Attempting to Transform the Mental Landscape of the Indian ‘Heathen’ in Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim (1818)

Attempting to Transform the Mental Landscape of the Indian ‘Heathen’ in Mary Sherwood’s The... Abstract This article focuses on Mary Sherwood’s Christian catechetical narrative The Indian Pilgrim (1818). It proposes that the narrative needs to be contextualised in relation to the author’s involvement in Anglican Evangelical proselytising activities within the subcontinent in the early nineteenth century. A textual analysis of the narrative, combined with an investigation of the circumstances in which it was produced, reveals that the narrative aimed to condition Indian readers into being obedient Christian subjects who recognised their supposed dependence on their white sahibs or memsahibs. It also highlights the stratagems by which the author attempts to coerce them into accepting the primacy of the written text as the ultimate repository of spiritual truth. The argument demonstrates the ways in which Hinduism was viewed by evangelicals as a barbaric and pagan religion whose adherents were fanatically enthused. It also reveals the ambivalent stance that evangelicals in the early nineteenth century could adopt towards Islam, a doctrine which is presented as a necessary gateway religion from which Indians can gain access to Protestant Christianity. Furthermore, the article argues that the narrative was designed as an instrument that was intended to instantiate a transformation in the very mentalities of ‘heathens’, by displacing Hindu forms of religiosity and mental landscapes with Judeo-Christian text-based religious experience and imagery. Then I awoke from my sleep: but I remembered my dream, and wrote it in a book; and being much affected with its extraordinary incidents, I sold all that I had, and forsook my father’s house, determining forthwith to associate myself with such as might still be going on pilgrimage to the city of the living God … (Concluding lines of Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim)1 Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim (1818), a narrative which aimed to adapt John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678–79) for an Indian context, concludes with an Indian man awaking from his dream-vision of a Hindu heathen named Goonah Purist undertaking an allegorical journey to Christian heaven. In the man’s dream he sees Purist bypassing the false doctrines of Hinduism and Islam in his quest. The vision has clearly made a profound impression upon this fictitious Indian given his subsequent resolve to renounce his native religion, family and worldly possessions in his quest for Christian salvation. The denouement of the narrative is clearly intended to instantiate the functional purpose of Sherwood’s narrative, which was to inspire Indians to convert to Christianity. What is striking, though, is that the Indian narrator feels a compulsion to write down his vision into a book. The written script somehow moulds his dream and codifies it into a form which accords with the Protestant Reformation’s privileging of the text as the ultimate repository of religious truth over the spoken word. The closing lines of The Indian Pilgrim demonstrate the manner in which Sherwood’s writings were aiming to affect a moral transformation of Indians, as well as allude to the importance of the written text as a repository and conveyor of Protestant Christian beliefs in Anglican Evangelical proselytising efforts in nineteenth-century colonial India. Mary Sherwood was a prolific author of children’s fiction and didactic literature in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Sherwood wrote a number of popular moralistic tales that were set in England, such as The History of the Fairchild Family (1818) and The History of Henry Milner (1822). She was, however, also known for being an ‘Indian’ author who had resided in India from 1804–15 and penned a number of narratives which deployed Indian settings, as well as depicting its peoples and customs. Her ‘Indian’ narratives, The Ayah and Lady (1816), The Indian Pilgrim (1818), The History of George Desmond (1821), The History of Lucy and her Dhaye (1823), Arzoomund (1829) and The Last Days of Boosy, the Bearer of Little Henry (1842), all ran to multiple editions.2 Her most commercially successful work, The History of Little Henry and his Bearer (1814), had run to thirty editions by 1840 and had been translated into several languages, circulating in such diverse locales as Burma and Germany.3 Cultural historians, when examining Sherwood’s fictional representations of the subcontinent, have mainly focused on her more popular children’s fictional tales set in India.4 Joyce Grossman and Nandini Bhattacharya are notable for paying some attention to Sherwood’s more overtly catechetical texts such as The Ayah and Lady and The Indian Pilgrim. Grossman and Bhattacharya approach these narratives from a postcolonial perspective to illuminate issues pertaining to the representation of racial difference, gender and the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised. Whilst they have engaged in insightful textual analysis, they have neglected to examine the pedagogical function of these texts and their intended effects on Indian ‘heathens’, which I argue is especially important to take into account when investigating The Indian Pilgrim.5 Before taking to task both these literary critics, it should be pointed out that I have been more remiss in my own broad survey of British representations of India of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In Making British Indian Fictions, 1772–1823, I propose that the author’s attempts to draw attention to the Indianised elements within texts such as The Indian Pilgrim was primarily a canny marketing ploy on the part of the author and publisher to attract British metropolitan readers who needed to be convinced of the acculturated nature of these texts.6 Such an argument demonstrates ignorance of the fact that these stories stemmed directly out of Sherwood’s involvement in Protestant Christian outreach activities and that they were, consequently, designed for the purposes of being disseminated within the subcontinent in order to be of instructional use to Indians. My own analysis of The Indian Pilgrim closely examines the historical context in which this narrative was produced. The significance of this particular narrative was that it was authored under the direction and patronage of influential Evangelicals chaplains in India, such as Henry Martyn and Daniel Corrie. Furthermore, it was intended as an instrument which would serve in broader proselytising endeavours within the subcontinent. Consequently, a close textual analysis and an investigation of the circumstances in which the narrative was created, will reveal the methods by which leading Evangelcals in nineteenth-century colonial India thought they could christianise Indians and the precise form that a successful conversion of a ‘heathen’ subject would adopt.7 I argue, though, that this narrative should not be read as simply reflecting missionary strategies or the shifting colonial context, but rather as a tool designed to reshape the mentalities of ‘heathens’. Therefore, this discussion examines the pedagogical impulses at the heart of the text, as well as the importance paid to the written text and translation within The Indian Pilgrim. It is important to acknowledge that the narrative was constructed with the specific aims of converting Indians to Christianity and morally improving them, whilst at the same time conditioning them into being obedient colonised subjects reconciled to their subordinate position. This is not, however, to imply that the text was successful in these aims, but merely that it was explicitly designed for these purposes.8 Consequently, attention needs to be paid to the machinations and stratagems deployed by Sherwood. Furthermore, I examine missionary reports to delineate where, and in which contexts, this text was disseminated and translated within the subcontinent. My argument is interested in revealing the possible dissonances between the authorial intention behind the production of this narrative, which was to fashion an ideal Indian Evangelical subject, and the ways in which Indians may in actuality have responded to the narrative. Before delving into these matters more deeply it is necessary, though, to situate the narrative in relation to the author’s residence in India and her involvement in Evangelical proselytising activities. Mary Sherwood (1775–1851) accompanied her husband Captain Henry Sherwood, who had been appointed paymaster with the fifty-third regiment, to India in 1804; she was to reside in India for a total of eleven years, following her husband to the various military barracks in which he was stationed.9 Her husband’s postings included Calcutta, Dinapur, Berhampur, Kanpur, and Meerut.10 During Sherwood’s residence in India she became involved in concerted attempts by Christians to spread the word in India. