrel over
the preparation of the daily meals.
2
Besides bei ng experts
i n the art of ' dopi ng' and ' dr uggi ng' , the ladies of the
zenana rule behi nd the purdah even more autocratically
than the Judge in A Question of Love
3
rules the rest of the
house; they make the marriages of the boys, i nt r i gue f or
husbands for the gi rl s, welcome the gur u or domestic
chaplain of the fami l y, and arrange pilgrimages to temples.
4
The purdah or gosha, the harem or zenana rules the l i fe
of Indians to an extent that the outside wo r l d scarcely
dreams of.
' "The purdah!" ' says Derwent in Love in a Palace. ' "We
have taken India and invested i t , but the purdah remains
unconquered. We shall never get behind the purdah of the
Ea s t . " ' (p. 253.)
Mr s . Penny understands those I ndi an men and women who
i n dress, education and culture resemble the Engl i sh, or, t o
use her favourite phrase, have ' the instincts of an Engl i sh
man' . She sympathizes wi t h t hem and feels for t hem. But
the woman behi nd the purdah is a mystery to her. There
is much unhappiness in the zenana: she takes note of that.
That there may also be l ove and happiness there, she
ignores.
(i i i ) Indian marriage. A favourite theme of Mr s . Penny is
the pl i ght of an educated, cul t ured I ndi an wh o i s marri ed
to an uneducated, i gnorant , and fool i sh g i r l . The Inevi-
table Law is a t erri bl e pi ct ure of the tragedy of such uni ons,
and of the unscrupulousness of feminine t yranny and
priestly cunni ng. Hassan's marriage t o bl i nd Nissa, i n
Love in a Palace, wo u l d have been another tragedy but
for the Engl i sh example of Der went , who loves and
marries Miss Orban, even when she becomes permanently
deformed. I t i s Der went who teaches the meaning of
1
The Inevitable Law, p. 167.
2
The Rajah, p. 48.
3
p. 207.
4
The Inevitable Law.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 289
l ove t o Hassan, i n whose breast i nheri t ed 'ancestral
i nst i nct s' st ruggl ed wi t h western feelings of pi t y. The
same contrast between Eastern and West ern ideals of l ove
and marriage and the beneficent influence of Engl i s h ideals
i n saving a cul t ur ed I ndi an f r om a life of compul sory
celibacy or ani mal existence, f o r m the theme of The Two
Bridesthe whi t e bri de and the dark one. The whi t e
bri de i s we l l k n o wn t o readers of Angl o- I ndi an f i ct i on.
The dark one was a t error. Whe n Narasimha, an I ndi an
c i v i l servant, f i nds her' a wi l d t hi ng out of the j ungl e' ,
' the l i t t l e spit-fire' , silent as a wounded j ungl e cat at bay,
ready t o spr i ng at h i m and bi t e h i m on the ni ght of his
first meet i ng wi t h herone can realize his agony. By tact,
kindness, and sympathy he manages to send her to Eng-
l and. ' The beautiful l i t t l e t i ger of I ndi a' after bei ng
subjected to a process of domestication and cul t ure
ret urned t o make a model wi fe t o Narasimha. In The
Rajah's Daughter, a cul t ured I ndi an g i r l , wh o has spent
t en years in Engl and and who has ' the instincts and tastes
of an Engl i s hwoman' , is marri ed to a coarse, vul gar, fat
zemindar wh o has already a wi fe and three chi l dr en.
It i s not surpri si ng that she elopes wi t h the Rajah of
Wor r i or e . But the pl ot i s unconvi nci ng. H o w coul d a
Rajah, wh o allows his daughter t o stay i n Engl and up t o
the age of eighteen, t hi nk of mar r yi ng her t o an i l l i t er -
ate boor ol d enough to be her father? Mr s . Penny knows
Al ma Beaufort, the post -War g i r l wh o can take care of
herself, but she does not know the rajah, the ranee, or the
zemindar of to-day. Her rajahs, ranis, and zemindars
are grotesque caricatures. The post -War I ndi a is not so
i gnor ant as Mr s . Penny imagines. Read, for example, t he
f ol l owi ng passage describing how a zemindar' s ' fl ock'
boarded a mot or - car :
'One of the chuprassis opened the door and retired quickly.
The women, six of them, were unceremoniously pushed and
hustled i nt o the car. They were unaccustomed to such con-
veyances and di d not know how to step inside. They were
U
290 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
used to the simple bullock coach into which they clambered
and crawled without the aid of steps. They adopted the same
means of entering the car and crept in on their hands and knees,
feeling their way like so many unwieldy waterlogged spaniels.'
(The Rajah's Daughter, p. 231.)
In al l these novels Mr s . Penny has a purpose. She is a
bi t t er cri t i c of ' the materialism of a Hi n d u weddi ng' , whi c h
she regards as no better than the ' uni on between a couple
of wel l -bred animals' . Educated I ndi an men have i mbi bed
the spi ri t of West ern ideals of companionship and love i n
marriage, whi l e I ndi an women have not changed. Mr s .
Penny objects to mi xed marriages. She may not have the
same obj ect i on t o the marriage of Hi ndus or Musulmans
wi t h ' hal f castes' and I ndi an Christians. But she has not
t ouched upon this aspect. Her sol ut i on of the pr obl em
is different. She wo u l d l i ke to see her Anwar s and Andhr a
Roys, Hassans and Narasimhas marry gi rl s l i ke Seeta Rama,
an I ndi an g i r l educated i n Engl and and emancipated f r om
t he bondage of the purdah and the t yranny of caste and
cust om. She holds that educated gi rl s alone wi l l solve the
pr obl em of marriage f or educated Indians who have t o
wo r k wi t h Engl i shmen i n the hi gher services.
' Men like Narasimha find their lives restricted and narrowed
down to semi-barbarism as soon as they leave the office and
seek the domestic hearth, so to speak. I can fancy Narasimha's
disgust when he finds his illiterate wife, a woman who can't
even read, in the kitchen smelling of raw onions and curry
stuff, and squatting over the ghee pot wi t h her servants. She
wi l l probably be abusing them i n the language of the street
coolie. Perhaps she wi l l be whacking one of the younger
girls wi t h a bamboo. Imagine his dislike of the whole scene,
his shame when he compares the English wife wi t h the
woman who calls hi m husband. He wi l l be powerless to
alter i t . ' (The Two Brides, pp. 27-8.)
She advocates inter-caste marriages. Caste must go, f or
caste is the Ol d Ma n of the Sea who sits upon the shoulders
of the Hi ndus and governs t hem despotically. She i s
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 291
quite conscious of the ' doubl e l i f e' that faces such Indians
nowadays and t hi nks that
'the solidarity of the whole of India depends on whether the
girls are educated and brought up to the social and mental
standard of men like Narasimha'. {The Two Brides, p 27.)
(i v) Mrs. Pennys characters. Mr s . Penny's stories, t hough
not always homogeneous, are better planned t han those
of many Angl o- I ndi an wri t ers. Her characterization, how-
ever, is a l i t t l e flat. In the large gallery of her creations
one has to search l ong to fi nd a s t r i ki ng i ndi vi dual . Amo n g
her Indians, the nawabs and the I. C. S. men are dummies
i nt roduced to illustrate certain aspects of I ndi an social
l i fe. Her Engl i shmen are not men but ideals or examples
for Indians t o f ol l ow; Wal di nghams, War bor oughs, and
Te d Dersinghams are healthy, heroic men wh o unfl i nch-
i ngl y do their dut y by the i gnorant , superstitious, dark
mi l l i ons in a strange count ry under difficult condi t i ons.
Mr s . Penny's best characters are not to be f ound in the
regul at i on type of heroes and heroines of romances. I t
is her mi nor characters that show her power of etching
out well-defined i ndi vi dual s. She has a remarkable
number of such creations. Her bearers l i ke ' Paddybi rd' ,
1
Ramaswamy,
2
Mi guel ,
3
and Abhoy;
4
Mr s . Hul ver
5
the
housekeeper, and El t on Br and
6
who had a l i t t l e weakness
of bei ng ' over t ook' , are Dickensian i n t hei r conversation
and conduct.
(v) Mrs. Penny's descriptions. Mr s . Penny's novels are
f ul l o f descriptions o f beautiful scenes and sights o f
southern I ndi a. She is fami l i ar wi t h the plains of Madras
and its hi l l s, rivers, and j ungles. The f ol l owi ng is a
description of Coonoor on the Ni l gi r i s , ' the most perfect
h i l l station i n I ndi a' , and of the vi ew f r om Ti ger Hi l l .
'The broad expanse of level country stretching away to the
south was like a vast ocean l yi ng calm and motionless in an
1
The Malabar Magician.
2
Dilys.
3
The Sanyasi.
4
pulling the Strings.
5
The Outcaste.
6
Dilys.
292 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
opalescent haze of heat. Through the t hi n veil of atmosphere
the lakes and tanks shone wi t h a silver gleam. Long roads
highways from the great cities of the north to the temples of
the southwere distinguishable by their wonderful avenues
of banyan and tamarind trees, giants of welcome shade of
soft green on the golden land at that distance.'
'The Bhowani river, sobered by the level of the plains and
no longer turbulent, flowed seaward, a silver band on a ribbon
of yellow sand. A t own of mud-built houses clustered upon
its banks round a shrine that lifted its wedge-shaped tower
above the low tiled roofs. About the t own, and on either side
of the river, the plain was patched wi t h green rice-fields
watered by canals that were like threads of shining white
silk.' (Love in the Hi l l s, p. 204.)
74. Mr. Edmund White.
A more i mport ant novelist of I ndi an life than Mr s .
Penny i s Mr . Edmund Whi t e of the I ndi an Ci vi l Service.
He was in I ndi a f r om 1867 to 1892, and served in the
Uni t ed Provinces of Agr a and Oudh. Hi s f i r st di st ri ct
was Bareily, then a very lonely place, where he was t hr own
very much on his o wn resources. ' There he learnt' , as
Sir T. W. Holderness informs the readers i n his appreci-
at i on of Mr . Edmund Whi t e,
1
' t o know and l i ke the people
over wh o m he was placed' , and it was there that 'he
acquired that intimate and mi nut e knowl edge of I ndi an
l i fe in its domestic and tender aspects whi ch appears on
every page of his I ndi an stories'. Because of his continued
stay in one di st ri ct ' the I ndi an people and I ndi an life
and t hought became to hi m an open book, so far as that is
possible for a European' . Af t er his retirement he began
to wr i t e novels in whi ch he has recorded his observations
of I ndi an life and character. He wr ot e eight novels i n al l .
Four of t hem deal wi t h Engl i sh life and four wi t h I ndi an.
The I ndi an novels are better than his novels of Engl i sh l i fe.
Mr . Edmund Whi t e has t r i ed t o understand the East
f r om the Eastern poi nt of vi ew and t o interpret i t t o the
1
Prefixed to The Pilgrimage of Premndth, 1918.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 293
West. That the West has not underst ood his i nt erpret at i on
is clear f r om the scant notice that has been t aken of Mr .
Whi t e' s I ndi an novels. Thi s i s explained par t l y by the
technique of Mr . Edmund Wh i t e , his style, the atmosphere
of his stories and t hei r motif, but most l y by the general
indifference wi t h whi c h questions, ideas, events, and
characters purel y I ndi an are regarded by the average
Engl i shman.
- Bijli the Dancer
1
is a romarice of unusual interest. Bi j l i
i s not the ordi nary si ngi ng g i r l of the Arabian Nights.
She is idealized, but is st i l l t rue to l i f e, and gives an i nsi ght
i nt o the l i fe, wo r k , feelings, and passions of this class of
women who have escaped the not i ce of most wr i t er s, since
they do not see in I ndi an dancers anyt hi ng but a sensual
appeal. Bi j l i lives for her art and falls i n l ove wi t h a Pathan
of a noble fami l y. The nobl eman offers her marriage. The
conflict whi c h Bi j l i experiences, between her l ongi ngs as
a woman and her ambi t i on as an artist, is remarkabl y
we l l port rayed. Bi j l i ' s f l i ght wi t h her l over, the descrip-
t i o n of the st or m, and of the l ong last farewel l , show
Mr . Whi t e' s power of ski l f ul narrat i on and wor d- pai nt i ng.
The tragic theme i s we l l managed, and the pictures of
l i fe i n No r t h I ndi a are f ul l of l ocal col our.
Chanda Bae, the Red Fai ry of The Path, is the counter-
part of Bi j l i .
'Seated on a bamboo cot at the door of a house, she held
a silver mi rror and combed her glossy hair in the warmth of
the early sun. Her garments were of bright chintz, quilted,
the unbuttoned jacket displaying a tinselled bodice glittering
in the sunshine.' (p. 10.)
She earns gol d f r om the r i c h t o feast the gallant men of
wi t and l earni ng wi t h wh o m she associates. She loves
her b l i n d i r r i t abl e o l d granny, she loves s t i l l mor e ' t he
j oy i n t he sun and t he l i ght , i n the shade and the breeze;
the del i ght of the song and the dance, and the sweet savour
1
Published in 1918 pseudonymously, as by James Blythe Patton.
294 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
of the dainties' ,
1
but she understands that a service of l ove
is needed to sweeten l i fe. She regards the poets whose
songs she sings as ' the i nspi red interpreters' of war m
feelings and aspirations for whi ch she can find neither
words nor melodies sufficiently expressive. She regards
music as the touchstone of sympathy, for, as she says,
' we can awaken sleeping feeling, we cannot i mpl ant i t ' .
2
Though her mor al life is not pure, she grudges no t oi l
for the perfection of her art. She loves the t o i l needed
for its perfection. Yet she cries ' I woul d l i ve for one man
onl y, for h i m t o wh o m my heart yearns', and touched by the
address of the Master, is prepared to cast away ' her health,
yout h, j oy of the day' , her very l i fe, t o support and con-
sole h i m. Fi nal l y she falls down, and kissing his feet,
mur mur s :
' "I am thine, my beloved. I leave thee now and for ever,
though I die in despair." ' (p. 374.)
The scenes and settings o f The Path wi l l appear strange
to European eyes, and Red Fairy' s language is very
often excessively sentimental. But i n her, as i n Bi j l i , Mr .
Whi t e has l ai d bare the soul of the much despised I ndi an
dancer and shown that she possesses great capacity for
fai t hful and passionate l ove, for deeds of heroic self-
sacrifice and devot i on to art for its o wn sake. The nautch
g i r l f i gur es i n many Angl o- I ndi an novels. We have
already discussed Ki pl i ng' s superficial knowl edge of I ndi an
womanhood; his port rai t s of the women of the bazaar are
equally superficial. Mr s . Penny is t oo refined to t hi nk
ki ndl y of nautch gi rl s. Mr . Mor ga n admires t hei r l i t he
bodies, t hei r wi l l o wy arms, and calls t hei r bare feet
' delicately carved poems in flesh' . But he considers t hei r
dance a ' crude barbaric art ' . Mr . Whi t e' s great mer i t lies
i n his abi l i t y t o see bel ow the surface. The onl y other
wr i t er wh o may be compared wi t h h i m i s this respect i s
the famous Bengali novel i st , Sarat Chandra Chatterjee.
1
P- 13-
2
P
. 184.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 295
Sa vi t r i and Raj l aks hmi , l i k e Bi j l i and La l Pa r i , t h o u g h
fal l en wo me n , are f u l l o f l ovabl e t r ai t s .
The Path has pr act i cal l y no pl o t . A l i Hus s ai n, one of
t he sons of a decayed Sayyi d house at Ro n a h i , r et ur ns
home after years of t r a ve l , st udy, and t h o u g h t . He has been
t o Ji dda and ot her h o l y places of I s l a m; he has l i v e d i n
' Mi s r and R u m' . He has seen mu ch and medi t at ed l o n g ,
and he br i ngs t o hi s peopl e a ne w message and a ne w hope.
In hi s mast erl y address, f o r wh i c h t he rest of t he bo o k i s
a pr e pa r a t i on, he brands I s l a m as t he creed of decay and
decadence. He want s t he peopl e t o be bo l d e nough t o
d i s t i n g u i s h facts observed f r o m facts revealed. Th e ke r ne l
o f his t eachi ng i s :
' That all man's life is here under the sun and not elsewhere,
and that the sources of good and i l l are here wi t h i n this
sensible tangible wo r l d , and not elsewhere; that every one
of us shall use his powers and opportunities for the advance-
ment of the generation to come and for the establishment of
the ki ngdom of man over al l things under the sun.'
