Doonstruck Diaries of Victorian Memsahibs: Between the Journal and Jhampaun in Mussoorie and Landour



Paraules clau:

jhampaun, Emily Eden, Fanny Parks, Mussoorie, Himalayas, archetype, Wallace-Dunlop sisters


Established as colonial hill stations in Indian's Doon Valley, in the 1820s, Mussoorie and Landour emerged in Victorian literary imagination with the journals of Emily Eden, Fanny Parks, and the Wallace-Dunlop sisters. This paper argues that the Doon's female imperial architextures invented new prospects of grafting Anglo-Saxon aesthetics on the Himalayan terra nullius, diminishing, miniaturizing, and depopulating aspects of the hazardous, the alien, and the local. A thread of archetypes —jhampauns (Himalayan loco-armchairs) and Himalayan vistas— link the aesthetic arcs in the journals of Eden, Parks, and the Wallace-Dunlops. Although the architexture was ostensibly apolitical, it imbued the Doon's representational spaces with a reproducible English character, rendering its terra incognita into terra familiaris in imperial psyche, while carving a distinct imperial subjectivity for Memsahibs.

Biografia de l'autor/a

Arup K. Chatterjee, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India




Allen H. et al. (1822), The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, London, Kingsbury. Barr, Pat (1976), The Memsahibs: The Women of Victorian India, London, Seeker & Warburg.

Banerjee, Sandeep (2014), "'Not altogether unpicturesque': Samuel Bourne and the Landscaping of the Victorian Himalaya", Victorian Literature and Culture, 42 (3): 351-368.

Blackham, Robert J. (1931), Scalpel, Sword and Stretcher. Forty Years of Work and Play, London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co.

Blanchard, Sidney L. (1867), "Hill Scandals", Belgravia: A London Magazine, 1: 166-174.

Blunt, Alison (1999), "Imperial Geographies of Home: British Domesticity in India, 1886-1925", Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 24 (4): 421-440.

Bradshaw, George (1864), Bradshaw's Hand-Book to the Bengal Presidency, and Western Provinces of India, London, W. J. Adams.

Burke, Edmund (1812), A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, London, F.C. and J. Rivington, Otridge & Sons.

Caplan, Lionel (1991), "'Bravest of the Brave': Representations of 'The Gurkha' in British Military Writings", Modern Asian Studies, 25 (3): 571-597.

Chatterjee, Arup K. (2021a), "Ruskin Bond's Haunted Architecture: Anglo-Saxon Archetypes of the Doon Valley", Anglo Saxonica, 19 (1): 1-13.

—(2021b), Indians in London: From the Birth of the East India Company to Independent India, New Delhi, Bloomsbury.

Chaudhuri, Nupur (1992), "Shawls, Jewelry, Curry, and Rice in Victorian Britain", Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance, Nupur Chaudhuri and Margaret Strobel (eds.), Bloomington, Indiana UP: 231-246.

Cohen, M. F. (1998), Professional Domesticity in the Victorian Novel: Women, Work and Home, Cambridge, Cambridge UP.

Crane, Ralph and Radhika Mohanram (2013), Imperialism as Diaspora: Race, Sexuality, and History in Anglo-India, Liverpool, Liverpool UP.

Crossette, Barbara (1998), The Great Hill Stations of Asia, New York, Basic Books.

Dufferin, Lady (1889), Our Viceregal Life in India: Selections from my Journal, Vol. 1, London, John Murray.

Eden, Emily (1867), "Up the Country": Letters Written to Her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India, London, Richard Bentley.

Eden, Fanny (1988), Tigers, Durbars and Kings: Fanny Eden’s Indian Journals, 1837-38, Janet Dunbar (ed.), London, John Murray.

Fane, Isabella (1994), "Excerpt from the Diaries of Isabella Fane", Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers, Jane Robinson (ed.), Oxford, Oxford UP: 249-250.

French, Marylin (2002), From Eve to Dawn: Infernos and Paradises, Toronto, McArthur.

Gates, Barbara T. (1998), Kindred Nature: Victorian and Edwardian Women Embrace the Living World, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Grewal, Inderpal (1996), Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel, Durham & London, Duke UP.

Hazlitt, William (1889), Selections from His Writings, with a Memoir, Biographical and Critical, Alexander Ireland (ed.), London & New York, Frederick Warne & Co.

Hervey, Thomas Kibble (1853), The Adventures of a Lady in Tartary, Thibet, China, and Kashmir, Vol. 1, London, Hope and Co.

