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Romance in the Raj

At our June meeting we were lucky to welcome back Meredith Towne with her talk on Romance in the Raj.

Meredith talked to us about a young woman in the 1920s who had boarded a ship for India, in the hope of finding a husband. We heard about the hordes of men stationed out in India, and how adverts suggested that a place on the ship was almost guaranteed to land a woman a husband out there, no matter what the woman’s appearance!

Meredith introduced us to the fashion of the day, showing us both photographs and the real vintage items, and we were read the most enormous packing list that was standard for the young women embarking on their trip to the Raj.

We were invited to think about the practicalities of endless layers of petticoats in the heat of India, and were tickled by a large split in the bloomers on show, which was supposed to make toileting a little easier!

Meredith was able to make her talk personal and relatable. She shared with us her photos of Shimla from a recent trip, and compared these with photos from the height of the Raj. The talk ended with a surprise twist as Meredith revealed the identity of the young woman she had been referring to… but I won’t reveal it in case you ever see the talk yourself!

It was a fantastically well received talk, and we MAY have scheduled her in for an extra special meeting next year…!


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