Romancing the Raj: Interracial Relations in Anglo-Indian Romance Novels


  • Hsu-Ming Teo Macquarie University


Literature, Hsu-Ming Teo, HIC, 2004


This article examines Anglo-Indian romance novels written by British women during the period of the Raj. It argues that these love stories were symptomatic of British fantasies of colonial India and served as a forum to explore interracial relations as well as experimenting with the modern femininity of the New Woman. With the achievement of Indian independence in 1947, British interest in India as a locus for romance rapidly declined, thus demonstrating that these novels were never concerned with India but with British lives and British colonialism.

Author Biography

Hsu-Ming Teo, Macquarie University

Hsu-Ming Teo is an Australia Research Council research fellow at the Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, where she also teaches twentieth-century European history. She completed a PhD on "British Women's Travel Writing, 1890-1939" in 1998 at the University of Sydney. She is working on the popular culture of romantic love in Australia and finishing another project on colonialism, race, and the mass-market romance novel. She co-edited Cultural History in Australia (UNSWP 2003) and has published articles on travel writing, popular fiction, and historiography. In 1999 her first novel, Love and Vertigo, won The Australian Vogel Literary Award. Her second novel, Behind the Moon, will be published in 2005.