Anglo-Indian Novels and the Politics of Canon-Formation: Tara as a Case Study

Ayusman Chakraborty

Taki Government College, West Bengal, India

 Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.15

Received October 26, 2016; Revised December 20, 2016; Accepted December  25, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


This article studies the reception of a popular 19th century Anglo-Indian novel, Captain Philip Meadows Taylor’s Tara (1863). This novel was once assigned a central position in the canon of Anglo-Indian novel. However, in the present age, it has been displaced from its position of eminence. This article contends that the present marginalization of Tara can be related to the change in the political and ideological orientation of readers. The ideological position of contemporary readers and critics make them approach colonial texts with a different mindset than their predecessors. This in turn affects the canon, modifying and altering it in the process. The present marginalization of Tara highlights how the changes in politics and practice of reading affect the canon formation of Anglo-Indian novels.

Key words: Anglo-Indian novel, canon-formation, Philip Meadows Taylor, Tara.

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