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century there had been growing calls in Evangelical circles to promulgate Christianity in a predominantly Hindu India. Despite the fact that it was forbidden by the East India Company to allow Britons to make active attempts to convert Indians until 1813, for fear that it would offend ‘native’ religious sensibilities, efforts by British Christians in India to spread the faith were underway, albeit covertly. Devout Protestants saw Britain’s imperial expansion within the subcontinent as providentially ordained and were thus keen to avail themselves of the opportunity to proselytise.11 The Evangelical reformist agenda gained significant leverage in terms of influencing East India Company policy when, in 1804, Charles Grant became one of its directors. Grant argued that the spreading of Christianity within India was in the Company’s commercial interests as it would make the indigenous peoples moral and obedient subjects, which would in turn render them easier to govern. Although this position was strongly contested by other members within the Court of Directors and the Company administration in India, who warned Protestant proselytising within the subcontinent would fuel the resentment of the ‘native’ population, Grant was able to use his position to push forward an Evangelical agenda.12 Grant recruited likeminded Christians such as Henry Martyn and Daniel Corrie as chaplains to minister to the spiritual needs of British soldiers stationed in India. Martyn and Corrie were convinced of the need to spread the word to Indians and to go beyond the official remit of their prescribed roles by proselytising to Indians.13 Furthermore, as Evangelicals, Martyn and Corrie were given a degree of freedom not granted to Dissenting and Baptist Christians, who were often scrutinised and reprimanded by the Company for engaging in similar activities. Their privileged position can be accounted for when one considers their affiliation to the Church of England, as well as their status as university-educated gentlemen.14 Mary Sherwood and her husband, Captain Henry Sherwood, regularly socialised and dined with Martyn and Corrie, during the period in which the couple were posted for a second time in Kanpur from 1808–11.15 Although efforts to convert Indians to Christianity were still officially forbidden by the Company, both these men made fairly overt attempts to spread the Christian gospel. Mary Sherwood herself bore witness to Martyn opening up his house in Kanpur every Sunday to a large assembly of Indian faqirs and yogis.16 All Indian attendees were given a pice17 to attend Martyn’s sermons in Hindustani.18 Furthermore, Martyn and Corrie were involved in translating the Bible into various indigenous languages, as well as Arabic and Persian, with the aid of Indian or Arab assistants.19 In addition, they mentored recently converted Indian Christians.20 Improvisational institution-building lay at the heart of both Martyn and Corrie’s efforts. Martyn’s garden shed was converted into a chapel where separate services would be conducted in English and Hindustani for British residents and locals respectively, and where Indian converts would be baptised.21 Both Martyn and Corrie established Hindustani schools for Indian boys who would be taught to read and write in their own languages.22 Mary Sherwood herself was responsible for establishing regimental schools in each of her husband’s postings in India, in which she would teach the children of British officers, many of whom were left orphans.23 When Corrie left his position in Kanpur he entrusted the Sherwoods with managing the Hindustani schools. At these schools Indian boys would be taught to read and write in their own languages.24 The aim of this was to subtly introduce the students to Christianity, given that suitably religious material was deployed in efforts to teach them to be literate and that the classes, which took place in their compound, were in the vicinity of Christian services. Christian schools such as this, created by missionaries, were symptomatic of broader efforts undertaken by missionaries and colonial reformers during this period, to wrestle power away from older forms of Indian pedagogy, which often involved an Indian Guru giving lessons outside to his students. It was, furthermore, intended to be a move away from indigenous oral rote learning to print-based learning, with the emphasis being placed on students’ ability to read as the main criteria for assessing their progress. Instilling literacy into Indian children was considered particularly important, as it was thought that the ability to read was a necessary pre-emptive step to co-opt Indians into a Protestant worldview, where the word was privileged over other forms of knowledge and spiritual experience.25 Later, when the Sherwoods were based at Meerut (1811–15), the couple drew on the template provided by Martyn and Corrie of improvising Christian institutions in one’s own home by constructing a makeshift church out of a small building in their compound.26 Separate services were held there for Indians and European Christians, with a Hindustani service being performed by Captain Henry Sherwood himself.27 The home of the Sherwoods was utilised as a hub of sorts for Bibles that had been translated into various Indian languages.28 Mary Sherwood disseminated translated Bibles to Indian notables out of the existing stock and was thus very much involved in the broader project of circulating Christian religious texts.29 Sherwood’s early Indian literary output evolved out of her experiences of being involved in pedagogical efforts and from penning suitably religious material for use within India. The author’s use of Hindustani vocabulary, in her subsequent Anglo-Indian catechetical and children’s fiction, developed from a pedagogical necessity to adapt biblical moral lessons within cultural idioms, with which mixed race and Anglo-Indian juveniles, living in India were familiar.30 The Indian Pilgrim was a collaborative effort between Henry Martyn, Daniel Corrie, and Mary Sherwood. Prior to their undertaking there had been initial attempts in 1810 by Evangelical missionary circles in Calcutta to translate John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1684) into Hindustani. Bunyan’s original narrative was a tale which took the form of a dream sequence where ‘Christian’, an everyman figure, takes a journey from his hometown, the city of destruction, to the celestial city. On his journey he has to overcome a series of spiritual difficulties and haranguers, allegorically depicted by the author, that tempt him to deviate from the true path of righteousness. The significance of Bunyan’s text was that it had become a key text in the nineteenth-century Anglican movement and was considered somewhat of a shadow Bible among Protestant Christians. It was, furthermore, used as pedagogical material in Sunday schools, providing guidance on how to attain spiritual salvation.31 Consequently, it is unsurprising that missionaries at this time thought that an Indian translation of this text would aid their efforts to make converts in the subcontinent. This group, however, abandoned the project after deciding the ‘plain speaking style’ of Bunyan was not adapted to Indian tastes.32 Corrie, whilst residing in Kanpur, later that very year conceived the idea of constructing an Indian Pilgrim’s Progress which would follow the same basic conception of Bunyan’s original text, in that it would chart an allegorical journey to Christian heaven. In contrast to the original, though, it would deploy Indian scenes, characters and style in a special effort to cater to the perceived aesthetic tastes of the indigenous population. The central protagonist of the narrative would have to bypass, on his journey to the eternal afterlife, the false doctrines of Hinduism and Islam, as well as the festivals and scenes associated with those religions. Corrie, having concluded that he did not have the literary flair to pen the narrative, appointed Mary Sherwood to be the author, with Corrie to criticise and direct its construction.33 Indeed, Sherwood describes herself as ‘under the eye’ of Corrie as she wrote.34 Martyn, a scholar who had published papers on Islam and who was fluent in Persian, advised on the ‘Mahomedan part of the story’, and also provided Sherwood with pieces that he had written on the subject.35 In this respect, The Indian Pilgrim is distinct from Sherwood’s other ‘India’ narratives in that she penned it with a disciplinary male gaze scrutinising its construction. It testifies to the perceived importance of this text that it was thought potentially as too important a tool within Evangelical outreach efforts in the subcontinent, that it be left to a woman writer to be solely responsible for its creation. Thus the two male religious ‘authorities’, Martyn and Corrie, felt obligated to ensure that it adhered to standards of scholarly fidelity and Evangelical Christian morality.36 Although The Indian Pilgrim was authored with the intention that it would be immediately translated and disseminated across the