endgirl (endgirl) wrote in little_details,

Nicknames and perceptions of India at the time of the Raj

The setting is early 1900s London, between 1905 and 1920.

I'm wondering what the major perceptions of India were among common people living in England in the early 1900s. I would especially like to know if there were any nicknames or euphemisms for India (as Japan is often called "The Land of the Rising Sun," or as the UK/US today might be "across the pond," etc.) and what the prevailing feelings were about the settlements there.

I've read a fair number of online articles about the history of the Raj, but almost everything I've found is about military history, or about the experiences of the people actually living in India (rather than British people who have never been there). I've googled "perceptions of the raj" and similar phrases, but it's just gotten me modern day perceptions (imperialism=bad), books that I would have to buy, and again the experiences of military officials who were in India. The only useful info I've found so far is that a fair number of English civilians traveled to India to seek their fortune, which makes me assume there was some level of perception that special opportunities were available there.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out how regular lower- or middle-class people in London would discuss India, and what preconceptions they would bring with them to that conversation. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have!
Tags: 1910-1919, 1920-1929, india: history, uk: history (misc), uk: history: world war i, ~colonization/imperialism

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