Lusin, Caroline

Imperial Selves


Negotiating Collectivity in Anglo-Indian Life-Writing



The British Empire is indelibly part of British history, and its legacy still shapes British self-conceptions decisively. The heritage of British India in particular, the celebrated ‘Jewel in the Crown’, pervades various aspects of British everyday life and popular culture, ranging from language and food to music and movies. Exploring Britain’s imperial history is hence a crucial step in understanding the state of Britain today.

Anglo-Indian life-writing – the autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, and letters of Britons who spent part of their lives in India – offers revealing insights into how the British conceptualised their relationship to the Empire at the time of their supremacy on the subcontinent between 1818 and 1947. Proceeding from the assumption that life in British India was regulated by an exceptionally tight system of norms and conventions, this study investigates how the British pinned their individual lives in India against various forms of collectivity, including social groups and their normative framework as well as the collective frames of narration.

Table of Contents


ISBN 978-3-86821-759-9, 278 S., kt., € 35,00 (2018)

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