subcontinent, there arose several hindrances which postponed its distribution within India. The main factor was that whilst Sherwood’s shorter narratives, The Ayah and Lady and Little Henry and his Bearer, could be translated through the use of the Munshi (secretary) of her friend Mrs Hawkins, the convoluted plot, length and detailed theological debates embodied within The Indian Pilgrim meant that Corrie, who was overseeing this project, had to seek a more accomplished translator for this particular work.37 It is illuminating to chart the first attempt at securing a translation of The Indian Pilgrim. In 1811 Corrie managed to employ a Danishmand, an Islamic scholar, to translate the text into Hindustani.38 The scholar, according to Mary Sherwood’s diaries, was so pleased with the text’s denigration of Hinduism in the opening chapters that ‘he cried, “Wa! Wa! Wonderful! Wonderful!” and did his utmost to translate it in his best style’.39 There was, however, a debate between Corrie and Captain Sherwood as to the order in which they should have the chapters translated. Captain Sherwood thought that it was important that the Danishmand not be given immediately the task of translating the parts that denigrated Islam for fear that he would be offended and be reluctant to continue. Corrie insisted, though, that he should be given those parts next on the very grounds that the Muslim translator would be potentially Christianised. In the end, Captain Sherwood’s foreboding proved to be correct. The translator refused to continue the work and the project was temporarily abandoned.40 This was an instance of an Indian reading a religious Christian narrative in a way which was resistant to the manner in which its white Christian author and disseminators had hoped it would be received. There was, in this specific case, clearly a profound gap between authorial intentionality and actual reception. What is further evident is that Mary Sherwood, the primary author of the narrative, seems to have been marginalised as a decision maker when it came to deciding in what order the Muslim translator should translate the work. It was left to the male figures to decide amongst themselves this matter, with the eldest and most senior of them having the final say. After this initial failure to obtain a translation in an Indian language for The Indian Pilgrim in India, the work was first published in England by Houlston in 1818, as an English-language edition for a domestic audience. The work had to wait until 1821 for the first translation of the narrative in Tamil to be produced by an English missionary, and even then, due to the laboriousness of the task, this edition was translated and released in parts.41 From the 1820s onwards, however, there were active efforts undertaken by various missionary societies of different denominations based in India to produce translated editions of The Indian Pilgrim in Bengali, Telegu, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi for Indians in various regions across India.42 The drive behind producing translated editions of The Indian Pilgrim needs to be contextualised in relation to more funding being available to missionary societies and their proselytising activities during this period. Many of the churches, chapels, and parishes that were proliferating from the early to mid-nineteenth century in Britain had forged networks with missionary societies. Such religious institutions often circulated collection boxes at their congregations to sponsor missions abroad. Moreover, there were subscription lists to fund outreach activities, and by the mid-nineteenth century devout Christians even kept missionary boxes at their homes in which they and their family members would periodically insert money. The extensive financial resources available to support the translation and dissemination of catechetical texts such as The Indian Pilgrim within the subcontinent, is testified to by a Missionary Register report of 1850 regarding the printing operations of the Bombay Tract and Book Society alone. The report stated: Tracts printed in 1847 were 29,500, and 25,331 were distributed. The receipts of the Society were 1771 rupees, and the payments 1844 rupees. In 1848 there were 27,000 tracts printed and 30,700 tracts and books distributed. A supply of 70l. in books has been sent to them, with authority to devote one-half of the proceeds to the new Jubilee Translation Fund. Also a supply of books to the amount of 30 l. the proceeds to be applied to the publication of ‘The Indian Pilgrim’ in Mahratta …43 The number of volumes printed and distributed in 1847 and 1848 in the Bombay Tract and Book Society, and the profits generated, testify to the scale and intensity of Christian printing operations undertaken by such societies. It demonstrates that suitable Christian fiction such as Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim could rely on generous donations from religious societies back home to enable its translation and dissemination. Furthermore, it is indicative of the fact that whilst this particular narrative was originally expressive of a particular brand of early nineteenth-century Evangelical missionary Christianity, it was pushed later in the century by missionaries belonging to other denominations of Protestant Christianity. A key reason for the missionary drive on to translate Christian religious tales into indigenous languages within the subcontinent was the particularly Protestant universalistic belief that morally upright Christian texts could be successfully translated from one language to another, without losing their fundamental essence.44 Christian religious texts in the subcontinent were seen as invaluable contributions in the broader effort to Christianise Indians. The production, translation and dissemination of such narratives in India, were seen as essential given the shortage of European missionaries on the ground and the need to offset the rival printing of material which was being undertaken by indigenous religious organisations.45 In addition, narratives such as The Indian Pilgrim were deployed as appropriate pedagogical material that could be read out in class to Indian children at the Christian religious schools that were proliferating across the subcontinent.46 To understand why this particular text, though, was deemed to be appropriate pedagogical material for Indians, it is perhaps appropriate at this point, to engage in a closer examination of the narrative. The Indian Pilgrim adopts the form of a vision where the dreamer who falls asleep under ‘a pepul tree’ sees Goonah Purist in a city of sin. The city is prone to ‘noxious damps’ and ‘hurricanes’ with the implication that the harsh geographical conditions are directly a result of the region being forsaken by God.47 The inhabitants of this city are unconscious of being ‘abominable’.48 They engage in all sorts of ‘impious sacrifices and vile idolatries’ associated with Hinduism.49 Purist, the central protagonist, although a Brahmin man of wealth and note within his community, is mired in sin. This sin is physically manifested with the protagonist being ‘a leper from head to foot’.50 The Lord God Jehovah, however, makes him sensible to his sin and Purist consequently attempts to find remedies from various religious authorities. A Brahmin Pandit suggests he should engage in various acts of penance in order to cleanse himself. Purist, after observing such religious acts, becomes disillusioned when he notes his ailments have not diminished. Moreover, he is appalled when he sees images of Hindu gods engaged in all sorts of ‘barbarous’ practices. It is here that Sherwood recirculates all the common alleged offences that were attributed to Hinduism within nineteenth-century missionary propaganda, such as Hindu ascetics mutilating themselves in different ways to appease their Gods, and devotees throwing themselves under the wheels of the chariot, to appease the Lord Jagannath.51 Central to Sherwood’s critique of Hinduism is the denigration of a faith in which visual images and communal rituals are privileged over the word, in contradistinction to Protestantism. Indeed, the Hindu carnivalesque forms of religiosity expressed in festivals where devotees engage in ‘idolatrous dances’, consume ‘spirituous liquors’ and sing ‘abominable songs’ does not accord with Protestant ideas of sober worship and private self-reflection.52 Indeed, as Robert Yelle points out, Evangelicals and devout European Protestant observers often associated public chanting and unrestrained enthusiasm, which were displayed at such Hindu festivals, with devotees being possessed by the devil.53 Sherwood has a more problematic task in disparaging Islam when Muslim conquerors that have laid siege to the city seek to impose their religion upon Purist. In the narrative’s account of Islam, the author displays an awareness that Protestant Christianity and Islam share similar traits. Both are text-based and monotheistic religions which privilege a single authoritative written text over visual images. Sherwood’s catechetical tale is thus fraught with tension in that, whilst