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Sex and SensibilityRichard Blechynden's Calcutta Diaries, 1791-1822$
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Peter Robb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198075110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198075110.001.0001

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A Concubine’s Lot

A Concubine’s Lot

(p.35) 3 A Concubine’s Lot
Sex and Sensibility

Peter Robb

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the situation of bibis during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries based on Richard Blechynden’s account in his diary. Demeaning conditions affected all women, but bibis suffered further exploitation, distance, and denial. A bibi was paid and never considered a wife, or overtly acknowledged. Blechynden’s bibis, including the mothers of his children, were generally recruited through servants or arrived as supplicants. This chapter considers the two similar tales with different endings involving bibis of Blechynden’s acquaintances.

Keywords:   exploitation, distance, denial

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