Flora Annie Steel entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Publishing from the 1880s through the first three decades of the twentieth century, Flora Annie Steel produced some thirty books. Most of her novels describe contemporary Anglo-Indian life, though some are set in Britain (seldom in England) and five are historical novels about India (four of those being about the relatively distant time of the Mughal emperors, and one of them called by its author a biography). Of about eighty-five short stories collected in her successive volumes of short fiction, a number present, with imaginative sympathy, "virtually every facet of Indian life," Bibliographic Citation link. often unmediated by any western presence. She also published history, a pamphlet on women's rights, and a vivid if impressionistic autobiography. Flora Annie Steel's India is that of the British Raj, a place where sharply distinct cultures remain essentially unaffected by close contact, often erotic, between members of different races and religions. FAS has nothing but scorn for Anglos who cannot adapt to India, but also deep anxieties for Indians adapting to western ways.
2 April 1847 Flora Annie Webster (later FAS) was born at Sudbury Priory (then in Sudbury Park) near Harrow on the Hill in Middlesex, the sixth child and second daughter among eleven (or ten surviving) children. Bibliographic Citation link.
1896 FAS published On the Face of the Waters, a novel about the 'Indian Mutiny' of forty years before. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
12 April 1929 FAS died at the house of her daughter and son-in-law at Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire (where she had been living), of heart failure. Bibliographic Citation link.
Later 1929 FAS's autobiography, The Garden of Fidelity, which she had begun in her eighties and left unfinished at her death, was published later in the year she died. Bibliographic Citation link.
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