In the beginning of the nineteenth century, female education in Bengal was largely limited to customary practices drawn from ancient texts. In the same century, the East India Company and later the British Crown and the Christian missionaries operating in India addressed the unprecedented issues of education including female education. These occurrences impinged upon the indigenous avant-garde leaders, along with women themselves, to further progress in female education. In a reader-friendly manner, the chapters show how the trajectory of these events eventually led to a gradual development of higher education. In this historical progression, Krishna Lahiri narrates how the great changes were brought about in Bengali society. This well-documented book presents the first women professional writers, poets, journalists, teachers, administrators and doctors at the end of the century.
About the author: Krishna Lahiri earned her B.A. in history and M.A.s in history and social science from the universities of Calcutta and Chicago respectively. Her Ph.D dissertation on ‘Education of Women in Bengal’ was completed at the University of Pennsylvania with scholarship and was awarded fellowship from ICSSR. Her career has spanned decades in the field of education in North America and Europe. During these years, she served as a cultural ambassador and as Asian-American Commissioner in Governor’s Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs commission. Her activities included promoting India’s heritage, organizing exhibitions on Indian arts, crafts, trade, as well as celebrating Calcutta’s Tricentennial and Rabindranath Tagore in Philadelphia.