She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen

While it is well-known that women went to India to find husbands, what is almost unknown is that they also worked there as traders, cloth merchants, bakers, dress-makers, actresses, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, boarding house proprietors, midwives, nurses, missionaries, doctors, geologists, plant-collectors and writers. India was the British 'wild east', and many women succeeded in building a new and often independent life for themselves. Through diaries, letters and memoirs (many still in manuscript form), She-Merchants, Buccaneers & Gentlewomen reveals the life and times of hundreds of intrepid women who made their way across the sea and changed history. 

Chaired by Lynn Curtis