Friday, February 15, 2013

The Fishing Fleet – Anne de Courcy

The Fishing FleetWhen the author was undertaking her research we did correspond rather briefly, but my interest regarding my ancestral links to India was out of the time frame for Anne's book.

I waited rather eagerly for the book to be published. Once it hit the shelves of my local library I managed to grab the book and then quietly enjoy it.

The book looks at women who migrated to India looking for a husband during the period of the mid 19th Century until 1947, when India gained it's Independence.

I loved the colour of the cover which for me set the tone of the book. I enjoyed the depth of the research, which was gathered from letters and memoirs of the time and the focus of the book.

There is a suitable explanation of why the women were there, and why they risked travelling the globe to find a husband, but there was little detail on how the women adapted to the change in culture and their experiences. The author further explores the processes in India at this time, the bureaucracy of India and mixed raced children and how they were viewed.

Despite all that, I was a little disappointed. There is little scope given to how these women coped, not only with the country and culture, but also how they experienced married life with the men they met in India. I felt as though the author ran out of steam with the subject matter before the end of the book.

I enjoyed it, but it could have been better.

8 comments:

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  2. I've read about this book. The story of course is an old one and one that is at the same time sad at times. The women were the butt of jokes as well.

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    1. I would agree, it is sad in places. Women dispatched to ends of the globe to adapt to a culture, heat and weather very different from their own. Links with back home I would have always said non existant, but from my own family the girls did maintain good family links with home.

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  4. I cannot imagine moving to India to find a husband. Maybe I should read it.

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    1. I can see the idea catching on!

      Historically, there was a shortage of potential husband material. Many men were employed by the East India Company or the India Civil Service and often could not marry until they were at least 30. The shortage of men meant the women had to go to the men, or catch one when they were home!

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  5. I cannot imagine moving to India to find a husband. Maybe I should read it.

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  6. thanks for share.

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