Islam is in the end denigrated, Purist’s familiarity with the faith, is a necessary first step on his journey to Christian salvation. His encounter with Islam is thus essential in terms of his later spiritual growth. It is through Purist’s interactions with Muslim preachers that he becomes convinced that there is one God and thus dispenses with idolatry and polytheism. His Muslim teachers move him away from a Hindu mode of religious experience known as darshan, which invests images and idols with symbolic power and cultivates a personal link between the devotee and idol, to a mode of spirituality which privileges the text. Similarly, Purist first becomes acquainted with the Judeo-Christian prophets in references to them in Islamic teachings. Islamic tradition thus serves as an access point to Christianity. It bridges the huge gap for Purist between Christianity and Hinduism, thus facilitating him moving closer to acceptance of Protestant Christianity. Furthermore, the narrative’s prefiguring of an Islamic invasion to that of the white Europeans within the narrative was itself a common trope in British eighteenth and early nineteenth-century histories, which framed India’s modern history as beginning with the Mughal invasion which then culminated in the allegedly superior British form of colonialism.54 Notwithstanding Sherwood’s representation of Islam’s superiority over Hinduism, Purist’s Muslim teachers provide no relief for his ailments. The good works and the ritualistic practices that the Muslims prescribe are insufficient, and Purist is left feeling that his sin is so great that only a perfect intermediary can plead on his behalf for salvation. At the heart of Sherwood’s critique of Islam is the religion’s privileging of practices over faith, which differs from Protestant Christianity, where belief itself is the cornerstone of the doctrine. Although Sherwood cannot denigrate Islam as a pagan religion, as was the case when the author represents Hinduism, she does undermine the doctrine by perpetuating stereotypes of Islam as a religion of despotism. Thus right from Purist’s initial encounter with the Muslim conquerors, they brandish ‘swords’ engraved with ‘the word persecution’.55 Purist’s undercutting of the Islamic position in debates, however, stems from attempts to prove that the New Testament is a more reliable text than the Quran. He argues that whilst the Jewish Old Testament foretells the coming of Christ, neither the New Testament or the Old Testament prophesises the coming of Muhammad, thus indicating that Muhammad is an imposter and the Quran is an illegitimate work. Purist thus employs comparative textual and historicist methods to debunk Islamic doctrine, which itself was reflective of a tradition within Western European Christian scholarship, dating back to the eighteenth century, of damning the Quran by finding misalignments with Judeo-Christian texts.56 It is revealing to examine the way that Purist, the Indian, is co-opted into using such a methodological approach. In effect an integral component of Purist’s Christianisation involves being trained to read and interpret texts, as well as to find a monolithic notion of truth from such sources. His spiritual development is thus predicated upon being lured into a Protestant text-based religious experience, whilst at the same time rejecting other forms of religious expression. The Indian Pilgrim is a narrative where the written text of the Bible takes centrality. Hence Purist is finally set on the path to salvation by a white Feringhee Christian messenger who carries a Bible in his hand and who can speak in Purist’s own language. The Feringhee Christian messenger, when directing Purist out of the City of Sin, hands him a Bible translated into the protagonist’s own language and so ‘that it might at once direct and comfort him through his journey’.57 Indeed, the Bible offers a defence for the obstacles that Purist faces in his journey to heaven. Through referring to memorised passages in the Bible, Purist can overcome his Catholic, Islamic and Brahmin adversaries who harangue him and seek to convert him to their respective faiths. Passages from the Bible are italicised, in contrast to the excerpts of religious texts belonging to other faiths, to indicate its supremacy. Furthermore, in moments of spiritual crisis, such as in the ‘pit of despair’, he can seek direction from its passages.58 As is the case with all of Sherwood’s catechetical tales, the Bible is the master-narrative from which Sherwood’s morally upright characters quote. Moreover, given that Purist is a cipher for a representative Indian, Purist’s memorisation of passages from the Bible, and his carrying of a Bible at all times upon his conversion to Christianity, are strategies advocated by the text to the inferred Indian reader to cope with similar spiritual threats. As Purist approaches the end of his journey to salvation, with a band of converted Christian pilgrims, the Indian imagery and scenes are displaced by Judeo-Christian biblical settings, with images of the hero ascending mountains with his shepherd guides. Purist, upon being baptised, is referred to in this later stage of the narrative as a Nazareenee, in accordance with nomenclature that is derived from the Old Testament.59 Moreover, when he finally crosses over from death to the land of Beulah in the afterlife, the superiority of Judeo-Christian scenes over oriental imagery is made explicit, with the narrator stating that the ‘roses of Sharon’ were ‘far more lovely than those which grow in the fields of Babur’ and the ‘grapes were more delicious than the grapes of schiras’.60 Thus, by the time the dreamer awakens from his vision of Purist and his allegorical journey to salvation, the narrative has been purged of its Indian content and the surfeit of discordant noise and images which Sherwood associates with the region.61 Indeed, the final lines of The Indian Pilgrim–in which the dreamer, upon awaking, informs his prospective readers that he was so affected by the dream that he ‘forsook’ his ‘father’s house’, ‘sold all that’ he ‘had’ and embarked upon a journey to the ‘city of living of God’– explicitly draws on key passages in the Bible.62 When considering that Sherwood’s intended audience was Indian, the aim behind finally displacing Indian images with Christian ones and aligning this narrative with the Bible was a pedagogical one. It was intended to gradually move Indian readers away from Indian motifs to biblical imagery—to overwrite an Indian world view with a Judeo-Christian mental landscape. It is interesting that the concluding passages of Sherwood’s narrative more closely resemble the ‘plain speaking style’ and scenes exhibited in Bunyan’s original narrative. This, in turn, suggests the narrative’s complicity in weening the Indian narrator, and the implied Indian reader, away from a perceived disposition to flowery oriental aesthetics, to a simpler anglicised Anglican worldview. In effect, The Indian Pilgrim is imbricated in an attempt to fundamentally readjust the worldview with what Marshall McLuhan would describe as the ‘ratio of senses’ of its Indian reader.63 It is European colonial intervention from the outside that provides invaluable assistance during Purist’s journey to salvation. The Christian messenger, very much like Sherwood’s friend Henry Martyn, is a Feringhee who is fluent in indigenous languages and disseminates translated Bibles.64 The text alludes to the importance of translating and circulating religious texts within missionary efforts to spread the word to the indigenous inhabitants. In this respect it is reflective of what Robert Yelle has described as the fundamental belief on the part of Evangelicals during this period: due to the plain unadorned truth inherent in the biblical revelation, the ‘underlying semantic content’ of the Bible could be translated with comparative ease from one language to another.65 In addition to the translation efforts of the messenger, it is significant that European Christian soldiers save Purist from being tortured by his fellow countrymen.66 European colonialism in India is scripted as a paternalistic rescue mission to enlighten Indians. The text is notable, though, for the absence of Indian interpreters, preachers and translators whom, in reality, the Protestant outreach efforts in India were very much reliant upon.67 The author’s exclusion of such figures seems all the more striking given her dependence on them in her own proselytising efforts, as well as her awareness of the importance of Indian translators in both Martyn and Corrie’s translation efforts. It seems that the narrative’s function of instil Indians with a sense of their supposed dependence on white feringhees for their spiritual guidance is privileged over the realities on the ground. Indeed, Sherwood relied heavily on a young Indian Christian convert, called Permanand, who taught at one of the author’s schools and gave the Christian service in Hindustani at the Sherwoods makeshift church for Indians. She gave credit in her journals to Permanand for constructing Indian-style hymns