Shuchi Kapila. Educating Seeta: The Anglo-Indian Family Romance and the Poetics of Indirect Rule. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2010.
Even though Edward Said’s Orientalism inspired several generations of scholars to study the English novel’s close involvement with colonialism, they have not considered how English novels themselves were radically altered by colonialism. In Educating Seeta, Shuchi Kapila argues that the paradoxes of indirect rule in British India were negotiated in “family romances” which encoded political struggle in the language of domestic and familial civility. … Kapila demonstrates that popular writing about India and, by implication, other colonies, is an important supplement to the high Victorian novel and indispensable to our understanding of nineteenth-century English literature and culture. Her nuanced study of British writing about indirect rule in India will reshape . . . understanding of Victorian domestic ideologies, class formation, and gender politics. (book jacket)