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How to dine in India: Flora Annie Steelís The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook and the Anglo-Indian Imagination


Crane, R and Johnston, A, How to dine in India: Flora Annie Steel's The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook and the Anglo-Indian Imagination, Flora Annie Steel: a critical study of an unconventional memsahib, University of Alberta Press, S Roye (ed), Canada, pp. 161-182. ISBN 978-1-77212-260-2 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

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Amongst her many literary accomplishments, Flora Annie Steel was also a committed (and highly opinionated) manager of her domestic realm. Consonant with her conservative feminism and approach to the Empire, Steel believed that "the proper administration of even a small household needs both brain and heart.

This chapter will focus on the second half of The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which encompasses three chapters of advice on cooking, a further nineteen chapters of recipes across the full range of European cuisine, and a single chapter on native dishes "added by request" (Steel and Gardiner 305). It will look at the influence of Britain on Anglo-Indian cuisine and consider the relationship between ingredients and ways of cooking, in order to draw parallels between the rules of the colonial kitchen and the governance of the Empire in India. It will unpack the ways this enormously influential domestic manual provided the memsahib with the knowledge she needed to "dine" in India in a way that would reinforce the power relations between mistress and servant and ultimately between Britain and India.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:conservative feminism, Flora Annie Steel
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:British and Irish literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Crane, R (Professor Ralph Crane)
ID Code:120062
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-08-09
Last Modified:2018-05-07

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