Fanny Parkess journals: Story of an Indophile

Fanny Parkess journals trace her journey from prim memsahib to sitar-playing Indophile and are greatly enjoyable accounts. In the 24 years she lived in India, the country never ceased to surprise, intrigue and delight her, and she was never happier than when off on another journey, exploring new parts of the country: “Oh the pleasure,” she wrote, “of vagabondising in India!”

The longer she stayed in India, the more Parkes became slowly Indianised. The professional memsahib, herself the daughter of a colonial official (Captain William Archer), who came to India to watch over her colonial administrator husband, was
gradually transformed into a fluent Urdu speaker, who spent less and less of her time at her husband’s mofussil (up-country) posting, and more and more of her time travelling around to visit her Indian friends.

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