'an Indian household can no more be governed peacefully, without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire' InThe Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook (1888) Flora Annie Steel and her co-author Grace Gardiner provide practical, and often highly opinionated, advice to young memsahibs in India. They explain how to 'make a hold' over servants, how to establish and stock a storeroom, how to plan a menu, manage young children, treat bites from 'mad, or even doubtful dogs', and teach an Indian cook how to make fish quenelles. The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook promised its reader a comprehensive guide to domesticitiy in India, even if she found herself living in camps or in the jungle, on the hills or in the plains, whether she was the wife of an influential Indian Civil Servant or a missionary. This new edition, complete with its stimulating introduction and substantial notes, makes available a classic domestic work that in detailing the memsahib's role in the household sheds light on the entire imperial experience. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe.
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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.