This image is the cover for the book Flora Annie Steel

Flora Annie Steel

A collection of essays on the writer who “after Rudyard Kipling . . . was the most famous nineteenth-century British author to depict India” (Nineteenth-Century Literature).

Flora Annie Steel (1847–1929) was a contemporary of Rudyard Kipling and rivaled his popularity as a writer during her lifetime, but her legacy faded due to gender-biased politics. She spent twenty-two years in India, mainly in the Punjab. This collection is the first to focus entirely on this “unconventional memsahib” and her contribution to turn-of-the-century Anglo-Indian literature. The eight essays draw attention to Steel’s multifaceted work—ranging from fiction to journalism to letter writing, from housekeeping manuals to philanthropic activities. These essays, by recognized experts on her life and work, will appeal to interdisciplinary scholars and readers in the fields of British India and Women’s Studies.

Contributors: Amrita Banerjee, Helen Pike Bauer, Ralph Crane, Gráinne Goodwin, Alan Johnson, Anna Johnston, Danielle Nielsen, LeeAnne M. Richardson, Susmita Roye

“Going beyond Steel’s most famous and widely discussed work, On the Face of the Waters, this excellent volume strives to shed light on her less well-known novels, such as The Potter’s Thumb and Voices in the Night: A Chromatic Fantasia, as well as her short fiction and other genres of her writing that have not received much attention from literary critics, including housekeeping advice, journalism, and letters to editors.” —Oxford University Press Journals

“The essays in this volume treat topics ranging from Steel’s rewriting of women’s role in the maintenance of British power to her sympathetic representation of the wit and creativity of Indian girls.” —Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

Susmita Roye

Susmita Roye is Associate Professor of English at Delaware State University in the USA. She serves on the board of directors of Northeast Modern Language Association and the editorial board of South Asia Research journal. For her research, she has won numerous prestigious national and international scholarships, including an Award for Faculty by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the US, an Overseas Research Scholarship in the UK, and a Junior Research Fellowship by the Government of India. Her monograph on pioneering South Asian women writers of fiction in English is forthcoming. Her articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Commonwealth Literature, English Studies, Callaloo, Kunapipi, South Asia Research, and Studies in the Humanities. She has co-edited two volumes, The Male Empire under the Female Gaze: The British Raj and the Memsahib (2013) and Experiencing Otherness: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (2015). She has also contributed to numerous volumes of essays, including Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines: A Critical Anthology, and Subaltern Vision: A Study in Postcolonial Indian English Text, and has reviewed books for South Asia Research and Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

The University of Alberta Press