Hi s wo r d s shock a l l ' g o o d sons o f Is l a m' . Mr . Ed m u n d
Wh i t e calls hi s bo o k ' an I n d i a n Romance' . It i s less a
romance t ha n a series of wo n d e r f u l scenes of I n d i a n l i fe
poet i cal l y concei ved. I t s i nt erest l i es, n o t s o mu c h i n t he
message of t he Sayyi d, a s i n hi s i nt er cour se wi t h t he
di ffer ent peopl e wh o represent t he l i fe o f Ro n a h i . Th e
bo o k i s dedi cat ed t o Sir Syed Ah m e d Kh a n , ' t ha t mos t
nobl e gent l eman' wh o s ought ' t o u n i t e t he pi e t y o f t he
East wi t h t he science o f t he We s t ' , a nd Mr . Wh i t e pays
a g l o wi n g t r i bu t e t o t he persuasive eloquence of t hi s
great Mo h a mme d a n r efor mer . Th e bo o k i s wr i t t e n wi t h
f e r v o u r and i n a qua i nt style o f mu ch s i mpl i ci t y a nd di s -
t i n ct i o n , wi t h a fl a vour of t he Arabian Nights. It has
a r es t ful qu a l i t y a bout i t wh i c h , perhaps, i s i t s greatest
cha r m. I t i s n o t o n l y a t r i bu t e t o Si r Syed's wo r k , bu t
a pl a n o f wo r k f o r soci al r efor mer s wh o wi s h t o regener-
ate I s l a m a nd infuse i n t o i t a s pi r i t capable of co mpe t i n g
wi t h t he Wes t . Mr . Wh i t e ' s k n o wl e d g e o f t he Sayyi d
296 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
fami l y of Ronahi is i nt i mat e and sympathetic; his use of
local colour is judicious, and he possesses exceptional
facility i n the delineation of oriental types.
The Pilgrimage of Premndth is a pendant to The Path. It
aims at depicting the spi ri t ual life of the Hi ndus as The
Path depicts that of the Mohammedans. Li ke The Path
it is a novel of religious philosophy. Li ke The Path it is
remarkable more for its dialogue than incidents or con-
st ruct i on. Premnath is a good ol d Hi ndu, religious and
charitable, who seeks salvation by renounci ng the wo r l d ;
his son, Dwarakanat h, loves the wo r l d and its pleasures,
and his grandson is a rationalist. Mr . Whi t e is a keen
student of phi l osophy and is hi msel f a rationalist. He
speaks t hr ough Bal gobi nd and the Bengali post-master
at Rohani . He fol l ows ' the school of John Locke and
Da v i d Hume i n its latest development t hr ough Charles
Da r wi n and Herbert Spencer; Engl i sh sages who have
done most to dissipate the mist of ancient visions' .
1
Bot h
in The Path and in The Pilgrimage of Premnath, Mr . Whi t e
aims at dissipating the ' mi st of ancient visions' . The idea
under l yi ng this book is wel l expressed by the f ol l owi ng
quot at i on f r om Wor ds wor t h, Mr . Whi t e' s favourite poet :
Paradise, and groves
Elysian, Fortunate Fieldslike those of old
Sought in the Atlantic main . . .
. . . the discerning Intellect of Man
When wedded to this goodly Universe
In love and holy passion, shall find these
A simple produce of the common day.
Amo n g the female characters of the book Radhika and
the wi d o w Ha r i Sundari stand out as hi ghl y spiritualized
visions of Hi n d u womanhood. Radhika i s no jealous and
t yranni cal mot her-i n-l aw; she treats her daughters-in-law
wi t h l ove and consideration. Her ideal i s one of l ove and
service, and by her l ove and gentleness, by her wi s dom
and tact, and lastly by her death, she enables her husband
I The Pilgrimage of Premndth, p. 187.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 297
to see the error of his spi r i t ual quest. She enables h i m
t o realize that paradise i s ' a simple produce of the common
day' . Ha r i Sundari i s a wi d o w wh o leads a life of prayer
and fasting and cherishes the memor y of her dead husband.
She finds consol at i on i n her l ove f or her chi l d and i n
servi ng the fami l y of her husband. She is the spi r i t ual
comf or t er of the household and its guardi an angel. She is
not a nor mal representative of her class, but she is nearer
t he type t han the despised and unnat ural specimens created
by Angl o- I ndi a n i magi nat i on. Mr . Ed mu n d Whi t e' s pi c-
t ur e of a Hi n d u house i s l i f e- l i ke. We see the veranda of
t he i nner court , the l i t t l e open chamber on the terraced
r oof , the l amp bur ni ng i n a niche i n the wa l l , the maina i n
the cage f l ut t er i ng on its perch, the wi d o w s i t t i ng on
a l o w cane st ool i n an angle of t he parapet, and t he
astrologer det er mi ni ng the pr opi t i ous day. Radhi ka is
able to help the astrologer, for she remembers the day
whe n she hel d her first chi l d to her breast: this is a
pecul i arl y I ndi an t ouch. The descri pt i on of the supper
consi st i ng of the ' savoury p u mp k i n cur r y, the rice ripened
by five years in her storehouse, and the crisp cakes j ust
t ouched wi t h asafoetida', i s v i v i d , t hough cakes t ouched
wi t h asafoetida are not a part of our dai l y f ood.
Anot her book by Mr . Wh i t e is Tne Heart of Hindustan
(1910). I t i s not a novel i n t he or di nar y sense of the wo r d .
I t has no cont i nuous pl ot . But i t i s somet hi ng better
a por t r ayal of the admi ni st rat i ve machinery of a di st r i ct
i n Br i t i s h I ndi a f r om various poi nt s of vi ew, di vi ded i nt o
f our books. In t he fi rst book he gives the reader some
idea of the admi ni st r at i on of a Tahsil I n the second book,
he deals wi t h the difficulties connected wi t h the i nvest i -
gat i on of cri me i n I ndi a and shows h o w pol i ce officers
sometimes shield t he real cul pr i t . The t h i r d book i s
a cont i nuat i on of t he second and shows h o w a gui l t y
pol i ce officer escapes puni shment and justice is baffled.
The f our t h book deals wi t h probl ems connected wi t h t he
estates of b i g zemindars. Besides the dut y of mai nt ai ni ng
298 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
peace and order and admi ni st eri ng justice it falls to the
l ot of a di st ri ct magistrate ' to reconcile father and son
and direct the latter f r om idleness and dissipation t o the
duties of the hei r t o a great estate'. The central fi gure i n
the book i s Shekh Rafat A l i , Tahsildar of Ronahi , a br oad-
bui l t man of sixty wi t h a square forehead and bushy eye-
br ows.
' He wore a ful l beard trimmed squarely and dyed to a glossy
black; but his moustache was closely clipped, exposing a coarse
mouth and regular teeth stained wi t h red betel juice. It was
the countenance of a man of action, alert, energetic, and self-
reliant, sweetened wi t h an expression of good-humour.' (p. 7.)
He is a great believer in ' hi kmat - amal i ' or expediency.
By cajolery and persuasion, and a l i t t l e i nt i mi dat i on, used
as a last resort, he averts a serious Muhar r am r i ot in
Ronahi . He i s a t ypi cal representative of the pos t - Mut i ny
I ndi an official, l ovabl e and good-nat ured, but not over-
scrupulous. Mr . Wh i t e had great admi r at i on f or capable
and l oyal Mohammedan officials of Upper I ndi a. He
called t hem the backbone of the admi ni st r at i on.
' They were wise and tolerant and purposeful, trusted by
their co-religionists, respected by and on excellent terms wi t h
their Hi ndu neighbours. The breed, it is devoutly to be hoped,
still survives, notwithstanding competitive examinations and
the decay of patronage.' (Sir T. W. Holderness, Preface to
The Pilgrimage of Premndth, p. xiv. )
Mos t of the other characters also are dr awn wi t h
i nsi ght and s ki l l . We may refer t o the spi ri t ed Li t t l e
Lady f r o m Kat ahr , t he Rajput wi f e of Bharat Si ngh, hei r
t o the estate of T i k o r i . The long-suffering I ndi an wives
are so common in fiction that it is a pleasure to come across
a lady l i ke her.
75. Mr. R. J. Minney.
Mr . Mi nney has been acclaimed by some reviewers as a
second Ki p l i n g . He has some poi nt s i n common wi t h h i m.
He was bor n i n I ndi a, was sent t o Engl and f or his educa-
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 299
t i on, and was engaged i n journalistic wor k i n I ndi a for seven
years. He also resembles Ki p l i n g in his desire to interpret
I ndi a to his Engl i sh readers. But in Ki pl i ng' s wr i t i ngs, as a
cri t i c in The Bookman puts i t , ' we have the finished and com-
plete masterpiece: in Mi nney there is onl y the promise of
what is stll to come' . In addi t i on to his t wo novels, Maki
and The Road to Delhi, Mr . Mi nney has wr i t t en a few descrip-
t i ve books-Night Life of Calcutta, Across India by Air,
Midst Himalayan Mists, and Shiva, or the Future of India. In
Night Life of Calcutta he displays the same knowl edge of a
side of the I ndi an wo r l d that Ki p l i n g di d i n his stories.
At the corner of Zacharia Street and Chi t pore, opposite
the ol d mosque, he saw a bl i nd beggar g i r l si t t i ng
wi t h her pal m outstretched, as any Engl i shman may see
any day i n any ci t y of Indi a. But unl i ke the average
Engl i shman, the author was evidently touched by her
misery. Maki is an attempt to reconstruct the hi st ory of
such a beggar gi r l . Maki ' s experiences are heart-rending.
If her l i fe i n the house of her father and her husband was
miserable, her life as a runaway g i r l , beautiful and inex-
perienced, in the heartless streets of Calcutta is t erri bl e.
It is t oo late that she learns the lesson whi c h it appears
t o have been Mr . Mi nney' s object t o preach: ' how difficult
i t i s t o be bot h good and beautiful i n an I ndi an household' .
She t hen realizes the vi r t ue of the purdah system and the
ut i l i t y of chi l d marriages. We wonder i f Mr . Mi nney i s
serious. If he i s not , his i r ony i s not obvi ous and i s at
least misplaced. Maki ' s bi t t er experiences, i f we under-
stand Mr . Mi nney ari ght , were due to the fact that she
was left t oo l ong unmarri ed. Unmar r i ed she grew to an
age when she coul d appreciate the virtues of a husband.
2
Her desires carried her out of the household of her father
and fl ung her upon a cruel wo r l d i n whi c h her beauty
became the cause of st i l l greater misfortunes. The book
illustrates Mr . Mi nney' s vi ew, more f ul l y developed i n
Shiva, t hat Indians are very much preoccupied wi t h
1
Maki, p. 237.
2
Ibid. p. 238.
300 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
problems of sexa vi ew shared by Miss Kat hari ne
Ma yo and wri t ers of her school. I t i s doubt f ul whet her
Mr . Mi nney knows anyt hi ng about the real l i fe of a
Bengali fami l y of the upper mi ddl e class. What he seems
to have seen is a dance gi ven by some wealthy l andl or d
on the marriage of his son and the accompanying fest i vi -
ties. There is not a single convi nci ng character. Bot h
To t o n and the Rajah are caricatures; Hi r a is a hardened
vi l l a i n. The story shows no traces of fi ni shed wor kma n-
ship. I t cannot bear comparison wi t h Ki pl i ng' s master-
pieces. Ki p l i n g , l i ke Mr . Mi nney, does not know much
about I ndi a behi nd the pur dah, but what l i t t l e he knows
he has at least wor ked up artistically.
Mr . Mi nney' s second novel , The Road to Delhi (1923),
is the tale of a l i t t l e vi l l age boy wh o is lost on the Gr and
Tr u n k Road, is carried to Calcutta, seeks service wi t h a
European fami l y there, and is very poor and miserable.
He is adopted and educated later by a Mohammedan egg-
seller, and is caught i nt o the maelstrom of I ndi an pol i t i cs
and the Non-Co-operat i on Movement . I n the f i r st hal f of
the book Mo t i h a r i reminds the reader of K i m . Hi s sub-
sequent l i fe i n Calcutta i s another versi on of Maki ' s
experiences i n the heartless Ci t y of Palaces wi t h whi c h
Mr . Mi nney seems t o be qui t e familiar. The author' s
descri pt i on of the inhabitants of the Street of Gol dsmi t hs,
where l i ved the ' aged, toothless, crescent-shaped man'
who was a master of the uni que art of expl oi t i ng beggary,
is graphic. The second part of the novel is much weaker
t han the first. The first part has been wr i t t e n by the
observant artist, the second by the Angl o- I ndi an j ournal i st .
A whol e chapter i s devot ed t o t raci ng the hi st ory of
const i t ut i onal reforms i n I ndi a and t o special pleadings
i n the manner of an Angl o- I ndi an j our nal .
76. Conclusion.
I ndi a has struck Angl o- I ndi a n novelists i n a variety of
ways. Some of t hem are attracted by her picturesqueness,
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 301
some by her strange contradictions, and a few by her
mystery. The general note, however, i s one of di si l l usi on-
ment and disappointment. To most Engl i shmen and
Engl i shwomen i n Engl and, as Mr . J ohn Eyt on puts i t ,
I ndi a is merely ' a pear-shaped l ump on the map col oured
r ed' .
1
Sir Henr y Cunni ngham is the earliest wr i t er to strike
this note of discontent.
' "The India of sentiment and nonsense," said Montem, "i s,
and always wi l l be the fashionthe India that Burke flooded
wi t h bombast and Macaulay wi t h antithesisthe India that
Stain writes pamphlets about and Frontinbras sonnetsthe
India that never was, and never wi l l be." ' (The Caeruleans,
p. 100.)
He actually fi nds I ndi a ' one of the dullest, most tedious,
unpicturesque affairs you can conceive' .
Nor a h K. Strange, in Mistress of Ceremonies', has a fling at
ol d Portuguese, Dut c h, and It al i an travellers wh o depicted
I ndi a as a l and fl owi ng wi t h mi l k and honey' a l and i n
whi c h prosperous t owns, l uxuri ous gardens and goodl y
estates were to be f ound, whi l e the ports d i d a busy trade
i n copper, qui cksi l ver, ver mi l i on, coral , al um, i vor y, and
spices.'
2
Mr . Campbell i s disappointed wi t h I ndi a, f or
she ' had failed t o f ul f i l the mystic promi se' wi t h whi c h
she had l ur ed hi m.
3
Si mi l arl y, t o Kat hl een i n Mr s . Savi's
The Daughter-in-Law, I ndi a was ' the l and of her dreams
the l and of wa r mt h, sunshine and l uxur y, of elephants,
pal m trees and pagodas; picturesque wi t h col our and f u l l
of unr eal i t y! '
4
but when i n I ndi a she failed t o f i nd the
poet ry and romance that she had read so much about in
books.
5
Al s o Miss Rendell, who ' had a romant i c not i on
about the East' , suffers di si l l usi onment when she sees the
count ry.
6
Mr s . Savi ridicules the stories i n whi c h I ndi a
i s painted ' i n sunset t i nt s' and whi c h omi t ' al l the noxi ous
t hi ngs' whose ment i on r ni ght l ower the charm of the ' ar t i -
f i ci al East' .
7
Mr . Newcomen writes about ' the gl i t t er i ng,
1
Mr. Ram, p. 74.
2
p. 201.
3
Star of Destiny, p. 106.
4
p. 134. 5 p. 54.
6
Mrs. Savi, Mistress of Herself, p. 146.
7
The Daughter-in-Law, p. 147.
302 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
shiny, sumptuous, seductive East that one reads about
so often but seldom sees'.
1
Mr . Y. Endr i kar fi nds hi msel f
in Indi a ' up against things you can' t understand' , and dis-
covers that the ' gl amour of the gorgeous East wears off'
after the f i r st voyage.
2
To Mr . K. M. Edge Indi a i s a l and
of 'passion and sorrow and stress';
3
to ' John Travers' the
l uxuri ous East is a fraud, and the vast wor l d of I nd,
' a wo r l d of contradictions' ,
'where the twice born, the Brahmin whose curse is per-
dition, can be at the same time a peasant soldier, poor and
unknownwhere the sweeper is called in irony "prince"! . . .
where the Sikh may not smoke and the Musalman may not
dri nk; where the Musalman must eat of flesh that has had its
throat cut in the name of God and the Sikh may only eat of
meat that has been beheaded, where beef is pollution to one
and pi g is horror unutterable to another.' (Sahib-log, p. 88.)
Thi s widespread feeling of disgust among Angl o-
I ndi an writers is the result of several causes. In the first
place, they pi t ch their expectations t oo hi gh. The I ndi a
of reality must be different f r om the I ndi a of their imagina-
t i on. Secondly, the very vastness and variety of I ndi a
paralyses their power of understanding. In spite of their
l ong stay, their knowledge of Indi a remains superficial.
What can the mem-sahiband it is she who has wr i t t en
such a large number of novels of Indiapossibly know
of Indiaunder the peculiar conditions of Angl o- I ndi an
life ? Even if prestige and racial pride do not di st ort one's
out l ook, no generalization about I ndi a can be correct.
Fi nal l y, i t has t o be admi t t ed that the way i n whi c h the
vast maj ori t y of the people l i ve is uni nspi ri ng. The great
and gr i ndi ng povert y of the masses is responsible for this.
St i l l there are some wri t ers, t hough their number
is small, who retain their illusions about Indi a. Mr s .
