Flora Annie Steel
|Flora Annie Steel|
Flora Annie Steel, ca. 1903
2 April 1847|
Sudbury, Middlesex, England
|Died||12 April 1929
Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England
Flora Annie Steel (2 April 1847 – 12 April 1929) was an English writer. She was the daughter of George Webster. In 1867 she married Henry William Steel, a member of the Indian civil service, and for the next twenty-two years lived in India, chiefly in the Punjab, with which most of her books are connected.
When her husband's health was weak, Flora Annie Steel looked after some of his responsibilities. She acted as school inspector and mediator in local arguments.
She was interested in relating to all classes of Indian society. The birth of her daughter gave her a chance to interact with local women and learn their language.
She encouraged the production of local handicrafts and collected folk-tales, a collection of which she published in 1894.
Her interest in schools and the education of women gave her a special insight into native life and character. A year before leaving India, she coauthored and published The Complete Indian Housekeeper, giving detailed directions to European women on all aspects of household management in India.
In 1889 the family moved back to Scotland, and she continued her writing there.
Some of her best work, according to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, is contained in two collections of short stories:
- From the Five Rivers (1893)
- Tales of the Punjab (1894)
Her novel On the Face of the Waters (1896) described incidents of the Indian Mutiny.
She also wrote a popular history of India. Her later works included:
- In the permanent way, and other stories (1897)
- Voices in the Night (1900)
- The Hosts of the Lord (1900)
- In the Guardianship of God (1903)
- A Sovereign Remedy (1906)
- India through the ages; a popular and picturesque history of Hindustan (1908)
- Mistress of men : a novel (1918)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Steel, Flora Annie". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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