Lindy Burleigh

Corsets And Colonials

One Last Look


Viking 288pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

THE CULTURAL ENCOUNTER between Britain and India has exercised the British imagination since the early days of Empire, so much so that any new literary excursion to British India will be revisiting familiar territory. In One Last Look, the Hawaiian-born American novelist Susanna Moore, following in the footsteps of Kipling, Forster, Scott and numerous others, takes on the Raj, depicting it during the years 1836 to 1843 through the eyes of an unmarried, aristocratic Englishwoman, Lady Eleanor Oliphant, who along with her fey younger sister, Harriet, and hedonistic cousin, Lafayette, accompanies her brother, Henry, to Calcutta when he is appointed Governor- General of India. The novel is written in the form of a journal and is closely based on the extant diaries and letters of three intrepid daughters of the British Empire: Fanny and Emily Eden, and Fanny Parks. The author’s admission that she uses some of the ‘actual words’ of these women disarms her readers and keeps us guessing throughout as to what is real and what is imaginary.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,