the Raj

Not all British memsahibs were racist snobs

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Despite efforts to prevent them, British women formed a part of the Indian empire almost from the start. Although the…

Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of Tysoe Saul Hancock, his wife Philadelphia (née Austen) and daughter Eliza (rumoured to have been the child of Warren Hastings) with their Indian maid Clarinda, c. 1764–5. Eliza was Jane Austen’s cousin and later sister-in-law, and is said to have inspired several of Austen’s characters, including the playful Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park

The scourge of Christian missionaries in British-Indian history

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Objectivity seems to be difficult for historians writing about Britain’s long and complicated relationship with India, and this makes the…

Brian Hodgson finds his vocation in Kathmandu

12 December 2015 9:00 am

It started as a ‘shoke’ — the Anglo-Indian slang word for ‘hobby’. Bored and lonely in Kathmandu, the young Assistant…

A Sikh member of the Indian Army Services Corps at Dunkirk, 1940

Britain didn’t fight the second world war — the British empire did

25 July 2015 9:00 am

In 1929, when Edwin Lutyens handed over the newly completed building site of New Delhi to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin,…

Lieutenant William Alexander Kerr earns the Victoria Cross in the Great Uprising of 1857

British India — the scene of repeated war crimes throughout the 19th century

14 March 2015 9:00 am

‘Sometimes, strolling through the ruins of earlier civilisations, we idly wonder what it must have been like to live through…

Colonel James Tod, travelling by elephant through Rajasthan with his cavalry and sepoys (Indian school, 18th century)

From Scylax to the Beatles: the West's lust for India

7 June 2014 9:00 am

From the Greek seafarer Scylax in 500 BC to the Beatles in 1968, there is a long history of foreign…