Original Letters from India (Paperback)
New York Review of Books, 9781590173367, 288pp.
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
When the intrepid Mrs. Fay departed from Dover more than two hundred years ago, she embarked on a grueling twelve-month journey through much of Europe, up the Nile, over the deserts of Egypt, and finally across the ocean to India. Along the way her party encountered wars, territorial disputes, brigands, and even imprisonment.
Fay was a contemporary of Jane Austen, but her adventures are worthy of a novel by Daniel Defoe. These letters unfiltered, forthright, and often hilarious bring the perils and excitements of an earlier age to life.
About the Author
E.M. Forster (1879 1970) was a critic and novelist. Among his books are" A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Howards En"d, and "Aspects of the Novel." He discovered Eliza Fay s Letters while living in India in 1921 22 and published two articles about her journey before compiling the notes that were originally published in the 1925 edition of the book.
Simon Winchester is the author of, among other titles, "The Professor and the Madman, Krakatoa, The Map That Changed the World," and "The Man Who Loved China." He has written two books relating to India, where he was based as a foreign correspondent from 1976 1979, "Stones of Empir"e (with Jan Morris) and, most recently "Calcutta." His newest book is "Atlantic: A Biography of the Ocean." He lives in New York and the Berkshires."
Praise For Original Letters from India…
“The Letters put Raiders of the Lost Ark in the category of timid and passive inactivity.” —The Courier-Mail
“In [the letters] we discover India through a woman blessed with unusual vitality and great humanity, a lively eye and a sharp ear. . . . In her exuberant presence we quickly come to see why Forster rated her ‘a work of art.'"—Francis Robinson, History Today
“Born in a country where caste was life, she had no caste to speak of, and she had no husband worth mentioning in an age when a woman could scarcely survive without one. Yet she survived. . . . Her sharp unsentimental middle-class eyes saw through the vanities of this world.” —Katherine Anne Porter, The New Republic
“Were she only frank and naïve, it would be something, but she is much more: a soul courageous and gallant, an eye and ear always on the watch. . . . Though [her letters] have value historically, their main interest is human: they show us a highly remarkable character, triumphant over the difficulties of life and narrative style.” —E. M. Forster