B. M. Croker i s touched by t he ' groups of picturesque
women, surroundi ng that centre of attraction, the wel l ,
1
Blue Moons, p. 144.
2
Gamblers in Happiness, pp. 22, 69.
3
The Shuttles of the Loom, p. 46.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 303
clad i n br i ght yel l ow garments, confined r ound the waist
wi t h br oad massive silver belts, t hei r hair ornamented or
padded out wi t h fragrant blossoms' .
1
Miss Frances M.
Peard has seen very l i t t l e more of t rue I ndi a t han wayside
rai l way stations
'thronged wi t h patient brown people movi ng about or squat-
t i ng on the ground, wi t h stately women in "sorris" of choco-
late or blue, their silver armlets gleaming, their brass waterpots
at their feet, and running from one to the other, their copper-
coloured imps wi t h nothing particular on. Outside the gate
a tonga all bright colours and gaiety, and drawn by a small
cream-coloured bullock.' (The Flying Months, p. 252.)
Mr . Gamon, whi l e descri bi ng the I ndi a of the eighteenth
century, is fi l l ed wi t h 'a strange sense o f l ongi ng and
mel anchol y' as he breathes ' t he stagnant ai r' , heavy wi t h
t he vol upt uous odour of jasmine, a perfume ' wh i c h seems
redolent of al l the mystery and romance of this l and' .
2
Baroness Al exander de Soucanton hears the cal l of this
' great mysterious l and' , she admires her ' wonder f ul East-
ern ni ght s' , and speaks of her sun as ' a fierce Go d indeed,
i n al l his g l o r y ' ; Mr s . Barbara Wi ngf i el d- St r at f or d, l i ke
her Ber yl , feels a ' new, wa r m fl ood of sympat hy' f or
I ndi a. She admires
'the saris of the women, red, orange, blue; the bare brown
limbs of the children, the hum of life and the rhythmic sooth-
i ng beat of the tom-tom, the weirdly fascinating t hr i l l of the
snake-charmer's pipe, the discordantly melodious clang of
temple bells and blare of conches at sunset', (p. 136.)
Even the great monot onous plains of I ndi a have ' a subtle
charm f or her eyes'. In t hei r ' grey-bronze serene endless-
ness', they gi ve her
'a half-sad, half-satisfying sense of a completeness and unchang-
ingness that yet seem to her but yearning after something
even more' , (p. 137.)
Mi ss Joan Conquest condemns her count r ymen wh o
1
Pretty Miss Neville, p. 104.
2
Warren of Oudh, p. 38.
304 EAST AS SEEN BY WEST
' mistake the eastern courtesy and poet r y of movement
f or obsequiousness and h u mi l i t y ' . Amo n g the ' hi ghl y
col our ed, bejewelled pi ct ures' wh i c h I ndi a places before
westerners, she sees ' t he t er r i bl e r oot ' of I ndi an courtesy
and poet r yt he r o o t of patience
' wi t h its tentacles ever t wi ni ng and t wi st i ng t hrough the
eastern mi nd, causing the very ol d to die placidly wi t h a
smile on their shrivelled lips, and the young to envisage
plague, pestilence, and famine wi t h a mere l i f t i ng of the
shoulder'. (Leonie of the Jungle, p. 50.)
Even Mr s . E. W. Savi i s occasionally t ouched by ' t he
I ndi a of wi de spaces and sl ow movement , and a peace
upon al l that was i nf i ni t el y restful and cal m' .
1
Mi ss
Irene Bu r n admires i n I ndi a at least ' t he freedom of
havi ng a bat hr oom t o oneself'.
2
The study of Angl o- I ndi a n f i ct i on suggests t hat
Engl i shmen have a very poor , even contemptuous opi ni on
of I ndi a n character and l i t t l e patience wi t h t hei r ' Ar y a n
f r i end' . Ac c or di ng t o Mr s . Penny, t he natives of I ndi a
l ove ' t or t uous met hods' of seeking justice.
3
They are
referred t o as ' such di r t y war mi nt s ' .
4
In another place
they are l i kened t o parrot s. They l ove ' a gr and vi l l age
quar r el ' ,
5
t hei r customs savour of the barbaric,
6
t hey are
al l knaves,
7
they are not ' di st i ngui shed f or delicacy of
feel i ng' ,
8
they ' go d o wn h i l l fast whe n they start' ,
9
and
i t i s emot i on, not reason, wh i c h sways t hem.
1 0
Nat i ve
temperament can sel dom be r el i ed upon t o do the expected
t hi ng.
1 1
The bel i ef of Hi ndus i n t he sacredness of l i f e
does not i mp l y a ' t ouchi ng l ove and kindness f or al l
ani mal s' .
I 2
They are a l l ' l y i n g rascals'.
13
The I ndi a n takes
1
A Prince of Lovers, p. 202, and White Lies, p. 21.
2
The Border Line, p. 66.
3
Dilys, p. 111.
4
I bi d. , p. 266.
5
I bi d. , p. 232.
6
Rulers of Men, p. 218.
7
'John Travers', In the Long Run, p. 43.
8
Perrin, East of Suez, p. 297.
9
Perrin, Red Records, p. 227.
10
Hobart-Hampden, The Price of the Empire, p. 132.
11
Campbell, Star of Destiny, p. 260. 12 I bi d. , p. 204.
13
C. Howel l , Married in India, p. 67.
EAST AS SEEN BY WEST 305
' a perverted del i ght i n doi ng things the wr o n g way' .
1
Fatalism i s a habi t of mi n d peculiar t o the people of the
East where the unexpected mi ght happen at any t i me.
2
The ' natives haven' t the foggiest idea of hygiene' . 3 They
are t er r i bl y afraid of surgery, and ri sk gangrene before
they " wi l l consent t o an operat i on' .
4
Mr . Alastair Shannon
is careful to note that Indians have ' the age-long habi t of
t hei r species' of expectorating wi t h grave deliberation
after maki ng a remark.
5
A l l this i s very interesting. Perhaps Angl o- I ndi an
wri t ers wh o have favoured us wi t h this delineation of
our character, wi l l admi t that the popul at i on of I ndi a
does not entirely consist of ' di r t y war mi nt s' or ' l yi ng
rascals'. They must also have met Indians who may even
be described as ci vi l i zed, and Indians who do not expector-
ate, even wi t hout grave deliberation, after maki ng a
remark. But i t i s impossible t o quarrel wi t h wri t ers of
fiction. Angl o- I ndi an writers have a r i ght to make f un
of us, i f i t pleases t hem t o do so. An d no har m i s done,
pr ovi ded i t i s understood that Angl o- I ndi an art i s not
always a fai t hful copy of l i fe.
1
Irene Burn, The Border Line, p. 245.
2
E. W. Savi, Banked Fires, p. 81.
3
Ibid. , p. 86. 4 Ibid. , p. 55.
5
The Black Scorpion, p. 125.
X
APPENDIX
A N O T E ON
S O M E I N D I A N W R I T E R S O F E N G L I S H F I C T I O N
A N i nt er est i ng feature o f t he t went i et h- cent ur y An g l o - I n d i a n
f i ct i on i s t he emergence of I ndi ans as wr i t er s of f i ct i on i n
Engl i s h. Th i s i s a nat ur al resul t of t he spread of educat i on i n
I ndi a and t he i ncreasi ng f ami l i ar i t y of I ndi ans w i t h E ngl i s h
l i t er at ur e. I n t hi s not e we shall survey t he wo r k s of those
I n d i a n wr i t er s onl y wh o have wr i t t e n i n E n g l i s h , o mi t t i n g
others whose books have been t ransl at ed i n t o E n g l i s h f r o m
vernacul ars.
Love and Life behind the Purdah (1901) is a col l ect i on of t en
stories by Mi ss Sorabj i , some of wh i c h or i gi na l l y appeared i n
The Nineteenth Century and After and Macmillan's Magazine.
Th e stories do not i gnor e t he l ovabl e qual i t i es of I n d i a n
wo ma n h o o d , b u t t hey leave behi nd a f eel i ng of g l o o m. Greater
Love, f u l l o f a deep pat hos, is perhaps t he best st or y i n t he
wh o l e vol ume .
M r . S . K. Ghosh' s fi rst book, I o o l Indian Nights (1905)
f i r s t appeared i n Pearson's Magazine. I t recount s i n t he manner
of an or i ent al st ory-t el l er t he super - nor mal deeds of Nar ayan-
l a l . I t was f o l l o we d The Prince of Destiny (1909). Thi s i s
obvi ous l y a nove l w i t h a purpose. I t seeks t o analyse t he
causes of pol i t i c a l disaffection i n I n d i a , and warns Br i t a i n of
her unseen pe r i l . The huma n interest of t he st or y has n o t been
sacrificed t o t he ma i n pur pose of t he book. Vashi st a i s we l l
d r a wn and so i s Bar at h. Th e scene ent i t l ed ' t he madness of
Ka mo n a ' , depi ct i ng t he abandonment of a passion-tossed g i r l ,
i s a remarkabl e piece of ar t . F o r t he v i v i d gl i mpse of Francis
Th o mp s o n t hat t he b o o k gi ves, and as an I ndi an' s sympat het i c
r eadi ng of t he unhappy l i f e of a famous E n g l i s h poet , t he book
w i l l always r e ma i n val uabl e. I n style and subj ect -mat t er, and
i n t he var i et y of i t s scenes and vi vi dness of i t s descr i pt i ons,
t he b o o k i s above t he or di nar y.
M r . S. B. Bannerjea' s Tales of Bengal (1910) is a sincere b u t
commonpl ace col l ect i on of tales of r ur a l I ndi a . Samendra,
R a m H a r a k, and Sham Ba bu s how t hat huma ni t y i s t he same
i n r ur a l Bengal a s i n r ur a l E ngl a nd. M r . Bannerjea' s stories,
APPENDI X 307
whose pl ot s are based on per j ur y, pol i ce cor r upt i on, and
zemi ndar i oppressi on, are not devoi d of t r u t h , but they shoul d
not be l i t er al l y i nt erpret ed.
The onl y wr i t er s f r o m t he Panjab wh o have at t empt ed
E ngl i s h f i ct i on are Sardar ( now Sir) Jogi ndr a Si ngh and Mr .
Bal Kr i s hna. Sardar Jogendra Singh' s fi rst t wo novel s, Nur
Jahan and Nasri n, appeared as serials in The East and West.
Nur Jahan is a hi st or i cal novel and pur por t s to be a romance
of the famous Empress of t hat name. Nasrin attempts a
pi ct ur e of t he nawabs and taluqdars of Ou d h , whi l e Kamala
is a romance o f a ' mere' h i l l g i r l abduct ed by the agents o f
a Rajah. A l l the stories are stories of h i g h l i f e. Nur Jahan is a
fai l ure. Sardar Jogendra Si ngh has l i t t l e hi st or i cal i magi nat i on.
He shows better knowl edge of the l i fe of nawabs and rajahs.
Bu t t he nawabs and rajahs in Nasrin are the commonpl ace,
d r i n k i n g , sensual, effeminate puppets of popul ar i magi nat i on,
sur r ounded by a c r o wd of crafty, cr i ngi ng l i ars, called
mussahibs. The domest i c l i f e of Nawab Hai der J ung i s we l l
depi ct ed and the l i fe of t he zenana ri ngs t r ue. The book i s f u l l
of characters and scenes unconnect ed wi t h Hai der Jung' s
romance. A z a d wi t h his poet r y, phi l osophy, and myst i ci sm i s
an aut obi ographi cal sketch of t he enl i ght ened Zemi ndar of
E i r a Estate wh o believes i n ' magnet i c heal i ng' , relieves t he
miseries of his tenants, dislikes l i v i n g on the l abour of ot hers,
finds i n t he sheltered security of his estates, ' r i di ng, r eadi ng
and wr i t i n g ' , a peaceful enchantment and yet leads a ' weary
l i f e ' .
1
The cl oyi ng, sentimental style and the si l l y l ove- t al k
of t he st ory are nei t her East ern nor West er n. Nas r i n i s a poor
creature, i n spite of her poet r y and beauty, and Hai der J u n g
is uni mpressi ve. Kamla (1925) shows a mat urer style, a bet t er
pl ot , and sounder t echni que. Bu t i t i s not free f r o m t he aut hor' s
tendency t o phi l osophi ze on t he t r ansf or mat i on of self- love
i nt o real l ove, and on the pat h ' Wh i c h Gu r u Nanak t aught me,
and Chr i st i nt er pr et ed' . Mu c h of t he book i s uni nt el l i gi bl e
metaphysics.
The hove of Kusuma (1911) by Mr . Bal Kr i s hna is di sap-
poi nt i ng. A p a r t f r o m t he ruggedness of style and ot her
difficulties nat ur al t o a wr i t e r wh o attempts t o wr i t e i n a
f or ei gn language, ' t he phot ogr aphy of I ndi a n l i f e, manners,
1
Nasrin, p. 242.
308 APPENDI X
cust oms and scenes' f or wh i c h Vi c t o r i a Crosse praises h i m i s
unsatisfactory. Mo h u n ' s sudden l ove f or Kus uma , w h o m he
meets i n t he r omant i c sur r oundi ngs of t he Lake at Ra j gi r hi ,
and her equal l y sudden response, are unt r ue. The aut hor , i n
his anxi et y t o please t he West , has devel oped his t heme i n a
manner al i en t o t he s pi r i t of Hi n d u l i f e. Hi s ' eastern l ove
st or y' i s a mass of i mpr obabl e i nci dent s and characters. He
i ndul ges i n sermons and homi l i es i n t he mi ds t of his st or y,
wh i c h possess nei t her any or i gi na l i t y of t hought nor beauty of
expression.
A mo n g Sout h I n d i a n wr i t er s o f f i c t i o n , we may me nt i on
T. Ramakri shna t he aut hor of Padmini (1903) and The Dive
for Death (1911), and P. A. Madhavi ah, t he aut hor of Thillai
Govindan. Padmini is a hi st or i cal romance of t he si xt eent h
cent ur y and The Dive for Death is a st ory of Sout h I n d i a n super-
st i t i ons i n t he manner of Mr s . Penny. Thillai Govindan depicts
t he r e vol t of a y o u n g Hi n d u against t he t yr anny of r e l i gi on,
and i s pr obabl y aut obi ogr aphi cal . A mo n g mor e recent wr i t er s
f r o m the sout h, Shankar Ram, K. S. Venkat ar amni , J. C. Du r a l ,
A. Subrahmanyam, and Panchapakesha Ay y a r may be men-
t i oned. Shankar Ram' s The Children of Kaveri (1927) por t r ays
r ur a l l i f e i n sout her n I ndi a and describes t he s i mpl i ci t y, peace,
and beaut y of vi l l age l i f e. J. Chi nna Dur a i ' s Sugritha i s p o o r
as a nove l but i ns t r uct i ve on t he quest i on of c hi l d marriages
and t he p l i g h t of wi d o ws a b o o k smacki ng of mi ssi onary
propaganda. Mr . Subrahmanyam' s Indira Devi (1930), as t he
aut hor hi ms el f tells us, i s a romance of mode r n pol i t i cal I ndi a .
Ac t u a l l y i t i s a si l l y t i rade against ' i nt er - r aci al marriages, i nt er -
castal di nners, a c o mmo n r e l i gi on, a c o mmo n scr i pt , and
ever yt hi ng else under t he mo o n and sun wh i c h some day-
dreamer dreams and pr opounds ' . The aut hor has a deci ded
preference f or l ong- wi nde d speeches and suffers f r o m an ant i -
Moha mme da n bias. K. S. Venkat ar amni ' s Murgan, the Tiller
(1927) is not a g o o d nove l but is bet t er t han Indira Devi. I t s
p l o t i s r a mb l i n g ; t he characters are ei t her t oo g o o d or t oo bad,
except i ng t he sket ch of Meenakshi , the mot her - i n- l aw of Ranu.
I t s o n l y val ue, l i ke t hat of Paper Boats, lies i n descri pt i ve scenes.
Mr . A. P. S. Ay y a r has publ i shed three vol umes of shor t stories
since 1925. I n his i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t he f i r st v o l u me of Indian After-
Dinner Stories, he says t hat hi s p r i ma r y obj ect i n wr i t i n g these
stories is ' to pr ovi de some heal t hy l aught er and at t he same
APPENDI X 309
t i me t o shake some deep-root ed prejudices by exhi bi t i ng t hem
i n t hei r comi c aspect'. I t i s doubt f ul i f the aut hor has succeeded
i n his ai m. One has t o search l o n g before one comes across
a st ory wh i c h excites heal t hy l aught er or even a fai nt smi l e.
Hi s humour , as in Musician, shut the Gate, is either f or ced or
t oo br oad. Sense in Sex, and Other Stories shows t he l i mi t at i ons
of the aut hor. Mr . Ayyar ' s command over E ngl i s h i s good,
and yet i t i s obvi ous t hat he i s seriously handicapped by havi ng
t o express hi msel f i n a f or ei gn t ongue.