Humphrey, E. J. (1866), Six Years in India; Or, Sketches of India and Its People: As Seen by a Lady Missionary, New York, Carlton & Porter.

Jung, C. G. (2014), Collected Works, Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler (eds.), R. F. C. Hull, H. G. Baynes, Leopold Stein, and Diana Riviere (trans.), Hove & New York, Routledge.

Kanwar, Pamela (1984), "The Changing Profile of the Summer Capital of British India: Simla 1864-1947", Modern Asian Studies, 18 (2): 215-236.

Kennedy, Dane Keith (1996), The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, California, University of California Press.

King, E. A (1885), "A Civilian’s Wife in India", The Literary World, 31.

Lang, John (1859), Wanderings in India: And Other Sketches of Life in Hindostan, London, Routledge.

Lefebvre, Henri (1991), The Production of Space, Donald Nicholson-Smith (trad.), Malden & Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. [1974]

Metcalf, Thomas R. (1984), "Architecture and the Representation of Empire: India, 1860-1910", Representations, 6: 37-65.

Mills, Sara (2005), Gender and Colonial Space, Manchester & New York, Manchester UP.

Nair, Janaki (2000), "Uncovering the Zenana: Visions of Indian Englishwomen’s Writings, 1813-1940", Cultures of Empire: Colonizers in Britain and the Empire in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Catherine Hall (ed.), New York, Taylor & Francis: 224-245.

Parks, Fanny (1850), Wanderings of a Pilgrim, in Search of the Picturesque, During Four-and-Twenty Years in the East: With Revelations of Life in the Zenāna, Vol. 2, London, Pelham Richardson.

Paxton, Nancy L. (1992), "Mobilizing Chivalry: Rape in British Novels About the Indian Uprising of 1857", Victorian Studies, 36 (1): 5-30.

Plotz, John (2000), "Jane Austen goes to India: Emily Eden's Semi-detached Home Thoughts from Abroad", The Postcolonial Jane Austen, You-me Park and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan (eds.), London & New York, Routledge: 162-188.

—(2008), Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move, Princeton, Princeton UP.

"Review of Up the Country, by Emily Eden" (1866), The Athenaeum, June 30: 857.

Poon, Angelia (2008), Enacting Englishness in the Victorian Period: Colonialism and the Politics of Performance, Aldershot & Burlington, Ashgate.

Pradhan, Queeny (2007), "Empire in the Hills: The Making of Hill Stations in Colonial India", Studies in History, 23 (1): 33-91.

Pratt, Mary Louise (1992), Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London & New York, Routledge.

Procida, Mary A. (2002), Married to the Empire: Gender, Politics and Imperialism in India, 1883-1947, New York, Manchester UP.

Ray, Romita (2012), "Misty Mediations: Spectral Imaginings and the Himalayan Picturesque", Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 11 (3): 112-134.

Ricketts, L.C. (1912), "English Society in India", Contemporary Review, 101: 681-88.

Said, Edward (1979), Orientalism, New York: Vintage.

Sen, Indrani (2002), Woman and Empire: Representations in the Writings of British India, 1858-1900, New Delhi: Orient Longman.

Spencer, J. E. and W. L. Thomas (1948), "The Hill Stations and Summer Resorts of the Orient", Geographical Review, 38 (4): 637-651.

Steinbach, Susie L. (2012), Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain, New York & Oxon: Routledge.

Suleri, Sara (1992), The Rhetoric of English India, Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.

Talukdar, Shashwati (2010), "Picturing Mountains as Hills: Hill Station Postcards and the Tales They Tell", Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture. <>

Wallace-Dunlop, Madeline and Rosalind Wallace-Dunlop (1858), The Timely Retreat; Or, a Year in Bengal before the Mutinies, Vol. 1, London, Richard Bentley.

Wilson, H. C. (2007a), "A Mussoorie Miscellany", The Doon Valley Across the Years, Ganesh Saili (ed.), New Delhi, Rupa. [1936]

—(2007b), "Rambler", The Doon Valley Across the Years, Ganesh Saili (ed.), New Delhi, Rupa. [1936]

Zlotnick, Susan (1996), "Domesticating Imperialism: Curry and Cookbooks in Victorian England", Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 16 (2/3): 51-68.




Com citar

Chatterjee, A.K. 2021. Doonstruck Diaries of Victorian Memsahibs: Between the Journal and Jhampaun in Mussoorie and Landour. Lectora: revista de dones i textualitat. 27 (Oct. 2021), 191–210. DOI: