‘Crushed Flounces and Broken Feathers’: British Women’s Fashions and their Indian Servants in Victorian India

‘We have had so many inquiries respecting Indian outfits, and necessary articles of dress for the Presidencies…’ (The Englishwoman’s Conversazione, Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, 1 July 1869). Britain’s imperial control and power over India had reached its epitome in the nineteenth century, as the East India Company had become entrenched, and later, the colonial society was consolidated by the imposition of Crown Rule in 1858. The nineteenth century, especially the second half, witnessed many British women crossing the seas to reside

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Crafting in the Classroom: Hands-On Approaches to Victorian Material Culture

This is the third post in the ‘Crafting Communities’ series on JVC Online. See Part One and Part Two. At a virtual roundtable on Victorian material culture held in February 2021, Andrea Korda presented on The Plough, a large-scale print published by London’s Art for Schools Association in 1899 for classroom walls. By large-scale, we mean enormous—five by six feet, to be exact, a height that would tower over most schoolchildren, and even over the teachers, once mounted on a

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Curry Tales of the Empire

Indian curry is an extraordinarily popular genre of food, visible not only in the shape of curry houses across the world but also as take-aways, frozen curry meals and curry powders sold in grocers’ stores. But what is the history of the Indian curry? Was it Indian to begin with or a colonial imposition evolving from a simplified and over-generalized understanding of local food cultures?  This essay traces the history of Indian curry as we know it today and the

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The rise and fall of the historical novel?

Everyone agrees that the historical novel is an almost impossible genre to write successfully. Yet it keeps being written, and being successful. It’s having rather a boom in the early 21st century, with the success of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy and others.  And it had its biggest boom in the early Victorian period, propelled into the limelight by Walter Scott and his Waverley novels, and proliferated by many anonymous and many now sidelined authors including John Galt, sisters Jane

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Timothy Alborn, ‘A Digital Window onto Writing History Research Notes’

Timothy Alborn is Professor of History at Lehman College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He has published widely on British history in such journals as Victorian Studies, Journal of Victorian Culture, and Journal of Modern History; as well as two books: Conceiving Companies: Joint-Stock Politics in Victorian England (Routledge, 1998) and Regulated Lives: Life Insurance and British Society, 1800-1914 (Toronto, 2009). His current research focuses on the cultural and financial history of gold in Great Britain

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The Government Shutdown and History

By Susan Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) On October 1, 2013, close to two weeks ago as I write this, the United States Congress failed to agree on a spending bill. This triggered a government shutdown, the eighteenth in this country since the creation of a new congressional budgetary procedure in 1976. The eighteenth shutdown in less than 40 years. This number would indicate that we’ve been there, done that. Except, as some journalists and political pundits inform

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