The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj

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Amazon Price: £5.99 (as of August 22, 2017 1:39 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £5.99 (as of August 22, 2017 1:39 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain's best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed in their wake. This amorphous band was composed of daughters returning after their English education, girls invited to stay with married sisters or friends, and yet others whose declared or undeclared goal was simply to find a husband. They were known as the Fishing Fleet, and this book is their story, hitherto untold.

For these young women, often away from home for the first time, one thing they could be sure of was a rollicking good time. By the early 20th century, a hectic social scene was in place, with dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas and gymkhanas, with perhaps a tiger shoot and a glittering dinner at a raja's palace thrown in. And, with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one, romances were conducted at alarming speed and marriages were frequent. But after the honeymoon, life often changed dramatically: whisked off to a remote outpost with few other Europeans for company, and where constant vigilance was required to guard against disease, they found it a far cry from the social whirlwind of their first arrival.

Anne de Courcy's sparkling narrative is enriched by a wealth of first-hand sources – unpublished memoirs, letters and diaries rescued from attics – which bring this forgotten era vividly to life.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3869 KB
  • Print Length: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (12 July 2012)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007N6VHE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Just how my mother told it!

22 people found this helpful.
 on 24 October 2012
By Cornwallgurl
I bought this book for obvious reasons – my mother (born Ooticamund 1908, living in Ceylon with her family in the mid 20’s, met & married my father who visited in an RN Warship) was one of the kind of people written about. Her own mother’s family went back at least two generations in India and all met and married similar families out there. Obviously, with quite a lot of background, I found it riveting, loved the pictures and thought the style elegant and informed. I wasn’t concerned about the piecemeal nature of the memoirs, and thought them well marshalled and edited.

A glimpse into a different era and very different lives

2 people found this helpful.
 on 15 March 2015
By Four Violets
The “Raj” refers to the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. The word means “rule” in Hindi. In 1858 the sway of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown. Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1876. In the intervening years, until Partition in 1947, the British, along with individual rulers of some princely states, effectively governed in India.

Amusing and poignant by turns. The book maps out …

 on 19 June 2017
By Amazon Customer
Amusing and poignant by turns. The book maps out the trials and tribulations of a stratum of society who couldn’t make it in the UK and resorted to ‘trying their hand’ in India. It’s an interesting way to understand the development of the ‘Memsahib’ and her socio-cultural influence on the Raj down through the decades. A malign and benign influence affecting many lives. It’s all here – optimism, despair, courage, cowardliness, naivety and calculation. You name it. The Fishing Fleet has it by the barrowful.

India – here we come.

 on 2 August 2017
By m. webster
An easy read and a revealing insight to the much maligned British in India. Evenly balanced noting the stultifying social rules and snobbery, but equally making clear the decency of the ‘conquerers’ trying to rule in a benign manner. Young women should read this book and marvel at their ancestors stoicism.

Good read

One person found this helpful.
 on 11 March 2017
By KWAdms
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I have already read this book and enjoyed it so bought this for a friend

2 people found this helpful.
 on 23 December 2015
By BINA P.
I have already read this book and enjoyed it so bought this for a friend. An excellent book for anybody interested in the British Raj.

The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj

113 people found this helpful.
 on 15 July 2012
By S Riaz
I have always loved Anne De Courcy’s biographies and books about social history of women, including the excellent 

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