The Desecrated Bones (1926) by Mr . Muha mma d Ha bi b is t he
onl y vol ume of stories wr i t t e n by a Mohammedan. I t consists
of three stories, t wo of wh i c h are stories of t he supernat ural
and t he t h i r d hi st or i cal . I n The Desecrated Bones, Hi z a br uddi n
and his gentle wi f e Zubai da are we l l dr a wn; Spectre and Skeleton
narrates the t r agi c tale of a dead man' s l ove and jealousy f r o m
t he ot her side. The Spider's Web is easily t he best of the three,
and i s remarkabl e f or a v i v i d sketch of E mpe r or A kba r , the
Spider, and of Me hr a n Ni sana t ype of wo ma n ' wh i c h Nat ur e
has always pr oduced and society has always fai l ed to r ecog-
ni ze' .
1
Mehr an Ni s an i s Mr . Habi b' s c ont r i but i on t o A n g l o -
I ndi a n f i c t i on.
His Only Love (1930) by Sir Ha r i Si ngh Go u r is a curi ous
wo r k . I t takes us t o a wo r l d t hat i s nei t her East ern nor
West er n. Perhaps t he obj ect of t he aut hor i s t o show the sad
p l i g h t of I n d i a n men and wo me n whe n t hey have cut t hem-
selves adr i f t f r o m t hei r ancient moor i ngs . I f t he pi ct ur e of
society presented by Sir Ha r i i s even par t i al l y t r ue, we have
n o t h i n g but p i t y f or our emanci pat ed brot hers and sisters.
' " Yo u know", says I mam, "that I have been most miserable in
my domestic relations. They have been my life's handicap t i l l I met
Ri t a". ' (p. 109.)
Bu t i t i s not I ma m but Hi mma t , t he hero of t he book, wh o
represents t he aut hor . Th e aut hor desires t hat marri age shoul d
be an ' alliance, not a servi t ude' . He advocates ' spi r i t ual
marriages of conscience' , and makes Hi mma t f i nd i n t he
neurasthenic Shahinda his t r ue mate. I t i s doubt f ul , however ,
i f she wo u l d make Hi mma t happy.
I ndi a n wr i t er s and story-tellers, on the whol e, do not com-
pare f avour abl y wi t h A ngl o- I ndi a n wr i t er s. That t hey wr i t e i n
1
p. 145.
310 APPENDIX
a foreign tongue is a serious handicap in itself. Then few of
them possess any knowledge of the art of fiction; they do not
seem to realize that prose fiction, in spite of its freedom, is
subject to definite laws. In plot construction they are weak,
and in characterization weaker still. Their leaning towards
didacticism and allegory is a further obstacle to their success
as novelists. As writers of short stories they have occasionally
achieved success. But wi t h very few exceptions their contribu-
t i on to Anglo-I ndian fiction is of little importance. We have
to learn much before we can 'surprise the wor l d wi t h native
merchandise', or wi t h ' bright divine imaginings'
1
in prose
fiction.
1
Robert Bridges, England to India,
B I B L I OGR AP HY
A . A N G L O - I N D I A N N O V E L S
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Best I ndi an Chutney. 1925.
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' Ai ns wor t h, Ol i ver . ' See Sir Henry Sharp.
Al l ardyce, Alexander. The Ci t y of Sunshine. 1877.
Andrews, M. Henniker. An I ndi an Mystery. 1913.
' A n d r u l . ' The Wayside. 1911.
Angus, J ohn; and Hope Fi el di ng. The Scorpions' Nest. 1929.
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Har t l y House. 1789.
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The Scribbleton Papers, Confessions of a Eurasian {Anglo-India,
v o l . xi ) . 1840.
Marriage Mar t , or Society i n I ndi a by An I ndi an Officer. 1841.
The Nabob at Home. 1843.
The Brahmin' s Prophecy. By a Lady. Bombay. 1875.
The I ndi an Heroi ne. Bombay. 1877.
A Romance of I ndi an Crime by an I ndi an Detective. 1885.
H o w wi l l i t end ? 1887.
L ot us : A Psychological Romance. 1888.
The Moor l ands: A Tale of Angl o- I ndi an Li f e. 1888.
The Lover' s Stratagem. 1889.
A Romance of Bureaucracy by A. B. 1893.
The Fl i ght of the A r r o w and Ot her Stories by the Aut hor of
Lal Singh. 1909.
Zohar : A Tale of Zenana Li f e by Taj . 1912.
A Christian Her mi t in Burma and Ot her Tales. 1914.
The Ma n who Tr i ed Ever yt hi ng. 1919.
East and West : Confessions of a Princess, by ? 1924.
Love i n Burma. 1929.
Ramzan. The Rajah. 1929.
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3 1 2 BI BLI OGRAP HY
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At her t on, Gertrude. Julia France and Her Times. 1912.
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Baladitya: A Historical Romance of Ancient I ndia. 1930.
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A Heifer of the Dawn. 1904.
I n the Great God' s Hair. 1904.
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An Essence of the Dusk. 1906.
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A Mi ne of Faults. 1909.
Bubbles of the Foam. 1912.
A Syrup of the Bees. 1914.
The Li v er y of Ev e. 1917.
The Substance of a Dream. 1919.
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Bannisdale, Vane Erskine. Quest and Conquest. 1929.
Barker, D. A. The Rani's Domi ni on. 1926.
The story depicts the struggles of Stephen Locke, a mi ni ng
engineer, to earn his l i v el i hood. The book begins wi t h
Bombay and takes us to Tikana, a native state, and gives us
a glimpse i nt o the court life.
Barnby, Adeline. A Tropi cal Romance. 1920.
Barry, Charles. The Smaller Penny. 1925.
Bax, A r t hur N. The Story of Joan Greencroft. 1912.
Baxter, Gregory. Death Strikes at Six Bells. 1930.
BI BLI OGRAP HY 313
Beaman, Ar der n. At Government House: Being some incidents
in the career of Captain and Brevet-Major the H on. Rol l o
Denni st own, V. C. , M. C. , duri ng his office as Mi l i t ar y Secretary
to Hi s Excellency the Governor of Mahdi pur. 1926.
Bechhofer, C. E. The Brahmin' s Treasure. 1923.
Beck, L i l y Adams. The Way of Stars. 1926.
The House of Fulfilment. 1927.
The Splendour of Asia. 1927.
The Ni n t h Vi br at i on and Other Stories. 1928.
The Perfume of the Rainbow and other Stories. 1931.
Sixteen stories gathered by the author ' i n many wanderings
i n by-ways of the Ori ent ' .
Dreams and Delights. 1932.
Beckett, Ursula A. I n Extenuation of Sybella. 1910.
Vivacious Sybella and her extravagant wi dowed aunt go
out to I ndi a in search of some suitable husband. Her
experiences on board the S.S. Belgaria, t ol d in the f or m of
letters to her L ondon friend, are narrated wi t h gusto. She
docs find a husband.
Bel l , Mr s. G . H . (' John Travers' ).
Sahib-log. 1910.
I n the Wor l d of Bewilderment. 1912.
Second Nature. 1914.
Happiness. 1916.
The Mort i mers. 1922.
I n the L ong Run. 1925.
Jean: A Hal o and Some Circles. 1926.
Safe Conduct. 1927.
The Foreigner. 1928.
H o t Water. 1929.
Taki ng a Li bert y (non-I ndian). 1931.
Beresford, Leslie. The Second Rising. 1910.
Betham, G. K. The Story of a Dacoity, &c . 1893.
Bevan, C. El ni t h. A Collection of Ghosts. Eleven I ndi an Fantasies.
1920.
Bishop, Constance E. The Wi ne of Sorrow. 1921.
Fanny Brandon' s love-story, varied wi t h disparaging
sketches of Angl i can missionary life, the liaisons of A ngl o-
I ndi an society, and l ur i d pictures of I ndi an superstitions.
Black, Dor ot hy. I dl e Women. 1929.
Bl ai r, Hamish. 1957. 1930.
The Great Gesture. 1931.
Bl och, M. Jean-Richard. A Ni ght i n Kurdistan, translation by
Mr . Stephen Haden Guest. 1930.
' Boxwal l ah. ' The Leopard's Leap. 1919.
3 1 4 BI BLI OGRAP HY
Bradley, Shelland. An Ameri can G i r l i n I ndi a. 1907.
The Adventures of an A . D. C. 1910.
The Doi ngs of Berengaria. 1902.
An Ameri can G i r l at the Durbar. 1912.
Mor e Adventures of an A . D. C. 1915.
F i ft y. 1927.
Brebner, Percy James. The Gate of Tempt at i on. 1920.
Brereton, Captain Frederick Sadleir; A Her o of L ucknow. (Juve-
nile.) 1904.
Jones of the 64t h: A tale of the Battles of Assaye and Las waree.
1907.
Wi t h Roberts to Candahar (Nield).
B r own, Andr ew Cassels. Dar k Deal i ng. 1930.
B r own, H i l t o n . Dictators L i mi t ed. 1923.
Susanna. 1926.
Potter' s Clay. 1927.
Bruce, Henr y. The Eurasians. 1913.
The Residency; An I ndi an Novel . 1914.
The Song of Surrender: An I ndi an Novel . 1915.
The Wonder Mi s t . 1917.
The Temple G i r l . 1919.
The Bride of Shiva. 1920.
Bur n, I rene. The Border L i ne. 1916.
Bur r , Amel i a Josephine. The Three Fires. 1923.
Butenschon, Mme A. The Li f e of a Mo g u l Princess. 1931.
Cadell, Mr s . H . M. I da Craven. 1873.
Wor t hy. 1895.
Cailloux, Pousse. Hi s Majesty's Shirt-sleeves. 1930.
A collection of eleven stories (on the face of them fact rather
than fi ct i on) dealing wi t h life on the frontiers of I ndi a.
Cameron, Charlotte. A Dur bar Bri de. 1912.
Campbell, Hazel. The Servants of the Goddess. 1928.
The Bur qa: A Detective Story. 1930.
Campbell, H. M. F . The Star of Destiny. 1920.
Campbell, Reginald. B r o wn Wife or Whi t e. 1925.
Death i n Ti ger Val l ey: A novel of the Jungle. 1931.
Fear in the Forest. 1932.
Campton, H. C. A Free Lance in a Far L and. 1895.
Candler, Edmund. The General Plan. 1911.
Si ri Ram, Revol ut i oni st : A Transcript f r om L i f e, 1907-1910.
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Abdi cat i on. 1922.
Carr, Ray. L ove in Burma: A Tale of the Silken East. 1928.
B I B L I O G R A P H Y 315
R o b e r t Ne a ve , a B ar r i s t er i n B u r ma , l o v i n g a n En g l i s h g i r l
f o l l o ws ' t he c u s t o m o f t he c o u n t r y ' a nd l at er o n mar r i es
Ma O T i n . F r o m t hi s une nvi a bl e p o s i t i o n he i s h a p p i l y
ext r i cat ed.
Mo o n s h i n e : A n A d v e n t u r e i n B u r ma . 1932.
Th e R e d Ti g e r . 1929.
Car us, P aul . A mi t a b h a : A St or y of B u d d h i s t Th e o l o g y . 1906.
Casserl y, G o r d o n . Th e El e pha nt G o d . 1920.
T h e J ungl e G i r l . 1 921 .
T h e Mo n k e y G o d . 1933.
Caul f i el d, Mr s . C. T . See Ed g e , K. M.
Caval i er , Mm e 2 . L . Th e Soul o f t he O r i e n t . 1913.
Chat t er j ee, Santa. Th e Et e r n a l . 1920.
Chat t er j ee, Santa a nd Si t a. T h e G a r d e n Creeper. 1918.
Chat t er j ee, Sarat Chandr a. Ch i t r a h i n .
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G r i ha da ba .
Chat t er j ee, Si t a. Th e Cage of G o l d . 1919.
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' O pe ns w i t h chapt er s o f A n g l o - I n d i a n l i f e a t Si ml a unde r
L o r d Ma y o ( 1 869- 72) and cont i nues t he her o' s a u t o b i o -
g r a p h y i n En g l a n d , whe r e he t r i es as M. P . t o pass a measure
f o r r e f o r mi n g t he ar my. ' Baker .
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T e r r y o f Ta ngi s t a n. 1 93 2.
T h e Raj ah' s Casket . 1933.
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T h e P a t h of a Star. 1899.
T h e P o o l i n t he Des er t . 1903.
Th e B u r n t O f f e r i n g . 1909.
T h e Cons or t . 1912.
316 BI BLI OGRAPHY
Cox, Sir Edmund. John Carruthcrs. 1905.
The Achievements of John Carruthers. 1911.
The Exploits of Kesho Nai k, Dacoit. 1912.
Craig, E. R. The Beloved Rajah. 1927.
Crawford, F. Mar i on. Mr . Isaacs: A Tale of Modern I ndi a. 1882.
Dr . Claudius. 1883.
Cress, Charles. Above What He Could Bear. 1916.
Croker, Mrs. B. M. {nee Sheppard). Proper Pride. 1882.
Pretty Miss Nevi l l e. 1883.
Some one Else. 1885.
A B i r d of Passage. 1886.
Diana Barri ngt on. 1888.
Two Masters. 1890.
Interference. 1891.
A Family Likeness. 1892.
A Thi r d Person. 1893.
Mr . Jervis: A Romance of the I ndi an Hi l l s. 1894.
Village Tales and Jungle Tragedies. 1895.
Terence. 1899.
Angel . 1901.
The Cat's Paw. 1902.
Her O wn People. 1903.
Johanna. 1903.
The Happy Valley. 1904.
A Ni ne Days' Wonder. 1905.
The Youngest Miss Mowbr ay. 1906.
The Company's Servant. 1907.
Katherine the Arrogant . 1909.
Babes in the Wood. 1910.
A Rol l i ng Stone. 1910.
Fame. 1910.
The Serpent's Toot h. 1912.
What She Overheard.
I n O l d Madras. 1913.
Quicksands. 1915.
Gi ven in Marriage. 1916.
The Road to Mandalay. 1917.
The Pagoda Tree. 1919.
Crommelin, May. Pink L ot us : A Comedy in Kashmir. 1914.
Crosthwaite, Sir Charles. ThakurPertab Singh and other Tales. 1913.
Crosse, Vi ct ori a. Self and the Other. 1910.
I n One's Heart.
Cunningham, Sir H. S. Wheat and Tares. 1861.
The Chronicles of Dustypore. 1875.
The Coerulians. 1887.
BI BLI OGRAPHY
The Heri ot s. 1890.
Sibylla. 1894.
Curwen, H. Zi t and Xoe. 1886.
Lady Bluebeard. 1888.
Dr . Hermi one. 1890.
Dale, Darley. The Master of the House. 1923.
Davi dson, Jessie A. Fetters of Love. 1928.
' Dehan, Richard.' The Lovers of the Market-Place. 1928.
Dekobra, Maurice. The Sphinx has Spoken. 1930.
Del bri dge, John. Sons of Tumul t . 1928.
De l l , Et hel M. The Way of an Eagle. 1902.
The Safety Curtain and Other Stories. 1917.
Di c k, G. Fi t ch and Hi s Fortunes: An Angl o- I ndi an Nove l . 1877.
' Di nga, Shway'. See Sir George Scott.
Di ver , Maud Katherine Helen (nee Marshall).
Captain Desmond, V. C. 1907.
The Great Amul et . 1908.
Candles in the Wi nd. 1909.
Li l amani . 1911.
The Hero of Herat: A Frontier Biography in Romantic For m. 1912.
Sunia and other Stories. 1913.
The Judgment of the Sword. 1913.
Desmond' s Daughter. 1916.
Unconquered. 1917.
The Strong Hours. 1919.
Far to Seek: A Romance of Engl and: and I ndi a. 1921.
Lonel y Fur r ow. 1923.
Siege Perilous. 1924.
A Wi l d B i r d. 1929.
Ships of Y out h : A Study of Marriage in Moder n I ndi a. 1931.
Di x o n , W. H. Diana, Lady Lyl e. 1877.
Donal d, C. H. Adventures of Bairam Khan. 1930.
Donovan, Di c k. For Honour or Death. 1910.
' Douglas, O. ' Ol i vi a i n I ndi a : The Adventures of a Chota Mi s
Sahib. 1913.
Penny Plain. 1920.
The Setons. 1917.
A n n and Her Mot her. 1922.
Pi nk Sugar. 1924.
The Proper Place. 1926.
Eliza for Common. 1928.
The Day of Small Thi ngs. 1930.
Dr ur y, Lt . -Col onel W. P. The Incendiaries. 1922.
Duff-Fyfe, Et hel . The Relentless Gods. 1910.
318 BI BLI OGRAPHY
Dur ai , J. Chinna. Sugirtha: An I ndian Novel wi t h a Preface by
the H on. Gertrude Ki nnai rd. 1929.
Durand, Sir Henry Mort i mer (' John Roy' ).
Helen Trevenyan or The Rul i ng Race. 1892.
