Fascinating Findings

In the course of my research, I am continually introduced to a variety of fascinating topics; I enjoy going off on tangents and digging deeper in order to form a fuller understanding and the sense of wonder that that offers. Among my findings:

  1. Spiritualism – A 19th century progressive religion which was the first to allow women to be leaders and preachers. This faith tradition was also an early adopter of movements ranging from abolition and feminism to dress reform, marriage reform, vegetarianism, and temperance. Shared beliefs with Theosophy and Hindu reform movements such as Brahmo Samaj.
  2. Child marriage – Anandi was married at the age of nine. Even though this is shocking by today’s standards, in most parts of the world at that time, the “age of consent” (including in Western Europe and the American South) was in the low teens.
  3. Electricity – Exhibitions were held to introduce the people to the wonders of electricity.
  4. Circuses – Today, many of us feel disturbed when we see magnificent wild animals caged and trained to perform on cue. During the 19th century, an aspect of the circus was the exhibition of people — billed as human “specimens” — brought to America from around the world.
  5. Hamilton – an English relative of the American founding father makes an appearance in the story
  6. Darwin’s theory of Evolution – Responses from the world’s religions; in particular, responses of progressive Hindus.
  7. Calcutta – capital of British India and the London of the East.
  8. Globalization 1.0 – Bombay as the shipping and commercial capital of India and the lively marketplace resulting from “free trade.”
  9. Americans in India – and their eloquent unease about British rule in India.
  10. Americans in India – not as rulers, traders, or soldiers, but as missionaries – motivated to enlighten the people through education and through proselytization and conversion. To the missionaries the two goals were closely interlinked, whereas Indians did not necessarily see it that way.
  11. One of America’s  earliest consulates was in British India.
  12. Google Books and Google ngrams
  13. British supporters of the Joshees

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