which attracted Indians to the ‘Indian’ services held at the Sherwood compound and for the energies he invested as a school teacher at her school.68 Contrary to what Sherwood portrays in The Indian Pilgrim, translation often involved missionaries in a second language collaborating with indigenous scholars working in their ‘mother’ tongue. Translation thus necessitated a level of negotiation between the white missionary and the ‘native’, with the feringhee proselytiser recognising, to some extent, dependence on local indigenous assistants.69 Occasionally–as was later the case with Hari John, a native assistant of the Mirzapore Mission who completed a translation of Sherwood’s narrative in 1844–Indians could be free to pursue a translation with relatively little interference from a white European missionary.70 In addition, in any translation the end product would most likely have differed significantly from the original text. In addition to the absence of Indian translators within The Indian Pilgrim, there is no social mobility for the Indian characters represented in the narrative. This fictional portrayal thus departed from the socio-historical reality where low-caste or outcastes Hindus, in an attempt to escape their marginalised position within the social hierarchy, were often more likely than high caste Hindus to convert to Christianity. Indeed, Purist’s conversion comes with no rise in his social status. In fact, Purist’s conversion is associated with a diminishing of his standing, given that it entails relinquishing his wealth and influence within his own community. It is worth noting that, by the very fact that Purist is primarily identified as the ‘Indian Pilgrim’ in the title of the work, he functions as a cipher for a representative Indian. It is thus implied that the methods employed to Christianise and reform this fictional individual in the narrative can be applied on a mass level within the subcontinent, and that Indian readers should identify with the central protagonist. When situated in this context, the denouements of these narratives clearly attempt to reconcile Indians to their subordinate social status, with Christian morality being discursively employed to reinforce the colonial power dynamic. It is interesting to examine the few sources which document how Indians may have responded to this narrative alongside Sherwood’s intention to convert Indians and to keep them reconciled to their place. An examination of the missionary records of the mid-nineteenth century document the dissemination of a wide variety of Christian religious texts within the subcontinent. In addition to catechetical narratives being disseminated at missionary schools for Indians and churches, major efforts were made by missionaries to disseminate this material at indigenous religious festivals, temples, mosques, villages and towns where they would most likely directly confront the customs and beliefs of the indigenous inhabitants.71 There are reports authored by North American or European preachers who document being approached by Indians who had been introduced to Christianity through translations of catechetical narratives, which included The Indian Pilgrim. Reverend Mr Winslow reports that he came into contact with three Indians who had become interested in Christianity after reading various catechetical works which had been distributed ‘at a fair or festival at a heathen temple’. According to Winslow one was led to reflection by ‘Schwartz’s Dialogues’, another by reading The Indian Pilgrim, a third by a leaf of a Bible on which he saw some practical exposition in the life of a native Christian, and still another by the Gospel of John. He adds: ‘What these men knew, were almost entirely derived from books. They had never seen a missionary except once, and that some five or six years before.’72 Catechists often specially targeted Christian schools for Indian boys and girls when distributing religious tracts, where they gave out free or reduced price translated copies, to school teachers or the occasional Indian students.73 There are reports by missionaries in India that testified to the use of The Indian Pilgrim in a classroom setting. It was used as a text book and read out aloud by the class for the purposes of inculcating these children with Christian values. The fact that this narrative quoted excerpts from key passages of the Bible enabled it to be adapted for such pedagogical purposes. The missionaries on the ground reported the efficacy of catechetical narratives, such as Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim, to turn ‘heathen’ Indians to Christianity. For instance, Mr Reverend Rheinus reported an incident at a seminary in South India, where a particular Indian student kept falling asleep during religious lessons. After reading a translated version of The Indian Pilgrim, according to Rheinus, he became conscious of his sinfulness and decides to be a devout Christian. Similarly in Palamcottah, in the Madras Presidency, Rheinus reports of a ‘Soodra man’ who requested to be received into his Church after being convinced of Christian doctrine upon reading a translated copy of Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim.74 Likewise, there is a report of an Indian man who was inspired to become a preacher after reading a translated copy of one of Sherwood’s ‘Indian’ catechetical ‘tales’.75 It is worth recognising that missionary reports testifying to the efficacy of The Indian Pilgrim in converting Indians need to be treated with a degree of scepticism given that these reports where authored by individuals justifying their own efforts in the field and seeking more funding for their proselytising endeavours. A more critical interrogation of these sources also suggests that Indians read this narrative for reasons other than a simple case of just being convinced by the tenets of Christianity. Indeed, a closer examination of these sources reveals the extent to which Indians could, in certain ways, unintentionally circumnavigate the coercive ideological aims that were imbricated in the authorship and initial distribution of The Indian Pilgrim. It further demonstrates the agency of Indians when selecting these stories. For instance, there are several missionary accounts which document Indians who, upon reading these two texts, decided to embark on activities which may have led to social mobility in some form. There is the narrative of the Shudra man who applies to be accepted into the Church. Furthermore, we have Reverend Winslow’s account of three Indian men who, upon reading translated religious tracts, decided to establish their own group, and the account of the Indian preacher who was inspired to pursue this vocation after reading Sherwood’s narratives. When viewed in context, the Shudra man’s conversion to Christianity would presumably lead to some sort of escape from his relegation in Hindu caste-related discourse. In the latter two examples, what is notable is the capacity of Sherwood’s narratives to inspire Indians to undertake various socially aspirational activities, whether to establish a social network to discuss Christianity, or to gain a position of influence as a preacher. It also seems likely that three Indian men who confront Reverend Winslow have not been converted to Christianity, but are discussing The Indian Pilgrim and other Christian catechetical narratives alongside indigenous religious reading materials. This seems likely as these texts were, after all, first presented to them at a Hindu religious festival. The Indian Pilgrim emerged out of Mary Sherwood’s involvement in evangelical Christian outreach activities in India. An examination of the text and the circumstances of its production usefully illuminates the particular predicament of the Evangelicals in colonial India in the early nineteenth century, as well as offering an insight into how they viewed the religions of the indigenous inhabitants. It thus demonstrates the ways in which Hinduism was viewed by Evangelicals as a barbaric and pagan religion whose adherents were fanatically enthused. It reveals the ambivalent stance that Evangelicals in the early nineteenth century could adopt towards Islam, a doctrine which is presented as sharing similar belief structures to Protestant Christianity. The narrative is significant for further highlighting that circumstances on the ground may have persuaded certain Evangelicals in India such as Sherwood, Martyn and Corrie, of the value of Islam as a gateway religion which allowed access to Protestant Christianity for Indian ‘heathens’. Yet the significance of The Indian Pilgrim lies in it being an instrument that was specifically designed to instantiate a transformation in the very mentalities of ‘heathens’, by displacing Hindu forms of religiosity and mental landscapes with Judeo-Christian text-based religious experience and imagery. The Indian Pilgrim’s plot devices, structure and imagery were all assembled to make fundamental readjustments to the worldview and mindsets of the Hindu and, to a lesser extent, the Muslim indigenous population. When one considers this