Dut t , H. Bi j oyChand. 1888.
Dut t , Romesh Chandra. The Slave G i r l of Agra. 1909.
The Lake of Palms. 1902.
Easton, John. Matheson Fever. 1928.
Ferrol Bond. 1933.
Edge, K. M. (Mrs. C. T. Caulfeild).
The Shuttles of the L oom. 1909.
Emery, J. I nman. The Luck of Udai pur: A Romance of Ol d Devon,
Hindostan, and the Fringe of the Blue Pacific. 1925.
Endrikar, Y. Gamblers in Happiness. 1930.
Ethley, Violet M. A Man's Honour. 1920.
Eustace, Alice. Flame of the Forest. 1927.
A G i r l from the Jungle. 1928.
Diamonds and Jasmin. 1929.
Smoke Haze (non-I ndian). 1930.
My Purdah Lady. 1933.
Everett-Green, E. The Double House. 1914.
Eyt on, John. The Dancing Fakir and Other Stories. 1922.
Expectancy. 1924.
Diffidence. 1925.
Kul l u of the Carts. 1926.
Bulbulla. 1928.
Mr , Ram. 1929.
Fairley, Helen M. Kali' s Jewels. 1920.
Bharosa. 1932.
Fendall-Currie. The Land of Regrets. 1903.
Fenn, Clive Robert. For the O l d Flag. (Juvenile.) 1899.
Ferguson, J. Secret Road. 1925.
Ferguson, Margaret. Broken Grai n. 1933.
Fforde, Br ownl ow. The Mai d and the I dol . 1891.
The Li t t l e O wl . 1893.
Field, Mr s. E. M. Here' s Rue for Y ou. 1883.
Bryda: A Tale of the I ndian Mut i ny.
Fitzgerald, Ena. Patcola: A Tale of a Dead City. 1908.
Fletcher, Mrs. H. Poppied Steep: A Christmas Story. 1887.
Foran, Captain Bedford. The Border of Blades. 1916.
Roshanara of the Seven Cities. 1932.
Forrest, R. E. Ei ght Days: A Tale of the I ndian Mut i ny. 1891.
The Bond of Bl ood. 1896.
B I B L I O G R A P H Y 319
Th e S wo r d o f A z r a e l : A Chr oni c l e o f t he Gr eat Mu t i n y b y J o h n
H a y ma n , Maj . - G ener al . 1903.
Th e R u b y o f Raj ast han: A n I n d i a n Tal e. 1914.
For st er , E. M. A Passage t o I n d i a . 1924.
Fraser, J . B . Th e Ku z z i l b a s h : A Tal e of Khor a s a n. 1826.
A l l e e Ne e mr o o : A Tal e of L o u r i s t a n . 1842.
Fraser, W. A . Caste. 1922.
Frazer, R . W. Si l ent G ods and Sun-St eeped L ands . 1895.
G a mo n , R i c ha r d B . Wa r r e n o f O u d h . 1926.
G a n g u l i , T . N. Svarnal at a. ( Tr ans . b y D. N. R o y . ) 1914.
Th e B r ot her s (Svarnal at a, readapt ed by E. Th o mp s o n ) . 1 9 3 1 .
' G anpat . ' Stella Nas h. 1924.
Mi r r o r o f Dr eams . 1928.
Th e Speakers i n Silence. 1929.
Th e Thr e e R' s ( non- I ndi a n) . 1930.
Roads o f Peace. Wi t h a sket ch- map b y Capt ai n W. E. Ma x we l l .
1 9 3 1 .
Th e Mar ches o f H o n o u r . 1 9 3 1 .
O u t o f E v i l . 1933.
G hos a l , Mr s . ( Swar na K u ma r i De v i ) .
A n Unf i ni s he d Song. 1913.
Th e Fat al G a r l a nd. 1915.
G h o s h , S. K. 1001 I n d i a n Ni g h t s ( The Tr i al s o f Na r a ya n L a l ) .
1904.
Th e P r i nce of De s t i ny. 1909.
G i b b o n , Fr e de r i c k P .
Th e P r i s oner of t he G ur kha s . ( Juveni l e. ) 1903.
Th e Di s p u t e d V . C . 1903.
Wi t h R i f l e and K u k r i ( Shor t St or i es) . 1910.
G i l l e a n. Th e Ranee: A L e g e n d of t he I n d i a n Mu t i n y . 1887.
G j e l l e r up, K a r l A d o l f . Th e P i l g r i m Ka ma n i t a : A L egendar y
R omance. Tr ans l at ed b y J . E. L o g i c . 1 9 1 1 .
G l a s g o w, G er al di ne. B l ack and Wh i t e . 1889.
G o d d a r d , R i c h a r d E. Obsessi on. 1925.
G o r d o n , H . K. P r e m. Wi t h a n I n t r o d u c t i o n b y Si r Mi c h a e l
O ' Dwy e r . 1926.
G o r e , Mr s . B anker ' s Wi f e : A sat i r i cal r epr esent at i on of a n o l d
I n d i a n . C.R. 1846.
G o u r , Si r H a d Si ngh. H i s O n l y L o v e . 1930.
' G r a y , Ma x we l l ' ( Ma r y G l e e d Tu t t i e t t ) . I n t he H e a r t o f t he St o r m.
1 89 1 .
G r e e n h o w, Sur g. - Ma j or H . M. Th e B o w o f Fat e. 1893.
G r e e n i n g , A r t h u r . Th e Curse o f K a l i . 1922.
320 BI BLI OGRAPHY
' Gri er, Sydney Carlyon' (Hi l da Gregg).
I n Furthest I nd. 1894.
Hi s Excellency's Engl i sh Governess. 1896.
Peace wi t h Honour . 1897.
Li ke Anot her Helen. 1899.
The Warden of the Marches. 1901.
The Advanced Guard. 1903.
The Great Proconsul. 1904.
The Hei r. 1906.
The Power of the Keys. 1907.
The Path to Honour. 1909.
The Prize. 1910.
The Keepers of the Gate. 1911.
Wr i t i n Water. 1913.
The Flag of the Advent urer. 1921.
Two Strong Men. 1923.
Grierson, Captain Charles. The Lost Empi r e: A Tale of Many
Lands. (Juvenile.) 1909.
Griffiths, Maj or Ar t hur G. F.
Before the Bri t i sh Raj : A Story of Mi l i t ar y Adventure in I ndi a.
1903.
A Royal Rascal: Episodes in the Career of Col . Sir Theophilus
St. Clair, K. C. B . 1905.
Groves, J. Percy. The Duke' s O wn . 1887.
Gui sborough, John. A Song of Araby. 1921.
Habi b, Muhammad. The Desecrated Bones and Other Stories.
1926.
Hales, A. G. McGl usky i n I ndi a. 1931.
H a l l , Henry Fi el di ng (' Henry Fi el di ng' ). Thibaw' s Queen. 1899.
Palace Tales. 1900.
On I mmor t al i t y. 1909.
Haller, Frank. The Marriage of Yusuf Khan. 1924.
An I ndi an Maharajah wi t h a hundredweight of Jewels,
guarded by an escort of black scimitars; Mi rza, the j ewel
thief; and the usual developments.
Halstead, John. The Black Nat . 1932.
Hami l t on, J. I n a Bengal Backwater. 1920.
Hami l t on, Li l l i as. A Vizier' s Daught er: A Tale of the Hazara War.
1900.
' A novel of Afghan life and manners.'Baker,
Hami l t on, M. Poor Elisabeth. 1901.
' The history of a marriage between a beautiful Eurasian and
a hi ghl y correct Englishman.'Baker.
Hampden, Ernest Miles Hobart . The Price of Empi re. 1911.
BI BLI OGRAPHY 321
Hanky, M. P. Tales and Songs of an Assam Tea Garden. 1928.
Hanshew, Thomas W. and Mary W. The Riddle of the Purple
Emperor. 1918.
Harcourt , Colonel A. F. P. Jenetha's Vent ure: A Tale of the Siege
of Del hi . 1899.
The Peril of the Sword. 1903.
Hayens, Herbert. Clevely Sahib: A Tale of the Khyber Pass.
(Juvenile.) 1896.
' The Bri t i sh Expedi t i on i nt o Afghanistan; murder of Sir
Wi l l i am Macnaghten; the treaty; its vi ol at i on; the Retreat
t hrough the pass; the massacre; and the march to Cabul of
the avenging army under Pollock.'Baker.
Henderson, J. B. The Bengalee, or Sketches of Society and Manners
in the East. 1829. C.R. 1908.
Hent y, George Al f r ed. I n Ti me of Peril. (Juvenile.) 1881.
Wi t h Clive in I ndi a. (Juvenile.) 1883.
For Name and Fame. (Juvenile.) 1885.
Rujub, The Juggler. 3 vols. 1893.
Includes many feats of thought-reading, hypnotism, basket-
t ri ck, & c . C.R. 1908.
Thr ough the Sikh War : A tale of the conquest of the Punjaub.
(Juvenile.) 1894.
The Tiger of Mysore. (Juvenile.) 1895.
On the I rrawaddy. A Story of the First Burmese War. (Juvenile.)
1896.
To Herat and Cabul. (Juvenile.) 1901.
At the Point of the Bayonet: A Tale of the Mahratta War.
(Juvenile.) 1901.
Hervey, M. E. The Eastern Curve. 1921.
' H i l l , Headon.' A Traitor' s Wooi ng. 1909.
H i l l , S. Woods. An Avatar i n Vishnu-land. 1928.
Mahatma. 1931.
Tot a: A Book for Children. 1912.
Hockl ey, W. B. Pandurang Har i . 1826.
Tales of the Zenana. 1827.
The Engl i sh in I ndi a. 1828.
The Vizier' s Son. 1831. (Sencourt.)
The Memoirs of a Brahmi n. 1843. (Sencourt.)
Hol l and, Clive. B r own Face and Whi t e. A Story of Japan. 1913.
St. Francis Xavi er. (New Edi t i on) . (Juvenile.) 1907.
' Holmes, Alec. ' Angl o- I ndi an Li fe in the Sixties. 1910.
The Song of the Stars. 1917.
Horni man, R. The L i v i n g Buddha. 1903.
Horsman, Dor ot hy. Justine Gay. 1932.
Huddleston, George. The Whi t e Fakir. 1932.
Y
322 BI BLI OGRAP HY
H u k k , Jane. Abdul l ah and Hi s Two Strings. 1927.
Hunt er, Sir Wi l l i am Wi l son. The O l d Missionary. 1890.
' The hero of this pathetic story is believed to be the Rev.
James Wi l l i amson of the Baptist Mission.' C.R. 1908.
Hur st , S. B. H. Coomer A l i . A Story of Arabia and I ndi a. 1922.
Hut chi nson, Horace G. The Mystery of the Summer House. 1925.
I reland, W. W. Randolph Met hyl . 1863. C.R. 1908.
I r wi n , H. C. Wi t h Sword and Pen. 1904.
A Story of I ndi a in the Fifties.
Jacob, P. W. Hi ndoo Tales. 1873.
'Jeff.' Elizabeth visits Burma. 1910.
Jogendra Singh. Nur Jahan. 1909.
Nasri n. 1915.
Kaml a. 1925.
Ka mi ni . 1932.
Jordan, Humfrey. Whi t e Masters. 1929.
Jul i an, Mar y. Where Jasmines Bl oom. 1917.
Kar nby, Evel yn S. The Dust of Desire; or I n the Days of the
Buddha. 1912.
' Illustrates the influence of Bhuddism on family l i fe, and
insufficiency to satisfy the wants of humanity.'Baker.
Kaye, Sir J. W. Peregrine Pultuney, or Li fe in I ndi a. 1844.
' Reprinted f r om a Bengal Journal, recounts the story of a
cadet of the Bengal artillery, contains a good satirical picture
of life i n I ndi a. C. R. 1908.
L ong Engagements; a Tale of the Affghan Rebellion. 1845.
Kernahan, Mr s . Coulson. The Woman who Understood. 1916.
Kershaw, I . B . Tarnished Vi r t ue. 1927.
Captain Col i n Sheppard loses his memory owi ng to severe
head wounds received in t ri bal warfare, and forget t i ng
his bri dal ni ght suspects his young wife of infidelity. Her
suffering attracts sympathy.
Ki ncai d, C. A. The Anchori t e and Other Stories. 1922.
Shri Kri shna of Dwar ka and Other Stories. 1920.
Ki ncai d, Dennis. Durbar. 1933.
Ki n g , Percy J. Forasmuch. 1927.
A variation of the eternal triangle. Shows first-hand know-
ledge of the I ndi an frontier, records the Angl o- I ndi an
attitude towards Government, and gives a few sinister
sketches of native I ndi a.
Ki ngst on, W. H. G. The Young Rajah: A Story of I ndi an Li f e
and Adventures. 1876.
BI BLI OGRAPHY 323
Ki pl i ng, Rudyard. Plain Tales from the Hi l l s. 1888.
Soldiers Three. 1888.
Wee Wi l l i e Wi nk i e. 1888.
Life' s Handicap. 1891.
The Day' s Wor k . The Bridge Builders. 1898.
Ki m. 1901.
Ki p l i n g , Rudyard, and Wol cot t Balestier. The Naulahka. 1892.
Ki r by, Major Charles. The Adventures of an Ar cot Rupee. 1867.
' Account of the Bri t i sh rule in I ndi a when Wellesley and
Ti pu Sultan were the conflicting heads and when the 'Pagoda
Tree' was in f ul l luxuriance. The Ar cot Rupee in passing
from one master to another, bot h native and Bri t i sh, learns
the secret of al l parties, i ncl udi ng the love affairs of various
individuals. .. . Hi s style is stiff and the story is dry and f ul l
of I ndi an slang.' C.R. 1908.
Ki r by, Margaret. An English G i r l i n the East. 1913.
Sketches of Hermione' s life in Japan and I ndia and tragedy
of Eurasian marriages.
Kni ght , F. A. The Rajpoot's Rings. 1911.
Knoop, Baroness de. Pauline. 1923.
Pauline is the daughter of a great Sanskrit scholar. Scene:
England and Germany.
L ahi r i , Ka l i Krishna. Roshinara. 1881.
Lang, John. Too Clever by Half. 1853.
W i l l He Marry Her? 1858.
My Friend's Wi fe, or Y or k , You' r e Wanted. 1859.
The Secret Police, or Plot and Passion. 1859.
The Wetherbys. 1853.
Levett-Yeats, S. The Wi dow Lamport . Allahabad. 1894.
Li t t l ej ohn, Nei l . The Mount ai n Laughed. 1928.
' A story wr i t t en retrospectively. The action of the book i s
Helen Prideam's gradual shrink ing f r om her husband and
gr owi ng dependence on Van Rennen. There is no i nt ri gue
or disloyalty; Helen's thoughts and actions represent the
unconscious but inevitable aversion of a sane woman f r om
a coldly efficient l unat i c. ' T. L. S.
L l o y d , Lt . -Col onel Eyre. Lieutenant Beatrice Raymond, V. C. 1920.
Lock e, D. M. Roses and Peacocks. 1932.
Lock e, G. E. The Gol den Lot us. 1927.
L ock wood, Vere. Ruby Fire. 1932.
L ovat t , Wi l l i am F. The Curse of Kama. 1932.
L owe, T. A. ( ' Tal l ow' ) . Wi ne, Women, andSoldiers. 1932.
L owi s , Cecil C. The Treasury Officer's Wooi ng. 1899.
3*4
BI BL I OGRAP HY
L owi s , Cecil T.continued.
' A love-story i nvol vi ng several characters, wi t h a back-
ground of Anglo-Burmese life and manners.'Baker.
Four B l i nd Mi ce. 1920.
The Grass Spinster. 1925.
The Di st ri ct Bungalow. 1927.
I n the Hag' s Hands. ( A n Affair of the Burmese Delta.) 1931.
A us t i n Fairholt kept a Burmese gi r l as his 'Housekeeper' for
six months and then was transferred. He returns to the
district after 20 years as commissioner and finds that Dor a
Crombie is his own daughter, and on Crombie's death has to
take care of Dora. The O l d Hag, the grandmother of Dor a,
threatens blackmail.
Macdonald, Rev. J. M. The Baba L o g : A Tale of Chi l d Li fe i n I ndi a.
1896.
Machray, Robert. Sentenced to Deat h: A Story of Two Men and a
M a i d . 1910.
Macmi l l an, Michael. The Princess of B al kh: A Tale of the Wars of
Aurangzebe. (Juvenile.) 1904.
I n Wi l d Maratha Bat t l e: A Tale of the Days of Shivaji. (Juvenile.)
1905.
The Last of the Peshwas: A Tale of the Thi r d Maratha War.
(Juvenile.) 1905.
MacMunn, G. F. A Freelance in Kashmi r : A Tale of the Great
Anarchy. 1915.
Macnamara, Rachel Swete. Tor n Veils. An Angl o- I ndi an Story.
1926.
Maddock, Eleanor. The Snake in the Sleeve. 1927.
