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The Changing Role of Women in Bengal, 1849-1905
Meredith Borthwick

Paperback | 2015 | $52.95 | £44.95 | ISBN: 9780691628189
Hardcover | 2016 | $145.00 | £120.95 | ISBN: 9780691653839
422 pp. | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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Basing her work on Bengali-language sources, such as women's journals, private papers, biographies, and autobiographies, Meredith Borthwick approaches the lives of women in nineteenth-century Bengal from a new standpoint. She moves beyond the record of the heated debates held by men of this period—over matters such as widow burning, child marriage, and female education—to explore the effects of changes in society on the lives of women and to question assumptions about "advances" prompted by British rule.

Focusing on the wives, mothers, and daughters of the English-educated Bengali professional class, Dr. Borthwick contends that many reforms merely substituted a restrictive British definition of womanhood for traditional Hindu norms. The positive gains for women—increased physical freedom, the acquisition of literacy, and limited entry to nondomestic work—often brought unforeseen negative consequences, such as a reduction in autonomy and power in the household.

Originally published in 1984.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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