Posted on: 30 January 2010

William Dalrymple on Fanny Parkes's colourful depiction of colonial India | Books | The Guardian

William Dalrymple writes " I first heard about the great early Victorian travel writer FANNY PARKES when I was given a first edition of her book, WANDERINGS OF A PILGRIM IN SEARCH OF THE PICTURESQUE, by an old lady who in many ways resembled Parkes, and whose life had been greatly influenced by her writings''. Fanny Parkes's exuberant journals trace her journey from prim memsahib to sitar-playing Indophile and provide one of the most enjoyable accounts of colonial India, discovers William Dalrymple.

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IRIS PORTAL ...R.I.P. "An authority on India, Iris Portal was a quintessential product of the British Raj. She was brought up in India and England, married a soldier in the Indian Army and, until just before independence, worked tirelessly for the welfare of the poor in the sub-continent. When her husband was appointed Comptroller of the Household of the younger son of the Nizam of Hyderabad, she made the most of the opportunity to become acquainted with the princesses and other women of the court."