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Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire

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Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire explores the rich and complicated landscape of intercultural contact between Indians and Britons on British soil at the height of empire, as reflected in a range of literary writing, including poetry and life-writing. The book's four decade-based case studies, leading from 1870 and the opening of the Suez Canal, to the first years of the Great War, investigate from several different textual and cultural angles the central place of India in the British metropolitan imagination at this relatively early stage for Indian migration. Focussing on a range of remarkable Indian 'arrivants' — scholars, poets, religious seekers, and political activists including Toru Dutt and Sarojini Naidu, Mohandas Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore — Indian Arrivals examines the take-up in the metropolis of the influences and ideas that accompanied their transcontinental movement, including concepts of the west and of cultural decadence, of urban modernity and of cosmopolitan exchange. If, as is now widely accepted, vocabularies of inhabitation, education, citizenship and the law were in many cases developed in colonial spaces like India, and imported into Britain, then, the book suggests, the presence of Indian travellers and migrants needs to be seen as much more central to Britain's understanding of itself, both in historical terms and in relation to the present-day. The book demonstrates how the colonial encounter in all its ambivalence and complexity inflected social relations throughout the empire, including at its heart, in Britain itself: Indian as well as other colonial travellers enacted the diversity of the empire on London's streets.

ISBN-13: 9780192855671

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 12-30-2021

Pages: 304

Product Dimensions: 8.78(w) x 5.58(h) x 0.64(d)

Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford, and Professorial Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. She has published Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995, 2005), Empire, the National and the Postcolonial, 1890-1920 (2002), Stories of Women (2005), and the biography Nelson Mandela (2008). She is the author of four acclaimed novels, as well as the short-story collection Sharmilla and Other Portraits (2010). She edited Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (2004), and the anthology Empire Writing (1998), and co-edited J.M. Coetzee in Writing and Theory (2009), Terror and the Postcolonial (2009), The Indian Postcolonial (2010), and The Postcolonial Low Countries (2012). She is the General Editor of the Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures Series.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Indian Arrival-Encounters between Indians and Britons, 1870-1915
I Encounter
II Interconnected Cultural Terrains
III Cross-border Poetics
IV Arrivals and Arrivants
V The Enigma of Arrival
VI Chapters
1: Passages to England: Suez, the Indian pathway
I Ondaatje's 'fragmentary tableaux'
II Across the Black Waters
III The 'magnificent ditch' in its imperial context
IV British perspectives
V Indian passages to England: travelling in the west
VI Forged through the medium of travel: Toru Dutt and Sarojini Naidu
2: The Spasm of the Familiar: Indians in late nineteenth-century London
I 'EL to England to discover India'
II Native and foreign in England
III 'Versions of our old route': India-in-Britain
IV City networks: 'No route back'
V A poetics of crossing: 'that world-wide circle EL like an electric current'
3: Lotus Artists: Self-orientalism and Decadence
I 'Catching the nearing echo': 1890s poetic encounters between India and Britain
II The fantastical 1890s
III 'Lotus-eyed' Ghose 'the Primavera poet'
IV 'so impetuous and so sympathetic': Sarojini Naidu as self-orientalist
V Cornelia Sorabji: 'getting England into my bones'
4: Edwardian Extremes and Extremists, 1901-13
I Difference within
II India Housed and Unhoused
III Indian Bloomsbury
IV On or about 1912
5: Coda-Indian Salients
6: Works Cited