Anne de Courcy's history is a sparkling collage of stories and quotations in which we hear the authentic voices of the women and girls she portrays, most of them natural, unaffected writers with sharp eyes, a gift for description and a sense of humour. This book is brilliantly researched, and full of delights.
Anne De Courcy combines the perseverance of a social historian with the panache of a novelist in her tales from the Raj.
The Fishing Fleet is an entertaining, richly detailed account of a world that vanished overnight in 1947 with independence. De Courcy revels in the details of durbars, tiger hunts, maharajahs dripping with jewels, but also reveals how life in the jewel of the crown could be as desperate as it was glittering
This is a fine picture of a lost world
This sparkling collage explores the lives of the English girls who came to colonial India to hook themselves a spouse, and draws intriguing parallels between India and British social attitudes.
What this brilliantly researched book, using letters and diaries, reveals is that for many of the brightest and most attractive girls, the experience was thrilling and liberating - one girl writes how she went dancing 26 nights in a row, another had dates with eight different men in as many nights. For others, the experience was humiliating as, failing to land a man, they sailed home labelled 'Returned Empties'. Once married, the women showed extraordinary grit and strength as, unless they bagged top men in the prime city locations, the life could be lonely, hard and thankless. A wonderful slice of history
Recommended as an absorbing read.