Following Robert Clive’s victory at Plassey, ‘shaking the pagoda tree’, that is, finding a wealthy ‘nabob’ and marrying him for ‘three hundred pounds, dead or alive’, provided British women with another incentive to travel to India, and new social conventions such as the Captain’s Ball and ‘setting up’ were designed to further marriage. As in the earlier period, the low salaries of the Company’s servants coupled with their extravagance that continued to characterize Anglo-Indian society remained obstacles to accomplishing that goal, and some marriages were disasters. Fortunately, divorce and remarriage were regarded fairly lightly, possibly since the most prominent woman socially, Maria Hastings, was a divorcee.
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