Madhaviah, A. Thi l l ai Govi ndan. 1916.
Marri s, A. J. Thr ough Eastern Wi ndows : Li fe Stories of an I ndi an
Ci t y. 1919.
Marryat , Florence. (Mrs. Ross Church.) Gup. 1868.
'Sketches of I ndi an life and character' contributed to the
Temple Bar. ( Not a novel.)
Veronique. 1869.
' Veronique is "a mi xt ure of womanl y weakness and strength.
Gay and handsome, Gor don R omi l l y is wel l drawn. Mr s .
Dowdson is most amusing and most natural. Scenes at
Ootacamund Post Office and at Mr s . Dowdson' s levee are
true to l i fe. ' C. R. 1908.
Marsh, Richard. The Mahatma's P upi l . 1893.
Esoteric. Unfitness of the Engl i sh and Western peoples to
learn the mysteries of the East.
Marshall, Edi son. The Heart of L i t t l e Shikara. 1924.
BI BLI OGRAPHY 325
Marshall, I an. The Vengeance of Ka l i . 1930.
Mar t i n, Peter. Eastern Slave. A Malaya Story. 1931.
Mason, A. E. W. The Broken Road. 1907.
' Lives of the higher Angl o- I ndi an Officials; tries to prove
the fol l y and cruelty of educating young I ndi an princes to be
hybr i d Englishmen, also that East is East.' C.R. 1908.
Mayne, Clarice, and Hopki ns, R. Thur st on. The Amber G i r l : A
Story of Oriental Love. 1923.
Mayo, Katherine. Slaves of the Gods. 1929.
Menon, O. Chandu. I nduleka. Translated by W. Dumergue. 1890.
' Mer r i man, Henry Seton' ( Hugh Stowell Scott). Fl ot sam: The
Study of a Li f e. 1896.
Mi chael , John. The Hei r of the Mal i k. 1923.
Mi l es, Lady. The Red Flame. 1921.
Mi l ne, Louise Jordan. The Green Goddess. 1924.
Mi l t o n , C. R. The Eyes of Understanding. 1919.
A novel wi t h a purpose, dealing wi t h the petty squabbles
and jealousies of I ndi an official l i fe, the probl em of the
governi ng of I ndi a, and the love story of Lady Mary Vi l l i ers
Browne.
An I ndi an Summer. 1927.
First part deals wi t h the chi l dhood and adolescence of Harley
in England. Later on he goes to I ndi a as a policeman and a
' vampire' seeks in vai n to lead hi m to destruction. Finally
he emerges engaged to the r i ght gi r l .
Mi nney, R. J. Ma ki . 1921.
The Road to Del hi . 1923.
Mi t f o r d , B. The Heath Hover Mystery. 1911.
' A capital mystery and detective st or ywi t h a lovely haunted
ol d house, a strange death, and orientalists of an I ndi an
secret society watching the owner; wi t h some exciting scenes
i n I ndi a. ' T. L. S.
Mi t r a , S. M. Hi ndupore. A Peep behind the I ndi an Unrest. 1909.
Mi t t o n , G. E. , and Scott, Sir J. G. The Green Mo t h . 1922.
The love affairs of a young Engl i shwoman bor n and bred
i n Burma.
A Front i er Man. 1923.
A novel of life in Burma. ' The thread of the story is Travis
Steel's passion for wor k in the far frontier conflicting wi t h
the calls upon hi m at home.' Overloaded wi t h characters.
Money, Edwar d. The Wi fe and the Ward, or A Life' s Er r or . C.R.
1859.
Mor and, Paul. The L i v i n g Buddha. 1927.
Mor daunt , El i nor . Father and Daughter. 1928.
Mor gan, W. G. Curtis. A Frontier Romance. 1926,
326 BI BLI OGRAPHY
Morrow, Honore Willsie. Splendour of God. 1930.
Mountain, Isobel. Salaam. 1917.
Tigress. 1920.
Mundy, Talbot. Rung H o : A Novel of India. 1914.
The Winds of the Worl d. 1916.
Ki ng of the Khyber Rifles. 1917.
Hira Singh's Tale. 1918.
Guns of the Gods. 1921.
Om. 1924.
Gup Bahadur. 1929.
The Hundred Days. 1930.
The Marriage of Meldrum Strange (non-Indian). 1930.
The Woman Ayisha (non-Indian). 1930.
Jungle Jest. 1931.
'Provides thrilling adventures in the forests of I ndia. '
John 0' London.
Jimgrim and Allah's Peace. 1931.
C . I . D. 1932.
Myers, L. H. The Near and the Far. 1929.
Prince Jali. 1931.
Napier, Rosamond. Release. 1921.
Newcomen, G. B. Blue Moons. 1925.
Norris, William Edward. No New Thing. 1883.
O'Beirne, I van. Jim's Wife. Allahabad. 1889.
Doctor Victor. Allahabad. 1891.
Major Craik's Craze. Allahabad. 1892.
The Colonel's Crime. Allahabad. 1889.
Oldenbuck, A. Diana: A Legend of Spur and Spear. Lahore.
1889.
Oliphant, Philip Laurence. Maya, A Tale of East and West. 1908.
Her Serene Highness. 1912.
The Little Red Fish. 1903.
The River of Vengeance. 1903.
Julian Reval. 1907.
Ollivant, Alfred. Ol d For-Ever. 1923.
Osmond, Marion. The Planter's Wife. 1927.
Jungle Wallah. 1931.
Malaya story of mixed marriage.
Ottley, T. H. Rustum Khan. 1831.
Owenson, Miss Sidney. The Missionary: An Indian Tale. 1811.
English Houses in India. 1828. C.R. 1908.
BI BLI OGRAPHY 327
Parker, Henr y Meredi t h. Bole Ponjis. 1851. C.R. 1852.
Paton, Raymond. A Tale of La l . 1914.
' Patton, James Bl yt he' . See Edmund Whi t e.
Pearce, Charles E. Love Besieged: A Romance of the Residency in
Lucknow. 1909.
The Bungal ow under the Lake. 1910.
A Star of the East: A Romance of Del hi . 1912
Peard, Frances M. The Fl yi ng Mont hs. 1909.
The volatile Miss Hastings, Cordelia, and John El l i ot meet
at Bijapur. The pl ot revolves r ound the secret of John
El l i ot ' s parentage.
Pemberton, Max Joseph. Hi ndoo Khan. 1922.
Pennell, Mr s . Theodore (C. Sorabji). Children of the Border.
1926.
The Begum's Son. 1928.
Doorways of the East. 1931.
Penny, F. E. The Romance of a Naut ch Gi r l . 1898.
A Forest Officer. 1900.
Caste and Creed. 1902.
Study of Zemla Anderson, a Eurasian. Procession of an i dol
and worshi p of Vi s hnu.
A Mi xed Marriage. 1903.
The Sanyasi. 1904.
Di l ys . 1905.
The Tea-Planter. 1906.
The Inevitable Law. 1907.
Dar k Corners. 1908.
The Unl ucky Mar k. 1909.
Sacrifice. 1910.
The Rajah. 1911.
I n the Lo n g Run.
The Malabar Magi ci an. 1912.
The Outcaste. 1912.
Love i n the Hi l l s . 1913.
Love in a Palace. 1915.
Love by an I ndi an Ri ver. 1916.
A Love Tangle. 1917.
Mi ssi ng. 1917.
A Love Offensive. 1918.
Desire and Del i ght . 1919.
Di amonds. 1920.
The Rajah's Daughter. 1921.
The Swami's Curse. 1922.
One of the Best. 1923.
A Question of Col our. 1926.
328 BI BLI OGRAPHY
Penny, F. E.continued.
Pul l i ng the Strings. 1927.
A Question of Love. 1928.
The Wi shi ng Stone. 1930.
Get on wi t h the Wooi ng. 1931.
Donal d Oakley 'axed' f r om the navy finds a billet as Valet-
nurse' to a ri ch i nval i d and falls in love wi t h his daughter.
Then they meet in Indi a, and Estelle has much difficulty in
br i ngi ng hi m up to the scratch.
The Lady of the Rifle. 1932.
Magic i n the Ai r . 1933.
Perri n, Al i ce. I nt o Tempt at i on. 1894.
Late in Li f e. 1896.
Tales that are t ol d. 1897.
East of Suez. 1901.
The Spell of the Jungle. 1902.
The Stronger Claim. 1903.
The Waters of Destruction. 1905.
Red Records. 1906.
A Free Solitude. 1907.
I dol at r y. 1909.
Poor Elizabeth.
The Charm. 1910.
The Angl o-Indi ans. 1912.
The Happy Hunt i ng Gr ound. 1914.
The Woman in the Bazaar. 1914.
Separation. 1917.
Star of Indi a. 1919.
The Vo w of Silence. 1920.
The Mound. 1922.
Government House. 1925.
Rough Passages. 1926.
Peterson, Margaret. Just Because. 1915.
Phi l l i more, Mr s . C. E. Two Women and a Maharajah. 1906.
A Mi l l i o n for a Soul. 1915.
Pilcher, Major-General T. D. East is East. 1922.
'Three stories studying I ndi an character i n touch wi t h
Br i t i sh admi ni st rat i on.' T.L.S.
Pol l ard, Eliza F. The Silver Hand. 1908.
Potter, Margaret Hor t on. The Flame Gatherers. 1904.
Prichard, Il t udus. The Chronicles of Budgepore. 1870.
Ho w t o Manage I t . 1864.
Prinsep, Augustus. The Baboo and other Tales. 1834.
' Descriptive of society in I ndi a' , 2 vols. (C.R. 1908 gives the
BI BL I OGRAP HY 329
name of A. Prinsep as their author. They were published
anonymously by the wi dow of the author.)
Pryde, Ant hony, and Weekes, R. K. The Purple Pearl. 1923.
Qui l l er-Couch, A. T. Het t y Wesley. 1903.
(I ndia in 1723. Prologue, Nield).
Rae, Mr s. Mi l ne. A Bottle in the Smoke: A Tale of Angl o- I ndi an
L i f e. 1912.
Rafter, Captain. Savindroog, or The Queen of the Jungle. 1848.
Raines, G. P. Terrible Ti mes: A Tale of Mut i ny. (Juvenile.) 1898.
Ram Kri shna, T. Padmani. An I ndi an Romance. 1903.
The Di ve for Deat h: An I ndi an Romance. 1912.
Redwood, Et hel Bovert on. Wanderings and Wooings East of Suez.
1913.
Reid, R, Revelations of an I ndi an Detective. 1885.
Every Man his O wn Detective. 1887.
Rhodes, Kat hl yn. The Wi l l of A l l ah. 1908.
The Green Journey. 1926.
Ri ckard, Mr s. Vi ct or . The Frantic Boast. 1917.
A Fool' s Errand. 1921.
Rideout, Henry Mi l ner . No Man' s Money. 1919.
Man-eater. 1927.
Rivers, R. N. The Call of the Jungle. 1928.
Robinson, P hi l . I n My I ndi an Garden. 1878.
Rothfeld, Ot t o. I ndi an Dust . 1909.
Rowney, Hor at i o Bickerstaffe. The Y oung Zemindar. 1883.
Ruck, Berta. Kha ki and Kisses. 1915.
Rutter, Owen. Whi t e Rajah. 1931.
Sanderson, E. M. Souls and Stones. 1911.
Sandys, Ol i ver. O l d Roses. 1923.
Sarawak, Ranee of. Toys. 1923.
Cauldron. 1925.
Lost Property. 1930.
Savi, E. W. The Reproof of Chance. 1910.
A B l i nd Al l ey. 1911.
The Daughter-in-Law. 1913.
Baba and the Black Sheep. 1914.
Sinners A l l . 1915.
Mistress of Herself. 1918.
Banked Fires. 1919.
When the Bl ood Burns. 1920.
The De vi l Dri ves. 1921.
33
B I B L I O G R A P H Y
Savi, E. W.continued.
Rulers of Me n. 1922.
Moc k Majesty. 1923.
Nei ther Fish nor Flesh. 1924.
The Marquise R i ng. 1924.
The Saving of a Scandal.
A Fateful Escapade. 1925.
A Prince of Lovers. 1925.
Sackcloth and Ashes. 1925.
O ur Trespasses. 1926.
Satan Finds. 1926.
The A ci d Test. 1926.
' A Man' s A Ma n . ' 1927.
Daggers Dr a wn. 1927.
The Beauty Market . 1927.
The I nconstancy of Ki t t y. 1927.
The Tree of Knowl edge. 1927.
Vagrant L ove. 1927.
Whi t e Lies. 1927.
A Forl orn H ope. 1928.
Back o' Beyond. 1928.
Dog-i n-the-Manger. 1928.
O n Trust. 1928.
The Great Gambl e. 1928.
The Maker of Dreams. 1928.
Breakers Ahead. 1929.
The Fatalist. 1929.
A Fool' s Game. 1930.
God-Forsaken. 1930.
The Do o r Between. 1930.
The Everlasting Fraud. 1930.
The P ower of L ove. 1930.
The Unattainable. 1930.
B y Torchl i ght. 1931.
Crushed. 1931.
I do l Worshi p. 1931.
I n Desperation. 1931.
Maki ng Amends. 1931.
Taken by Storm. 1931.
The Ot her Ma n. 1931.
On the Knees of the Gods. 1932.
On the Rack. 1932.
A Fl at i n To wn . 1933.
Scharlieb, Mar y. Y e t a Mo r e Excellent Way. 1929.
Schorn, J. A. Tales of the East. 1893.
BI BLI OGRAPHY 331
Scott, Sir George ('Shway Di nga' ). Whol l y wi t hout Morals. 1911.
The Repentance of Destiny: A Romance of Anglo-Burmese Li fe.
1913.
Why Not ? 1929.
Scott, Sir Walter. The Surgeon's Daughter. 1827.
'Seamark.' The Silent Six. 1926.
Sell, Frank R. Bhi m Singh. 1926.
Shankar Ram. The Children of Caveri. 1927.
Creatures A l l . 1931.
Shannon, Alastair. The Black Scorpion. 1926.
Sharp, Sir Henry (' Oliver Ai nswor t h' ) .
The Devi l ' s Tower. 1927.
The Dancing God. 1928.
Shearwood, G. F. F. Five I ndi an Tales. 1925.
Sheepshanks, Beatrice. The Sword and the Spirit. 1928.
Sherer, J. W. A. A Princess of I slam. 1897.
Sherring, Herbert. L i ght and Shade. 1884.
Gopi. 1911.
Sherwood, Mr s. Li t t l e Henry and his Bearer. 1836.
The Lady of the Manor. 1825-9.
Sinderby, Donal d. The Jewel of Malabar. 1927.
Dogsbody: The Story of a Romantic Subaltern. 1928.
Mother-in-Law I ndia. 1930.
Singh, Sir Jogendra. See Jogendra Singh.
Sinnett, A. P. Karma. (3rd edition.) 1891.
Sleath, Frederick. The Red Vul t ure. 1923.
Smith, A. W. West is West. 1931.
Very unsympathetic treatment of Eurasians.
Smith, Juliette Gordon. The Wednesday Wife. 1922.
Somers, Mar k. The Bridge. 1914.
A nd I t Happened. 1928.
Sorabji, Cornelia. Love and Life Behind the Purdah. 1901.
Sun-babies. 1904.
Between the Twi l i ght s. 1908.
Stace, Henry. The Adventures of Count O' Connor in the Domi -
nions of the Great Mogul . 1907.
Stanger, Mr s. H. S. Thorns and Thistles. 1918.
Stanton, Coralie, and Hosken, Heath. The White Horseman. 1924.
St. Clair, W. Prince Baber and his Wives, The Slave G i r l Narcissus
and the Nawab of Lal put . 1901.
Steel, Mrs. Flora Anni e. Fr om the Five Rivers. 1893.
Miss Stuart's Legacy. 1893.
Tales of the Punjab. 1894.
The Flower of Forgiveness. 1894.
The Potter's Thumb. 1894.
332
BI BLI OGRAP HY
Steel, Mr s. Flora Anniecontinued.
Red Rowans. 1895.
On the Face of the Waters. 1896.
I n the Permanent Way and Other Stories. 1897.
I n the Tideway. 1897.
The Hosts of the L or d. 1900.
Voices in the Ni ght . 1900.
I n the Guardianship of God. 1903.
A Prince of Dreamers. 1908.
Ki ng- Er r ant . 1912.
The Adventures of Akbar. 1913.
Marmaduke. 1917.
Mistress of Men. 1917.
The Law of the Threshold. 1924.
The Builder. 1928.
I ndi an Scene. 1933.
Sterndale, R. A. The Afghan Kni fe. 1879.
Stevens, E. S. The Earthen Dr um. 1911.
Stevens, Ni na (Mrs. F. Griffiths). The Perils of Sympathy. 1904.
Stevenson, B. E. The House Next Door . 1932.
Stock, Ralph. The Pyjama Man. 1914.
' Strang, Herbert' . One of Clive's Heroes. 1906.
Barclay of the Guides: A Tale of the I ndi an Mut i ny. 1909.
Strange, N. K. Mistress of Ceremonies. 1930.
Sutherland, Joan. Wynnegate Sahib. 1918.
Desborough of the Nort h-West Frontier. 1920.
Subrahmanyam, A. I ndi ra De v i : A Romance of Modern Political
I ndi a. 1931.
Tagore, Sir Rabindranath. Glimpses of Bengal Li fe. 1913.
Eyesore (The Modern Review). 1914.
Short Stories. 1915.
Hungr y Stones and Other Stories. 1916.
Mashi and Other Stories. 1918.
Stories fr om Tagore. 1918.
The Home and the Wor l d. 1919.
The Wreck. 1921.
Gora. 1923.
Broken Ties and Other Stories. 1925.
Taylor, Col . Philip Meadows. Confessions of a Thug. 1839.
Ti ppoo Sultaun. 1840.
TaraA Marhatta Tale. 1863.
Ralph Darnel l . 1865.
Seeta. 1872.
The Fatal Ar ml et . 1872.
BI BLI OGRAP HY
333
A Nobl e Queen. 1878.
Thackeray, W. M. The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan.
1838.
Thomas, D. H. The Touchstone of Peril. 1886.
Thompson, Edwar d. Ni ght Falls on Siva's H i l l . 1929.
An I ndi an Day. 1927.
A Farewell to I ndi a. 1930.
I n Araby O r i on (non-I ndian). 1930.
So a Poor Ghost. 1933.
Thompson, N. F. I ntrigues of a Nabob. 1780.
Thor bur n, Septimus Smet. Davi d Leslie (2nd ed.). 1879.
Hi s Majesty's Greatest Subject. 1897.
Transgression. 1899.
I ndia' s Saint and Viceroy. 1908.
Sir John's Conversion. 1913.
Thwaytes, E. C. The Latent Force. 1910.
Ti l wa, Lucian de. A Chandala Woman. 1923.
Todd, W. H. I an and Joan. 1931.
' Tot a' (Mrs. Cannington Caffyn). Mar y Mirrielies. 1916.
Toon, Mr s. Chan M. A Marriage i n Burma. 1905.
A Shadow in Burma. 1914.
Tracy, Loui s. Heart's Del i ght . 1906.
The Red Year. 1908.
' Travers, John' . See Mr s. G. H. Bel l .
Turner, G. Frederic. A Bol t Fr om the East. 1917.
Upwar d, Al l en. Athelstane For d. 1899.
Ut ynne, May. The Secret of the Zenana. 1913.
Vachettys, H. A. The Four t h Dimension. 1920.
Vance, L. J. The Bronze Bel l . 1909.
Vaughan-Sawyer, H. Sport of Gods. 1910.
Venkataramni, K. S. Muruganthe Ti l l er . 1927.
Vet ch, Major. The Gong. 1852.
Vi an, Pat. Set Desire. 1932.
Vidyasagara, I . C. The Exi l e of Sita, t r . by H. J. Hardi ng. 1904.
Wallis, A. F. Slipped Moori ngs. 1910.
Wallis, H . M. A n O l d Sore. 1906.
As it Happened. 1909.
Warren, J. Russell. A Bride for Bombay. 1931.
Went wor t h, Patricia (Mrs. G. F. Di l l on) . The Devi l ' s Wi nd. 1912.
West wood, A, M. The Fl yi ng Firs. 1930.
Qui nl an. 1933.
334 BI BLI OGRAPHY
Whi t e, Edmund. Bi j l i the Dancer. 1898.
The Heart of Hi ndust an. 1910.
The Pat h: An I ndi an Romance. 1914.
The Pilgrimage of Premnath. 1918.
Whi t el aw, Davi d. The Gi r l f r om the East: A Romance. 1912.
Wi l l i ams, F. C. West is West. 1931.
Wi l l i amson, Geoffrey. The Lovable Out l aw. 1930.
Grand Tr unk Kni ght . 1933.
Wi l l mer , John Henry. The Transit of Souls. 1910.
Wi l son, Alexander. The Mystery of Tunnel 51. 1928.
The Devi l ' s Cocktail. 1928.
The Crimson Dacoi t . 1933.
Wi l son, Margaret. The Daughters of Indi a. 1928.
Trousers of Taffeta: A Tale of a Polygamous Ci t y. 1929.
Wingfield-Stratford, Mr s . Barbara. Beryl in Indi a. 1920.
Wool f , Leonard. Stories of the East. 1921.
Wool f , S. H. Ordeal on the Frontier. 1928.
Wr en, Percival Christopher. Dew and Mi l dew. 1912.
Father Gregory or Lures and Failures: A Tale of Hindostan. 1913.
Snake and Sword. 1914.
Dr i f t wood Spars. 1916.
Wr i ght , Gene. Pandora La Croi x. 1924.
Wyl i e, I . A. R. The Rajah's People. 1910.
The Daughter of Brahma. 1912.
Tr i st r am Sahib. 1915.
Wyl i e, Max. Hi n d u Heaven. 1933.
Wynne, Pamela ( Wi ni f r ed Mary Scott). Ashes of Desire. 1925.
East is Al ways East. 1930.
Yates, Edwar d. Olives are Scarce. 1931.
Yoke- Wr i ght . The Doubl e Weddi ng. 1885.
Yo r k , Eden. A Prince of Kashmir. 1923.
Younghusband, Sir Francis. But i n Our Li ves : A Romance of
I ndi an Front i er. 1926.
B. CRI TI CI SM A N D BI OGRAP HY
Baker, Dr . Ernest. A Gui de to the Best Fi ct i on. 1932.
Baker, Dr . Ernest. A Gui de to Hi st ori cal Fi ct i on. 1914.
Das, Ku mu d Nat h. A Hi st or y of Bengali Li t erat ure. 1920.
Har t , Walter. Ki p l i n g the Story-writer. 1918.
Hopki ns, Thurst on. Rudyard Ki p l i n g . A Survey of Hi s Ar t . 1914.
MacMunn, Sir George. Ki pl i ng' s Women. 1933.
Ni e l d, J. A Gui de to Best Hi st ori cal Novels and Tales. 1929.
Oaten, E. F. A Sketch of Angl o- I ndi an Li t erat ure. 1908.
BI BLI OGRAP HY
335
Oaten, E. F. Angl o- I ndi an Literature, article i n the Cambridge
History of English Literature, v o l . xi v.
Oaten, E. F. ' Angl o- I ndi an Melancholy' , C. R., 1913.
Penny, F. E. On the Coromandel Coast. 1908.
Sastri, Ramasvami. Rabindra Nat h Tagore. Hi s L i f e, Personality,
and Genius. 1917.
Sastri, Ramasvami. A Study of Tagore's Later Works.
Scharlieb, Dr . Mary. Reminiscences. 1924.
Sencourt, Robert. I ndi a in Engl i sh Literature. 1925.
Steel, Flora Anni e. The Garden of Fi del i t y. 1929.
Tayl or, Col . Meadows. The Story of My L i f e. 1877.
Thompson, Edwar d. Tagore, Poet and Dramatist. 1926.
C. A R TI CL ES A N D R EVI EWS
Calcutta Review, 1844-1931, is a repository of i nformat i on, specially
for the earlier Angl o- I ndi an publications. The f ol l owi ng list
may usefully be consulted.
1844 ' Englishmen in I ndi a' .
1845
1846 Al so reviews Long Engagements by
Sir J. W. Kaye.
1852 Reviews The Gong by Major Vet ch.
1859 Reviews The Wife and the Ward by L t . - Col . Edwar d Money.
1873 Reviews Seeta by Meadows Tayl or.
1875 Reviews Chandra Shekhar by Bankimchandra Chatterji.
1885 Has an interesting article on ' Engl i shwomen in I ndi a' .
1879 Has an article on ' The Angl o- I ndi an Question' .
1891 Has an article on ' The Real Major Gahagan'.
1892 Reviews the works of Mr . H. G. Curwen.
189 Reviews the earlier novels of Mr s. B. M. Croker.
1908 'Some I ndi an Novel s' , an article by Mr . Ki r an Nat h Dhar.
Much of its substance is based on Mr . Oaten's book, A Sketch
of Anglo-Indian Literature.
1913 An article on ' The Li fe of a Memsahib in the Muffasal', by
Mr . Macpherson.
1915 An article by Mr . E. F. Oaten on ' Angl o- I ndi an Melancholy' .
1918 An article on ' Meadows Tayl or' by Professor T. O. D. Dunn.
1919 An article on ' A n Angl o- I ndi an Romance'.
An article by Mr . P. R. Krishnasvami on ' Sir Walter Scott's
The Surgeon's Daughter'.
1929 Two articles on ' The East in Engl i sh Literature' by Professor
Dass Gupta.
A mong other I ndi an periodicals the Modern Review is very useful,
especially wi t h regard t o the study of R. N. Tagore. I t s 1914 vol ume
336 BI BL I OGRAP HY
publishes a translation of Eyesore whi ch has not been published in
book f or m. Modern Review, September 1924, has an article entitled
' I ndians and Angl o-I ndi ans as portrayed by Br i t i sh Novel i st s' by
Mr . St. Ni ha l Singh.
Hindu University Magazine, 1926, has an article, 'Some I ndi an
Associations of Engl i sh Li t erat ure' , by Professor P. Sheshadhari.
The Times Literary Supplement notices almost al l books discussed in
this Survey. The New Statesman, 1924, has a number of articles and
letters regarding Mr . Forster's A Passage to India. The Bookman
(London) has an article on Mr s. G. H. Bel l by Loui s J. McQui l l and.
Empire Review, January 1926, has an article, ' I ndi an Characters in
Engl i sh Fi ct i on' by Mr . P. Krishnasvami. A recent issue of the
Book-Finder (1931) contains an i nt ervi ew that Mr s . E. W. Savi gave
to a correspondent.
A GLOSSARY
O F I N D I A N WOR D S US E D I N T H E B O O K
Ajaib-ghur, a museum.
Androon or Andrun, literally
'inside', means a zenana.
Asura, a demon.
Atta, flour.
Banghi, a balance-like contri v-
ance to carry luggage or water.
Bania, same as Buni ah.
Begum, wi fe of a respectable
Mohammedan or of a nawab.
Bhat, a court or professional
musician.
Bhula admi, a good man, a gentle-
man.
Bocha, 'a ki nd of chair-palankin'
Hobson-Jobson.
Boorqa or boorkha, or burqa, a
vei l used by Mohammedan
wome n coveri ng the whol e
of their body.
Bund, an embankment.
Buniah, a. grocer.
Burra-khana, literally a bi g meal,
dinner.
Burra sahib, a district magistrate
or a commissioner.
Byragi, an order of H i ndu
ascetics.
Chapkan, a l ong loose coat.
Chaprassi, a peon.
Chaukidar, a watchman.
Chela, a disciple.
Chit, a note or a certificate.
Chobdar, a servant carryi ng a
mace.
Chupati or chupatti, an un-
leavened bread.
Competition wallah, an I ndi an
Ci vi l Service man.
Dakait, a dacoit or a robber.
Datura, a poisonous I ndi an
plant.
D / a / , pulse.
Dharna, 'sitting' before a man's
house t i l l one's request is
granted.
Dirzee, a tailor.
Dhobi, a washerman.
Durga, an I ndi an goddess of
terrible aspect.
Hkkah, a one-horse, high-backed
I ndi an carriage.
Ferishta, an angel.
Ferrunghi or Feringhi, European
or Engl i sh.
Frangistan, E urope or E ngl and.
Ghat, a landing-place wi t h steps
to a ri ver.
Ghee, clarified butter.
Gora, l i t . ' whi te' , means a E ur o-
pean.
Gosha, l i t . 'corner', privacy,
purdah.
Gram, chick pea or any pulse
used as horse-fodder.
Guru, a religious teacher.
Hakim, a physician.
Hamadryad, a venomous I ndi an
serpent.
Hartal, closing of shops and
cessation of business, strike.
hookah, a pipe in whi ch the
smoke is made to pass t hrough
water.
Huqqa, same as hookah.
338
Inshaalla, ' G o d w i l l i n g ' .
Izaat, honour.
Jadoo, magic.
Jehad, a rel i gi ous war, a crusade.
Kahar, one who carries, a Hi n d u
water-carrier, a porter.
Kala-jugga, 'a dark place' , a
secluded dark corner in a hal l
for l ove-maki ng.
Khaddar, coarse homespun cotton
cl o t h.
Khansaman, an In d i an steward,
bearer.
Khitmatgar, an In d i an servant.
Khud, ravi ne.
Kincob, costly silken In d i an cl o t h.
Kismet, fate.
Kurta, a loose In d i an shi rt.
Kuthas, rel i gi ous recitals of
stories fro m sacred books.
Machan, an erection for shooti ng
bi g game.
Mahajan, a class of business men
and money-lenders.
Mahatmca, ' hi gh-soul ed' .
Mahanty, a Hi n d u priest.
Mai-bap, ' mother and father' .
Maina, an In d i an passerine bi r d .
Mallie or mali, a gardener.
masalchiy 'a torch-bearer' , a
ki tchen servant.
Mela, a fai r.
Mem-log, European or Engl i sh
wo men i n In d i a.
Mem-sahiby the wi fe of a sahib.
Momiai, an oi ntment supposed
to be made of the fat of yo un g
chi l dren, and havi n g strange
properti es.
Mufassil or mofussil, provi nci al .
Mugger, a crocodi l e.
Mullah, a Mohammedan priest.
GLOSSARY
Murghi, a hen.
Musalchi, same as masalchi.
Mussahib, a ' compani on'
gentl eman-i n-wai ti ng o f
pri nce.
Mussulmanee, a
woman.
o r
a
Mohammedan
Najid or Nejd, 'a ki n g d o m of
Arabi a' .
Nautchy a dance.
Nawab, a Mohammedan pri nce
o r bi g l andl ord.
Nihang, an order of Si kh ascetics.
Nimaz, Mohammedan prayer.
Palenkeern, a pal anqui n.
Pan-dan, a casket for keeping
betel leaves.
Pankah, a fan.
Parry-ah, pari ah, an untouchable
of Southern In d i a.
Paunjammah, or pajama, a loose
Indi an trouser.
Pelaw, an In d i an dish of rice and
meat.
Pucca, real, staunch.
Pujari, a Hi n d u priest.
Punkah, same as pankah.
Punkah-collie, a servant for pul l i n g
the punkah.
Purdah, seclusion of women.
Sadhu, a Hi n d u hermi t.
Sahib, a European in In d i a.
Sahib-logy pl ural of sahib.
Sals, syce, an In d i an g ro o m.
Salaams, a Mohammedan greet-
i n g .
Sannayasi, an order of Hi n d u
ascetics.
Sanyasin, same as sannayasi.
Sari, an In d i an female garment.
Sati or Suttee, i mmol at i on of a |
Hi ndu wi dow on her hus-
band's pyre.
Serai, an Indi an i nn.
Shikari, a hunter.
Shutur-be-mahar, l i t. a camel wi t h- i
out a rei n, hence a man wi t h- I
out any self-control.
Sirkar, Government .
Swadeshi, belonging to one's own
country.
Swami, Lor d, master.
Swaraj, self-government.
Tahsil, a sub-division of a district
in India.
I A R Y 339
Tahsildar, the head of a tahsil.
Tattie, a bamboo and grass
screen.
Teerain, corr. of trai n.
Tiffing, tiffin or luncheon.
Topee-walla, a European.
Tonga, a one-horse vehicle.
Yogi, one who practises Y oga.
Zamindar, a land-holder, an agri -
culturist.
Zenana, secluded apartments of
Indi an women.
z 2
I N D E X
'Afghan', 95-7, 142-4.
Ainsworth, Oliver, see Sir Henry
Sharp.
Al i , Abdullah Yusaf, 280.
Allardyce, Alexander, 10, 64, 65,
66, 283.
Andrul , 88-90.
Anglo-India, its characteristics, 13-
30, 55, 56- 7; official, 61, 62, 63,
113, 223- 9, 237- 8.
Anglo-Indian, phrase, 1; novel,
periods of, 1-2; ingredients of,
2- 3; theme of, 3-4; its artistic
quality, 4; Mrs. Bell on, 27; na-
bobs, 4- 7; Qui-Hais, 7- 9; Com-
petition wallahs, 9-12; women,
28, 117-18, 121; characters,
39, 63, 64, 68, 69, 84, 112,
121, 122, 129, 132, 146, 149, 150,
152, 163, 229, 240, 267, 271, 291;
mutiny, 195, 196, 198, 199, 200,
218, 256-65; art, 305.
Arnol d, Dr . , 56.
Arnol d, Sir Edwi n, 59.
Arnol d, Matthew, 56.
Arnol d, W. D . , 1, 8, 17, 56-7.
Arya Samaj, 201.
Askew, Alice and Claud, 174.
Aurangzeb, 247.
Ayyar, A. P. S., 242, 308.
