Avatars of Identity
The British Community in India
India was never a colony of ‘settlement’ for the British and whatever communities they formed there were always marked by transience. Nonetheless, over two hundred and fifty years, they interacted with Indian culture in a variety of ways and underwent a number of different social experiences. This chapter explores their diversity of experience in different places at different times, seeking to escape the stereotypes usually associated with ‘the Raj’. In particular, it draws attention to the society of ‘non‐official’ and more plebeian British residents and uncovers an often‐obscure history of racial inter‐relationships, which marked both the coming together and the distancing of the ‘colonists’ from their hosts.
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