point, it paves the way for re-examining the way in which colonial catechetical narratives have hitherto been examined by postcolonial literary scholars who have, more often than not, examined narratives such as these as sites for exploring issues of ambivalence and hybridity, without first coming to an understanding of the machinations and cultural specificity of this particular genre. Indeed, investigations concerning the discrepancy between the intended authority that these English texts were supposed to exert in the ‘contact zone’, and their actual ambivalent presence and reception by the Indian readers, can only be enhanced by a more nuanced understanding of the authorial intentions behind the construction of these colonial catechetical narratives and the actual conditions in which they were produced.76 With this in mind, a close examination of the few missionary reports available which document Indians responses to this text serves to highlight a disjunction. The disjunction occurred between the proselytisers, who authored and disseminated such a narrative to fashion an ideal obedient Evangelical subject, with the ways it was actually received by real-life Indians. It is significant that in Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim the Indian character does not become a proselytiser who converts other Indians. Furthermore, his conversion to Christianity does not lead to social advancement or autonomy. It is thus surprising to note the capacity of these tales to instantiate such aspirational responses from real-life readers. It leads one to question whether these indigenous readers, when reading these tales, were identifying with the Indian protagonists, or with the empowered white European characters that were given the capability to lead sinners to salvation. Did reading these texts motivate the colonial subjects to mimic their masters? If, as their responses would suggest, they identified with the white empowered sahibs or memsahibs, then they read in a fashion that contravened Sherwood’s plot resolutions, which reconciled the Indian characters to her/his subordinate position within the coloniser/colonised power dynamic and to her/his dependency on white feringhees. Moreover, the three Indian men’s reading and discussion of The Indian Pilgrim was most likely undertaken within a syncretic framework that absorbed this Christian text alongside indigenous religious teachings. If this was the case, then it demonstrates the failure of Sherwood, Martyn and Corrie, who constructed this text with the purpose of overwriting a Hindu worldview with a Christian one. references Footnotes 1 Mary Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim; or, the Progress of Pilgrim Nazareenee (formerly called Goonah Purist, or the Slave of Sin) from the City of Wrath of God to the City of Mount Zion (Second Edition) (Wellington, Salop: Houlston, 1818), p. 211. 2 My quotation marks. 3 Joyce Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers: Mary Sherwood’s Indian Experience and “Construction of Subordinate Others”’, in ‘Being Global From the Age of Enlightenment to the Age of Information’, South Atlantic Review 66.2 (2001) 14–44, p. 16. 4 See Dora Rossman Regaignon, ‘Intimacy’s Empire: Children, Servants, and Missionaries in Mary Martha Sherwood’s “Little Henry and his Bearer”’, in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 26.2 (Summer 2001) 84–95. Also Supriya Goswami, Colonial India in Children’s Literature (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 15–46. 5 Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers’, p. 36. Also Nandini Bhattacharya, Reading the Splendid Body: Gender and Consumerism in Eighteenth Century British Writing on India (London: Associated University Press, 1998), pp. 145–7. 6 Ashok Malhotra, Making British Indian Fictions, 1772–1823 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 132. 7 My quotation marks. 8 Homi K. Bhabha has noted, in his article ‘Signs Taken for Wonders’ that even though the English text was supposed to be a sign of English cultural authority in the subcontinent, Indians had the capacity to appropriate the English text to a certain extent autonomously from the matrices of the hegemonic power relations that were the initial driving force behind the colonial text’s dissemination and production within India. See Homi K. Bhabha, ‘Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence under a Tree outside Delhi, May 1817’, in ‘Race Writing and Difference’, Critical Inquiry 12.1 (Autumn 1985) 144–65. 9 Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers’, p. 15. 10 Ibid., p. 17. 11 Jeffrey Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 (New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 18. Sherwood also subscribed to this view. She stated in her journals that she ‘assuredly believed—that the labours of missionaries’ were destined to result in ‘the glorious future state of the world spoken of in prophecy’. See Sherwood Family Papers 1437 box 3 1818–25, p. 116. The Sherwood Family Papers, held in the Charles Young Library at UCLA, Los Angeles, holds the correspondence, journals and important documents of the Sherwood Family, beginning with Mary Sherwood and then her children. 12 Andrea Major, Pious Flames: European Encounters with Sati, 1500–1800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 112–13. Senior figures within the Company such as William Elphinstone, Robert Dundas and Lord Minto were anxious, especially in the wake of the Vellore Mutiny of 1806, that missionary proselytising would exacerbate resentment from the indigenous population. See Penelope Carson, The East India Company and Religion, 1698–1858 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2012), pp. 70–4. My quotation marks. 13 Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise, pp. 87–90. 14 Carson, The East India Company and Religion, p. 105. 15 Mary Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood (Chiefly Autobiographical) with Extracts from Mrs Sherwood’s Journal during his Imprisonment in France & Residence in India (edited by her daughter Sophia Kelley) (London: Darton & Co., 1854), p. 390. 16 A Faqir is a Muslim Ascetic and a Yogi is a Hindu religious ascetic. 17 A pice is a small denomination of Indian money. 18 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1808–1811, pp. 438–42. 19 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 421 and p. 429. 20 Ibid., p. 340 and pp. 438–9. 21 Ibid., p. 377. 22 Ibid., p. 376. 23 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, pp. 303, 434 and 475. 24 Ibid., pp. 438–9. Italics in quotation. 25 Isabel Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), p. 13. 26 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, pp. 376–7. 27 Ibid., p. 447. 28 Ibid., p. 446. 29 Ibid., p. 447. 30 I use Anglo-Indian in the nineteenth century sense to denote a Briton residing in India. 31 Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan, p. 1. 32 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1810, p. 480. 33 Ibid., pp. 480–1. 34 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 421. 35 Ibid. 36 My quotation marks. 37 Ibid., p. 429. A Munshi is an Indian secretary. 38 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1808–11, pp. 480–1, 522 and 553. 39 Ibid., p. 553. 40 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 429. 41 India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Saturday, 1 December 1821, p. 13. 42 The Baptist Missionaries at Serampore first produced a Bengali edition of The Indian Pilgrim in 1822. In 1834 and 1853, The Calcutta Tract and Book Society produced their Bengali versions of the text. In their second edition of the narrative 1,500 copies of the Bengali translation were printed. The American Presbyterian Mission in Allahabad produced 2,000 copies of The Indian Pilgrim in Hindi. The American Presbyterian Mission in Ludhiana printed 5,000 copies in Romanised Urdu. The Bombay Tract and Book Society produced 2,000 copies of The Indian Pilgrim in Marathi in 1841. The Madras Tract and Book Society published a Tamil translation which was released in two parts (1825–61). This society further produced a Telegu version of the text in 1830. See John Murdoch (ed.), Catalogue of the Christian Vernacular Literature of India: with Hints on the Management of Indian Tract Societies (Madras: Caleb Foster, 1870), pp. 7, 20, 54, 77, 116, 149, 157 and 237. 43 India within the Ganges, Missionary Register (London, England), Friday, 1 March 1850, p. 126. 44 Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan, p. 13. 