Richard Blechynden was a surveyor, architect, and builder in early colonial Bengal. This volume and its companion (Sentiment and Self) use 80 volumes of his diaries and other archival material along with anecdotes, extracts, and stories to recreate histories of everyday life.
While Sentiment and Self explores issues like interactions between Europeans and Indians, race and tolerance, this volume focuses on the position of women, especially concubines, or bibis and their sexual and emotional relationships; the social milieu of the early empire; dynamics of household; contexts for cross-cultural contact and misunderstanding; the complexities of class, culture, and race; and the overlapping public and private life. It examines the domestic life,
personal sensibilities, and private and public persona of the main diarist, Richard Blechynden.
This book will interest scholars and students of modern Indian history, gender studies, cultural studies, and British Imperialism, as well as those interested in biographies.