Development of the Indian English Novel

1486 Words Jan 25th, 2011 6 Pages
By Indian English Writing, we mean that body of literature which is written by Indians in English. It could be in the form of poetry, prose, fiction or drama. English is not our mother tongue and we are not native speakers of
English, yet when in the early decades of the nineteenth century, English was introduced as the medium of instruction in our educational system, Indians were able to read Western literature that was available in English. They found the language and the literature versatile and some intellectuals took to conveying their social and religious thoughts in this language. The writings of people like Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and others started pouring
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Indians started writing fiction in the Indian regional languages as well as in English. Members of the Dutt family (who published their poetry in
The Dutt Family Album, 1870) are credited with writing the earliest Indian
English fiction: Kylas Chunder Dutt's '!A Journal of Forty-Eight Hours of the
Year 1945" was published in the Calcutta Literary Gazette in 1835, while
Shoshee Chunder Dutt's "The Republic of Orissa: A Page from the Annals of the 20" Century" was published in 1845. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee's first novel, Rajmohan's Wife (1864), is the first full length Indian novel in English.
He then took up writing in his mother tongue, and all his other novels are written in Bangla. Other early novels written in English include La1 Behari
Day's Govinda Samanta; or, The History of a Bengal Raiyat (1874) and
Shoshee Chunder Dutt's The Young Zemindar (1883). Tom Dutt, better known as a poet, can be considered the first woman novelist - her $nfinished novel, Bianca, or the Young Spanish Maiden was published after her death as a serial in Bengal Magazine in 1879. Other early women novelists include
Krupabai Satthianadhan (1862-94), who authored two novels, Kamala (1 894) and Saguna (1895), and Shevantibai M. Nikambe (Ratanbai: A Sketch of a
Bombay High Caste Hindu Young Wife, 1895). A. Madhaviah was a bilingual writer, credited

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