Female emancipation in an imperial frame: English women and the campaign against sati (widow-burning) in India, 1813-30

  • Midgley C
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This article explores English women's important contributions to the
campaign against sati (widow-burning) in India. It investigates how they
attempted to eradicate sati through supporting missionary activity and
female education in India, and through petitioning Parliament in
Britain. English women's involvement in this campaign, which was
contemporaneous with their involvement in the anti-slavery movement, has
hitherto been ignored by historians. The research presented in this
article offers new perspectives on the meaning of female emancipation
within an evangelical and imperial framework. Taken alongside work on
the anti-slavery movement, it adds to our understanding of early
nineteenth-century female philanthropy through clarifying the imperial
dimensions of `women's mission to women.' It also offers new insights
into women's relationship to politics in the period, and into the
origins of `imperial feminism.'

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  • Clare Midgley

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