I found these beautiful and evocative photographs of India under British rule on a remarkable website created by a consortium of research libraries called the Digital South Asia Library. The photographs themselves appear to be from the British Library’s Oriental and Indian Office Collection. I’ve added the original captions or collection titles when they’ve been provided.
|“Lord Curzon‘s first tour in India, 1899″|
|Kabul beggars, c. 1879|
|Early 1870s, from an “album of cartes de visite portraits of Indian rulers and notables.”|
|November, 1912: “Marquess of Reading Collection: ‘Dhar and Mandu. Souvenir'”|
|‘India – Groups. 1874’. Dancers and musicians, Kashmir province.|
|“Views of places proposed to be visited by Their Excellencies Lord & Lady Curzon during Autumn Tour 1902.”|
To those interested in learning more about the British empire in India, I can recommend Lawrence James’ Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India (2000) and David Gilmour’s The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj (2006). The best novel on the subject of the Raj in decline must surely be E.M. Forster’s brilliant A Passage to India, though I’m surely no expert…