Post-Kipling, Pre-Independence
July 15, 2011 10:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for anything - websites, nonfiction, fiction - that would give me an idea of what daily life was like for the British in India in the first half of the 20th century.

So, I feel like I'm fairly well-versed on modern Indian history, including the independence movement. But I don't know much about what life was like for the British - especially children and wives in India - during that time period.

Were children still being sent back to Britain for education, or were their parents keeping them in India? What was the social scene in Delhi and Calcutta? How did the two world wars affect life? What about the days leading up to Independence?

Any help would be much appreciated!
posted by Gori Girl to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, and I've seen this post asking for books on British colonialism. Lots of good stuff there - I'm looking for more.
posted by Gori Girl at 10:54 AM on July 15, 2011

For fiction, The Siege of Krishnapur is a truly wonderful book. It's a portrayal of the world of Victorian ex-pat Britons and how the Indian Mutiny of 1857 slowly impinges on their languid colonial lives.
posted by nicktf at 2:06 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

E. M. Forster's A Passage to India is mentioned in the other thread but there is also his non-fiction account of his time in India The Hill of Devi. I have no idea about its quality but it's the right time period.
posted by Cuppatea at 2:32 PM on July 15, 2011

Not exactly post-Kipling, but still informative: David Gilmour, The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj (2006). On British families in India, starting in the eighteenth century but taking the story right up to 1947: Margaret MacMillan, Women of the Raj (1996), and Vyvyen Brendon, Children of the Raj (2006). Slightly more academic, but highly readable: Clive Dewey, Anglo-Indian Attitudes: The Mind of the Indian Civil Service (1993).
posted by verstegan at 2:32 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

There was a BBC-produced miniseries called "The Jewel in the Crown", which was based on four books.

I can't attest to how accurate they are, but they're placed in the 1940's, just before independence.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:58 PM on July 15, 2011

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