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Cover

The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook

Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner
Edited by Ralph Crane and Anna Johnston

October 2011

ISBN: 9780199605767

400 pages
Paperback
196x129mm

In Stock

Oxford World's Classics

Price: £10.99

In The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1888), Flora Annie Steel and her co-author Grace Gardiner give practical and highly opinionated advice to young memsahibs in India. Covering all aspects of household management from the duties of servants to recipes, the manual sheds fascinating light on the entire imperial experience.

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Description

In The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1888), Flora Annie Steel and her co-author Grace Gardiner give practical and highly opinionated advice to young memsahibs in India. Covering all aspects of household management from the duties of servants to recipes, the manual sheds fascinating light on the entire imperial experience.

  • The Mrs Beeton of British India, Flora Annie Steel and her companion Grace Gardiner's book of household management for memsahibs offers a fascinating insight into the daily life of Anglo-Indians and their servants under the Raj.
  • An entertaining guide to the duties of mistress and servant, the book is also a fascinating document of colonial relations.
  • Includes advice on the storeroom, accounts, meals, gardening, camp life, clothing, cookery, and recipes, tempered with personal anecdotes and glimpses into the lives of the two remarkable authors in the 1880s and 1890s.
  • A lively introduction looks at Steel's life and writings and other imperial manuals and books on cooking and empire, and illuminates the connections which the book makes explicit between running a domestic household in India and running the British Empire.
  • Explanatory Notes cover everything from the late nineteenth-century pharmacopeia, kitchen, and laundry cupboard to geographical, historical, and political contexts.
  • Includes a glossary of Indian terms.

About the Author(s)

Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner

Edited by Ralph Crane, Professor of English, University of Tasmania, and Anna Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow in English, University of Tasmania

Both authors were married to members of the Indian Civil Service and lived and travelled in India with their families for more than two decades. The senior partner, Flora Annie Steel took a strong interest in Indian life, learned to speak, read, and write Punjabi and committed to improving the lives of the local native women. She helped to establish schools and served on the Provincial Education Board. She also wrote stories for children and novels including her best-known novel on the Indian Mutiny, On the Face of the Waters.

Reviews

Review from previous edition 'The cream of the crop of the recent historical [coookery] reprintsThe Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook aimed to do for memsahibs what Mrs Beeton had done for their stay-at-home sisters...Their mission, to create a domestic space that was forever Wiltshire, throws a bright light on the larger project of which they were part, that of running the British empire.' - Kathryn Hughes, Guardian, 19/6/2010

'fascinating, immensely detailed...a priceless insight into the mindset and even the character of those women out there,imposing their will and their ways amid the "alien corn" surrounding them.' - Martin Rubin, Washington Times, 4/6/2010

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