45 Reverend Winslow, a Madras-based missionary, stated that that ‘the printed page’ in ‘India, where the number of preachers is so few, and the multitudes to be taught, are so great’ is ‘almost an indispensable aid to the minister, and where there is no minister, may even to some extent supply his place’. The East Indies, The Christian Spectator, and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. Similarly, The Calcutta Christian Tract and Book Society, in a letter to the Friend of India, stated that they ‘have long felt the necessity for providing a vernacular Christian Literature for the use of the native Christians’. They society argued, ‘it is not, desirable that converts to Christianity should keep up much acquaintance with the literature of their own country, connected as it is so closely with the errors and abominations of Hinduism. But it is desirable that for those works others should be substituted, of purer and healthier tone …’. See Original Correspondence, The Friend of India (Calcutta, India) Thursday, 11 April 1850, issue 797, p. 232. Italics are in the original quotation. 46 Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise, p. 96. 47 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 1. The italics are in the original text. 48 Ibid., p. 2. 49 Ibid., p. 4. 50 Ibid., p. 6. 51 Susan Thorne, Congregational Missions and the Making of Imperial Culture in Nineteenth-Century England (Redwood, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp. 5–7. 52 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 21. 53 Robert Yelle, Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 104. 54 P.J. Marshall and Glyndwer Williams, The Great Map of Mankind: British Perceptions of the World in the Age of Enlightenment (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1982), pp. 159–62. 55 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 24. 56 Mohammed Sharafuddin, Islam and Romantic Orientalism Literary Encounters with the Orient (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994), pp. xv–xxix. 57 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 62. 58 Ibid., pp. 126 and 165. 59 That the Indian convert should have to change his name, or indeed his dietary habits, as Purist does in the narrative, seems to be an ardent Evangelical position. Indeed, Baptists missionaries such as William Carey did not believe it was necessary for Indian converts to change their names, dietary habits or dress. Moreover, it is likely that many Evangelicals operating in India realised that the realities on the ground necessitated compromise on these matters. Bill Bell, ‘Signs Taken for Wonders: An Anecdotal History’, in New Literary History, 43.2 (Spring 2012) 309–29, p. 314. 60 Ibid., p. 207. 61 Indeed, Robert Yelle argues Evangelical discourse often metaphorically equated India and its associated languages, mythologies and diversity with a confusing jungle that needed to be cleared and demarcated. See Yelle, Language of Disenchantment, pp. 79 and 98. 62 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 211. See Psalms 45:10, Matthew 13:44 and Hebrews 12:22, King James Version. 63 Marshall McLuhan proposes in The Gutenberg Galaxy that the introduction of print technology was implicated in altering individuals’ ratio of senses when processing information pertaining to their surrounding environment and helped shift cultures from privileging auditory to privileging visual stimuli. Whilst McLuhan, I would argue, veers towards to generalisation and overstatement regarding the capacity of print technology to actually transform mentalities and societies, his thesis is helpful when coming to terms with the ways in which a written text such as The Indian Pilgrim fundamentally aimed to readjust the conceptual frameworks and modes of perception of its intended Indian audience. See Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: the Making of Typographic Man (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), pp. 18–21. 64 A feringhee is a Hindustani term for a foreigner. 65 Yelle, Language of Disenchantment, p. 37. 66 In reality, missionaries in the field often complained that the Company did not do enough to protect Christian converts from discrimination and attacks from fellow Indians. See Carson, The East India Company and Religion, p. 175. 67 Indeed, the lion’s share of conversion in India was carried out by indigenous preachers in the frontier zones of the British colonial presence within the subcontinent. See Robert Frykenberg, ‘Christian Missions and the Raj’, in Norman Etherington (ed.), Missions and Empire: The Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 107–31, p. 117. 68 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 466. 69 In addition to Mrs Hawkins’ munshi being involved in translating Sherwood’s texts, missionary reports document a Mirza Yusuf Bahir, under the guidance of Rev. G.W. Crauford in Allahabad, revising and correcting a translation of The Indian Pilgrim by Lieutenant Candy into Hindustani for the Church Missionary Society. See India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Saturday, 1 January 1831, p. 51. A report states that the Religious Tract Association, which disseminated Tamil translations of The Indian Pilgrim, had 14 Indian workmen involved in the printing of Christian religious material translated into Tamil. See Survey of the Protestant Missionary Stations throughout the World. Missionary Register (London, England), Tuesday, 1 February 1825, p. 57. 70 Hari John completed a Hindi translation of The Indian Pilgrim, which was then revised by Mr Warren only ‘to correct errors caused by the translator’s imperfect acquaintance with peculiar English idioms’. Yet according to The Missionary Chronicle the ‘general style of the work’ was ‘left untouched’ by Warren. See The Missionary Chronicle: Containing the Proceeding of the Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian Church (New York, USA), June 1845, vol. 1, issue 6, p. 88. 71 Esme Cleall, Missionary Discourses of Difference: Negotiating Otherness in the British Empire (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 17, DOI: 10.1057/9781137032393 and The East Indies: The Christian Spectator, and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. 72 See The East Indies, The Christian Spectator and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. 73 This was the case for Sherwood’s other translated narratives. For instance, a missionary visiting various mission stations in Surat documents giving two Indian schoolgirls a Gujarati translation of Sherwood’s Little Henry and his Bearer. See Foreign Mission, R. Montgomery. The Missionary Herald of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (Belfast, Ireland), Wednesday, 1 June 1853, issue CXXVI, p. 2057; Also, in the Fifth Report of the Gujarat Auxillary Missionary states how Rev. W. Fyvie gave away religious tracts, which included The Ayah and Lady at ‘native’ schools in Gujarat. See Missionary Intelligence, The Friend of India (Calcutta, India), Thursday, 5 March 1835, issue 10, p. 77. 74 A ‘Soodra’, or Shudra, is someone who belongs to lowest Varna in the Hindu caste system. India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Thursday, 1 November 1827, p. 542. 75 Autobiography of a Native Evangelist, Thomas Aveling. Ram Chondro Khelloa. The Missionary Magazine and Chronicle (London, England), Wednesday, 1 October 1845, p. 153. 76 My quotation marks. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press 2017; all rights reserved. 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Attempting to Transform the Mental Landscape of the Indian ‘Heathen’ in Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim (1818)

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Abstract This article focuses on Mary Sherwood’s Christian catechetical narrative The Indian Pilgrim (1818). It proposes that the narrative needs to be contextualised in relation to the author’s involvement in Anglican Evangelical proselytising activities within the subcontinent in the early nineteenth century. A textual analysis of the narrative, combined with an investigation of the circumstances in which it was produced, reveals that the narrative aimed to condition Indian readers into being obedient Christian subjects who recognised their supposed dependence on their white sahibs or memsahibs. It also highlights the stratagems by which the author attempts to coerce them into accepting the primacy of the written text as the ultimate repository of spiritual truth. The argument demonstrates the ways in which Hinduism was viewed by evangelicals as a barbaric and pagan religion whose adherents were fanatically enthused. It also reveals the ambivalent stance that evangelicals in the early nineteenth century could adopt towards Islam, a doctrine which is presented as a necessary gateway religion from which Indians can gain access to Protestant Christianity. Furthermore, the article argues that the narrative was designed as an instrument that was intended to instantiate a transformation in the very mentalities of ‘heathens’, by displacing Hindu forms of religiosity and mental landscapes with Judeo-Christian text-based religious experience and imagery. Then I awoke from my sleep: but I remembered my dream, and wrote it in a book; and being much affected with its extraordinary incidents, I sold all that I had, and forsook my father’s house, determining forthwith to associate myself with such as might still be going on pilgrimage to the city of the living God … (Concluding lines of Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim)1 