Azi z, 229.
Bal Krishna, see Krishna, Bal.
Bamburg, L. , 269.
Bannisdale, V. Erskine, 12, 252-3.
'Barrington, E. ' , see L. Adams
Beck.
Bechhofer, C. E. , 273.
Beck, L. Adams, 100, 195, 207,
241, 243, 274-5, 277-8.
Beckford, 51.
Beresford, Leslie, 23, 26, 155, 198,
199, 200, 201 n. , 207 n.
Bell, Mrs. G. H . , 13, 18, 20, 27, 28,
109, 117-22, 201 n. , 205 n. , 208,
210, 252, 253, 302, 304.
Bernays, Robert, 106.
Bishop, Constance E. , 23.
Blair, Hamish, 218.
Bolshevism in India, 195, 278-80.
'Boxwallah', 129.
Bradley, Shelland, 17, 131-5, 182.
Brereton, Captain F. S., 263.
Bridges, Robert, 310.
Brown, Andrew Cassels, 208, 281.
Brown, Hi l t on, 99, 157-61, 2 1 m .
Browne, Sir Thomas, 32.
Bruce, Henry, 155, 186-92, 204,
205 n.
Burma, 265-7.
Burn, Irene, 304.
Calcutta Review, 38 n. , 50 n., 55, 63.
Campbell, Hazel, 280, 281-2, 301.
Campbell, H. M. F. , 12, 175.
Campbell, Reginald, 171.
Candler, Edmund, 90-3, 153, 196,
201-4.
Capital, best for India, 219.
Carlyle, Thomas, 49 n. , 264.
Carr, Ray, 147.
Carus, Paul, 241.
Casserly, Gordon, 25, 130.
Cavalier, Mme Z. L. , 273.
Chand Bibi, 50.
Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra, 195.
Cheetoo, 45.
Chesney, Sir George, 256-7.
Chitty, Lady, 270.
Church, Mrs. Ross, 14, 16, 23, 24n. ,
58.
Clifford, Sir Hugh, 242.
Collins, Wi l ki e, 57, 268.
Combe, Mrs. Kenneth, 197, 198,
2 0 5 .
Congress, Indi an National, 195,
197.
Conquest, Joan, 303.
Cotes, Mrs. Everard, 197, 198.
Cox, Sir Edmund, 93.
Craig, A. E. R. , 103, 175.
Crawford, F. Mari on, 268.
I NDEX
341
Cr oker , Mr s . B. M . , 9, 15, 109- 11,
147, 302.
' Crosse, Vi c t or i a , 167.
Cunni ngham, Sir Henr y, 1, 10, 11,
12, 17, 21, 25, 27, 62- 4, 67, 205 n. ,
301.
Cur wen, H . , 109.
Cur zon, L o r d , 114, 131.
Daily Telegraph, 141.
' Dal e, Dar l ey' , 134.
Davi ds on, Jessie, 147.
' Dehan, Ri char d' , 93.
Dekobr a, Maur i ce, 140.
Del br i dge, J ohn, 142, 145.
De l h i Ri dge, 263.
De l l , E t hel M . , 93.
Dhar , K. N . , 63.
Di c k , G . , 166.
Di ckens, Charles, 37-8, 62, 264.
Di c ki ns on, G. Lowes , 13, 27.
Di v e r , Ma u d , 13, 28, 97, 109, 1 1 1 -
17, 169- 71, 254.
Dor e , Gust ave, 7 1 .
Dougl as, O. , 22, 128.
Dr u r y , W. P., 213.
Dr yde n, 32.
Duff-Fyfe, E t hel , 18, 185-6.
Duf f , Sir M. E . Gr ant , 63.
Du n n , Prof. , 51.
Dur a nd, Sir H. M . , 265.
Dur bar , De l h i , 131.
Du t t , R. C. , 245.
Dy a l Si ngh College, 204.
Dyer , General, 208, 210.
East on, J ohn, 271.
Edge, K. M . , 27, 302.
E mer y, J. I nma n, 270.
E ndnka r , Y. , 20, 22, 302.
Eurasians, characteristics of, 135,
179, 181, 182, 183, 186; tragedy
of, 192-4.
Eustace, Al i ce, 100, 102, 167.
Evans, George Essex, 29.
E y t o n , J ohn, 94, 96, 104-5, 161,
176, 184,205 n. , 301.
Fai rl ey, Hel en, 270.
Fenn, C. R. , 263.
Ferguson, J ohn, 276, 277.
Fi t zger al d, Ena, 245.
Fi t zr oy, Yvonne , 29.
For an, Bedf or d, 103, 138.
Forbes, Mr . , 5.
Forrest , R. E . , 260, 283.
Forst er, E . M . , 1, 221-32, 233.
Frazer, R. W. , 283.
Gama, Vasco da, 31.
G amon, R. B. , 250, 303.
G andhi , M. K. , 94, 96, 112, 210,
212, 217, 239-40.
' Ganpat ' , 100, 102, 269.
Gaskel l , Mr s . , 152.
Ghose, Ar a bi ndo, 235.
Ghosh, S. K . , 107.
G i b b o n , F. P., 254.
Gj el l erup, Ka r l Ad o l f , 241.
G oddar d, Ri char d E . , 274.
G o r d o n , H. K . , 106, 205.
G our , Sir Ha r i Si ngh, 309.
G r and T r u n k Road, 104, 106.
Gr ant , Col quhoun, 183.
' G r ay Ma x we l l ' , 260.
Gr eeni ng, Ar t h u r , 271.
G r egg, Hi l da , see ' S. C. Gr i er ' .
' G r i er , S. C, 5, 6, 247- 51, 249,
254, 255-6.
G r i f f i n, Sir Lepel , 63.
Gr oves, J. Percy, 254.
Ha bi b, Muhammad, 309.
Haggar d, Sir Ri der, 281.
Har cour t , A. F. P., 260.
Ha r t , Wal t er , 69.
Hast i ngs, Wa r r e n, 249, 250.
' Ha wk , Affabl e' , 226.
Hayens, Her ber t , 254.
Hent y, G. A. , 253, 254, 263.
H i l l , S. Woods , 220.
Hi ndui s m and Chr i st i ani t y, 150,
235-6, 285.
Hoba r t , Hampden, 200, 201, 304.
Hockl ey, W. B. , 17, 33-4, 51, 254.
Holderness, Sir T. W. , 292.
Ho l l i s , Ger t r ude, 148.
Hope, Laurence, 261.
Hopki ns , R. Thur s t on, 77.
Ho me , E . A. , 226.
dosken, Heat h, 138.
Ho we l l , Constance, 10, 304.
342
I N D E X
Hu k k , Jane, 177-9.
Hul ver , Mr s . , 149-50.
Humphr ey, Jor don, 99, 100.
Hunt er , Sir Wi l l i a m, 12, 148.
Hussain, Sir Fazl -i , 120.
I ndi a, i n E ngl i sh literature, 31-2;
romance of, 35; pathos of the
Br i t i s h conquest of, 4 1 ; climate
of, 42, 62, 71, 158, 217; i n
the nineteenth century, 53; Sir
E d w i n A r n o l d o n I . , 59; K i p l i n g
o n I . , 79- 80; understandable I . ,
99; I . a w oman count ry, 114,
123, 127; I . ' s need, 131; I . and
Chri st i ani t y, 149, 150, 151, 153,
155, 156, 236; discomforts of life
i n I . , 156-7; i mport ance o f
planters i n I . , 161; fr ui t i ndust ry
i n I . , 162-3; pol i t i cal I . , 195-220;
I . propert y o f the E ngl i sh, 203;
I . ' s need of E ngl i shmen, 211;
capital o f I . , 219; Mr s . Pennell
o n I . , 220; I . and democracy,
moder n I . , 220; Mosl em I . , 229,
295-6; greatest gi ft of I . , 233;
Amer i ca and I . , 238; the mys-
terious I . , 268-82, 284; I . the
jewelled mystery, 278; I . a fraud,
235, 300-4.
I ndi an Nat i onal Congress, see
Congress.
I ndi an, soldier, 130; E ngl i sh, 133,
136; pat ri ot s, 200 -1; education
and sedi t i on, 205 n . ; character,
60, 73, 154, 304-5; women, 80- 2;
Reforms, 96, 214, 219; ' mel an-
chol y' , 232; marriage, 288- 91;
naut ch gi r l s, 294-5; novelists,
306-10.
I ndi ani zat i on of hi gher services,
73-4, 91, 236-7.
I r w i n , H. C , 260.
esse, Mi ss Tennyson, 265-7.
ogendra Si ngh, 307.
j ohn, Mi chael , 142, 144-5.
Jor don Humfr ey, 147.
j udson, the Rev. , 155.
j ul i an, Mar y, 128.
K abul , 115.
Kaye, Sir J. W. , 56.
Keayes, Bri gadi er, 63.
Kernahan, Coul son, 17.
K han, Sir Syed A hmed, 295.
K i ncai d, C. A . , 95.
K i n g , Percy, 142.
K i ngs t on, W. H. G. , 283.
K i p l i n g , Rudyard, 1, 2, 4, 15, 17,
40, 42, 60, 61, 67, 68-82, 83, 84,
85, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 98, 100,
103, 107, 119, 122, 132, 151, 165,
166, 171, 180, 195, 269, 270, 271,
299, 300.
K i r b y , Charles, 58.
Kri shna, Bal , 307-8.
Kri shna, T. R., 245, 308
Lalla Rookh, 51.
Lang, John, 56, 58.
Lawrence, Sir Henr y, 27.
Lindsay, Mr . , 63.
Ll o y d , E yre, 140.
Locke, G. E . , 272-3.
Logi e, J. E . , 241.
Lave of Kama, 51.
Low i s , C. C, 147.
Lya l l , Sir Charles, 17.
Ly n n , Escott, 263.
Ly t t o n , Bul wer , 241.
Mackray, Robert , 276.
Macmi l l an, Mi chael , 245.
Ma cMunn, G. F. , 251.
Maddock, Eleanor, 175.
Madhavi ah, P. A . , 308.
Malabar, 167.
Mar l ow e, 31.
Mar r i s, A . T. , 93.
Mar r vat , Florence, 14, 23 n.
Marshal l , I an, 271.
Masood, Syed Ross, 229.
Mayo, Kat heri ne, 99, 100, 154, 238.
' Mer r i man, H. Seton' , 263. '
Metcalfe, Sir Charles, 43.
Mi l es, Lady, 130.
Mi l t o n , G. R. , 146.
Mi nney, R. J. , 104, 205, 298-300.
Mi t r a , S. M . , 267.
Mogr aon, 202.
Mohindra College, Patiala, 203.
I N D I E X
Money, E dward, 57.
Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms,
96, 204, 208- 11, 214, 282.
Montreville, Madame, 36, 45.
Moore, Thomas, 51.
Mopl ah Rebellion, 167.
Morand, Paul, 241.
Mordecai, Margaret, 24.
Morgan, Lady, 32.
Morgan, W. G. Curtis, 138-40.
Mori er, 51.
Morrow, H. Willsie, 155.
Mountai n, I sobel, 156-7.
Mui r, E dwi n, 233.
Mundy, Talbot, 21, 100, 263, 269.
Mut i ny, The, 85, 195, 196, 198, 199,
200, 218, 256-65.
Myers, L. H . , 243-5.
N ana Sahib, 259.
N apier, Lord, 63.
Nation and Athenaeum, The, 233.
N ewcomen, G. B. , 183, 301.
News-Chronicle, 106 n.
New Statesman, The, 226.
N on-Co-operation Movement, 94,
96, 208, 212.
N oormahal, 50 n.
Oaten, E . F. , 17, 51, 56, 77.
O' D wyer, Sir Michael, 213.
Owenson, Sydney, 32, 33, 148.
Pathans, 66, 71, 72, 74, 78, 79, 37,
138, 139, 143, 142, 143, 145, I 75, 176.
'Patton, J. B. ' , see E dmund Whi t e.
Paupiah, 45.
Pearce, Charles E . , 258, 259.
Peard, Frances M. , 303.
Pegg, E leanor, 271.
Pennell, Mrs. Theodore, 142, 146,
201 n.
Penny, F. E . , 148-51, 171-3, 177,
184-5, 196, 197, 205 n., 207 n. ,
283-92, 304, 308.
Perrin, Alice, 14, 23 n., 28, 30, 86-8,
122-4, 134, 147, 148, 151, 304.
Peterson, Miss, 128.
Pilcher, T. P. , 94.
Pioneer, The, 9.
EX 343
Planters in I ndia, 160-4.
Poe, E . A. , 71.
Pottinger, E ldred, 114.
Prinsep, Augustus, 52.
Pritchard, I ltudus, 61-2, 67.
Pryder, Anthony, 269.
Rae, Mrs. Mi l ne, 180.
Rajas than, 248.
Ram, Shankar, 308.
Release, The, 130.
Rhodes, Kathlyn, 186.
Rickard, Mrs. Victor, 129, 146,
147.
Rideout, H. M. , 140.
Robinson, Phil, 58-61, 67.
Roe, Sir Thomas, 245.
Rothfeld, Ot t o, 88, 283.
Sarawak, Ranee of, 97, 100, 147,
192-4.
Sartor Resartus, 49 n.
Savi, E . W. , 15, 19, 29, 97, 124-8,
155, 156, 174-5, 181, 182, 186,
196, 197, 201, 301, 304.
Scenes of Clerical Life, 152.
Scharlieb, Mary, 154, 155.
Scott, J. G. , 146, 147.
Scott, Sir Walter, 2, 35-6, 62, 241.
Sell, R. F. , 248.
Sencourt, Robert, 32, 36, 51.
Shakespeare, 31.
Shannon, Alastair, 277, 305.
Sharp, Sir Henry, 280.
Shearwood, F. F. , 97.
Sheepshanks, Beatrice, 217.
Sherer, J. W. , 166.
Sherring, Herbert, 93.
Sherwood, Mrs . , 9, 54, 55, 85.
Shivaji, 48, 245, 246, 247.
'Shway Yoe', 147.
Simla, 82, 92, 106-7.
Sinderby, D onald, 167-9.
Sleath, Frederick, 276.
Sleeman, Col. , 44.
Sombru, Begum, 251-2.
Somers, Mark, 103.
Sorabji, Miss, 306.
Southey, 51.
Stanton, Coralie, 138.
'Station' in I ndia, 158.
344 I N
Steel, F. A. , 84, 85, 86, 132, 167,
242-3, 260-3, 276.
Sterndale, R. A. , 258.
' St rang, Her ber t ' , 263.
Strange, Nor a K. , 16, 20, 301.
Subrahmanyam, A. , 308.
Swadeshi Movement , 196, 204.
Taj , The, 275.
Tank, 140.
Tayl or , Meadows, 33, 42-52, 57,
58, 65, 122, 245, 246, 249, 253,
257, 283.
Thackeray, W. M . , 2, 7, 38-42, 76,
134.
Thomas, D. H . , 257-8.
Thomas George, 122, 252, 253.
Thomps on, Edwa r d, 1, 2, 16, 18,
20, 21, 28, 163-4, 194 n. , 200 n. ,
232-40, 265.
Thomps on, N. F. , 32.
Th o r b u r n , S. S., 136-8.
Times Literary Supplement', The, 148.
Times of India, The, 109 n.
Ti p p o o , 46.
Tr acy, Loui s , 245, 258, 259.
' Travers, J ohn' , see Mr s . G. H.
B el l .
Tr evel yan, Sir G. O. , 134, 265.
Tur ner , Frederic, 281.
Vance, L. G. , 197.
Vathek, 51.
Vaughan-Sawyer, H . , 130.
Venkat ar amni , K. S., 308.
Wallace, Ar t h u r , 205 n.
Wal l i s , F. A. , 198.
Wal l i s, H. M. , 254.
Wat er f l cl d, Mr s . R. H . , 63.
Wazi nst an, 140.
Weekes, R. K. , 269.
Wel l s, H. G. , 281.
We nt wor t h, Patricia, 258.
Whi t e , Edmund, 141, 292-8.
Wi l l me r , J . H, 273.
Wi l s on, Alexander, 16, 195 n. , 279-
80.
Wi l s on, Margaret , 151-4.
Wi ngf i cl d- St r at f or d, B . , 13, 26,
129, 200, 303.
Wol c ot t , Balestier, 269.
Wo o d , J. Cl averdon, 263.
Wool f , Leonar d, 94.
Wool f , S . H. , 175.
Wo r d s wo r t h , W. , 263, 296.
Wr e n , P. C, 180- 1.
Wr i g h t , Ral ph, 222.
Wyl i e , Cur zon, 205.
Wyl i e , Max, 156.
Younghusband, Sir Francis, 18, 23,
28, 141-2.
Zenana, 120, 177, 287-8.
Zola, 71.
PRI NTED I N GREAT BRI TAI N AT THE UNI VERSI TY PRESS, OXFORD
BY JOHN JOHNSON, PRINTER TO THE UNI VERSI TY
DEX