Author: Maud Diver
Editor(s): Ralph Crane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195666224
As interest in postcolonial and Indian English fiction grows, there is an increasing need for a critical re-evaluation of the Raj fiction which preceded, and in some cases was produced alongside, the work of Indian authors in English. Lilamani is the second novel to appear after Charles Pearce's Love Besieged, as part of the effort to publish lesser-known Raj fiction.
Maud Diver's Lilamani marks a significant departure from the popular theme, in Raj fiction, of the cultural incompatibility of British and Indian minds an deals with the issues of mixed marriage. This absorbing novel recounts the marriage between Sir Nevil Sinclair and Lilamani, the daughter of a noble Rajput. Diver meticulously brings together what she sees as the best of the two countries. Through the marriage of Sinclair and Lilamani, she convincingly explores the full range of attitudes to inter-racial marriages, and challenges the stereotypes of and attitudes towards Indian women that were prevalent in late Victorian Britain.
This new edition by Ralph Crane carries an introduction, map, and notes that provide a critical commentary to the novel, and will be welcomed by scholars of colonial and postcolonial literature and Raj history General readers will find the novel an interesting and absorbing read.
Set in the 1890s, Maud Diver's novel describes the courtship and marriage of he English baronet, Nevil Sinclair, and his beautiful, high-caste bride, Lilamani, daughter of the noble Rajput and Anglophile, Sir Lakshman Singh -tow people of good birth and lineage, who are carefully established as equals in all but race. Through the predictable and unpredictable problems they face, Diver provides a vivid exploration of the vexed question of inter-racial marriage during the age of the high imperialism.