Mary Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim (1818), a narrative which aimed to adapt John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678–79) for an Indian context, concludes with an Indian man awaking from his dream-vision of a Hindu heathen named Goonah Purist undertaking an allegorical journey to Christian heaven. In the man’s dream he sees Purist bypassing the false doctrines of Hinduism and Islam in his quest. The vision has clearly made a profound impression upon this fictitious Indian given his subsequent resolve to renounce his native religion, family and worldly possessions in his quest for Christian salvation. The denouement of the narrative is clearly intended to instantiate the functional purpose of Sherwood’s narrative, which was to inspire Indians to convert to Christianity. What is striking, though, is that the Indian narrator feels a compulsion to write down his vision into a book. The written script somehow moulds his dream and codifies it into a form which accords with the Protestant Reformation’s privileging of the text as the ultimate repository of religious truth over the spoken word. The closing lines of The Indian Pilgrim demonstrate the manner in which Sherwood’s writings were aiming to affect a moral transformation of Indians, as well as allude to the importance of the written text as a repository and conveyor of Protestant Christian beliefs in Anglican Evangelical proselytising efforts in nineteenth-century colonial India. Mary Sherwood was a prolific author of children’s fiction and didactic literature in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Sherwood wrote a number of popular moralistic tales that were set in England, such as The History of the Fairchild Family (1818) and The History of Henry Milner (1822). She was, however, also known for being an ‘Indian’ author who had resided in India from 1804–15 and penned a number of narratives which deployed Indian settings, as well as depicting its peoples and customs. Her ‘Indian’ narratives, The Ayah and Lady (1816), The Indian Pilgrim (1818), The History of George Desmond (1821), The History of Lucy and her Dhaye (1823), Arzoomund (1829) and The Last Days of Boosy, the Bearer of Little Henry (1842), all ran to multiple editions.2 Her most commercially successful work, The History of Little Henry and his Bearer (1814), had run to thirty editions by 1840 and had been translated into several languages, circulating in such diverse locales as Burma and Germany.3 Cultural historians, when examining Sherwood’s fictional representations of the subcontinent, have mainly focused on her more popular children’s fictional tales set in India.4 Joyce Grossman and Nandini Bhattacharya are notable for paying some attention to Sherwood’s more overtly catechetical texts such as The Ayah and Lady and The Indian Pilgrim. Grossman and Bhattacharya approach these narratives from a postcolonial perspective to illuminate issues pertaining to the representation of racial difference, gender and the relationship between the coloniser and the colonised. Whilst they have engaged in insightful textual analysis, they have neglected to examine the pedagogical function of these texts and their intended effects on Indian ‘heathens’, which I argue is especially important to take into account when investigating The Indian Pilgrim.5 Before taking to task both these literary critics, it should be pointed out that I have been more remiss in my own broad survey of British representations of India of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In Making British Indian Fictions, 1772–1823, I propose that the author’s attempts to draw attention to the Indianised elements within texts such as The Indian Pilgrim was primarily a canny marketing ploy on the part of the author and publisher to attract British metropolitan readers who needed to be convinced of the acculturated nature of these texts.6 Such an argument demonstrates ignorance of the fact that these stories stemmed directly out of Sherwood’s involvement in Protestant Christian outreach activities and that they were, consequently, designed for the purposes of being disseminated within the subcontinent in order to be of instructional use to Indians. My own analysis of The Indian Pilgrim closely examines the historical context in which this narrative was produced. The significance of this particular narrative was that it was authored under the direction and patronage of influential Evangelicals chaplains in India, such as Henry Martyn and Daniel Corrie. Furthermore, it was intended as an instrument which would serve in broader proselytising endeavours within the subcontinent. Consequently, a close textual analysis and an investigation of the circumstances in which the narrative was created, will reveal the methods by which leading Evangelcals in nineteenth-century colonial India thought they could christianise Indians and the precise form that a successful conversion of a ‘heathen’ subject would adopt.7 I argue, though, that this narrative should not be read as simply reflecting missionary strategies or the shifting colonial context, but rather as a tool designed to reshape the mentalities of ‘heathens’. Therefore, this discussion examines the pedagogical impulses at the heart of the text, as well as the importance paid to the written text and translation within The Indian Pilgrim. It is important to acknowledge that the narrative was constructed with the specific aims of converting Indians to Christianity and morally improving them, whilst at the same time conditioning them into being obedient colonised subjects reconciled to their subordinate position. This is not, however, to imply that the text was successful in these aims, but merely that it was explicitly designed for these purposes.8 Consequently, attention needs to be paid to the machinations and stratagems deployed by Sherwood. Furthermore, I examine missionary reports to delineate where, and in which contexts, this text was disseminated and translated within the subcontinent. My argument is interested in revealing the possible dissonances between the authorial intention behind the production of this narrative, which was to fashion an ideal Indian Evangelical subject, and the ways in which Indians may in actuality have responded to the narrative. Before delving into these matters more deeply it is necessary, though, to situate the narrative in relation to the author’s residence in India and her involvement in Evangelical proselytising activities. Mary Sherwood (1775–1851) accompanied her husband Captain Henry Sherwood, who had been appointed paymaster with the fifty-third regiment, to India in 1804; she was to reside in India for a total of eleven years, following her husband to the various military barracks in which he was stationed.9 Her husband’s postings included Calcutta, Dinapur, Berhampur, Kanpur, and Meerut.10 During Sherwood’s residence in India she became involved in concerted attempts by Christians to spread the word in India. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century there had been growing calls in Evangelical circles to promulgate Christianity in a predominantly Hindu India. Despite the fact that it was forbidden by the East India Company to allow Britons to make active attempts to convert Indians until 1813, for fear that it would offend ‘native’ religious sensibilities, efforts by British Christians in India to spread the faith were underway, albeit covertly. Devout Protestants saw Britain’s imperial expansion within the subcontinent as providentially ordained and were thus keen to avail themselves of the opportunity to proselytise.11 The Evangelical reformist agenda gained significant leverage in terms of influencing East India Company policy when, in 1804, Charles Grant became one of its directors. Grant argued that the spreading of Christianity within India was in the Company’s commercial interests as it would make the indigenous peoples moral and obedient subjects, which would in turn render them easier to govern. Although this position was strongly contested by other members within the Court of Directors and the Company administration in India, who warned Protestant proselytising within the subcontinent would fuel the resentment of the ‘native’ population, Grant was able to use his position to push forward an Evangelical agenda.12 Grant recruited likeminded Christians such as Henry Martyn and Daniel Corrie as chaplains to minister to the spiritual needs of British soldiers stationed in India. Martyn and Corrie were convinced of the need to spread the word to Indians and to go beyond the official remit of their prescribed roles by proselytising to Indians.13 Furthermore, as Evangelicals, Martyn and Corrie were given a degree of freedom not granted to Dissenting and Baptist Christians, who were often scrutinised and reprimanded by the Company for engaging in similar activities. Their privileged position can be accounted for when one considers their affiliation to the Church of England, as well as their status as university-educated gentlemen.14 Mary Sherwood and her husband, Captain Henry Sherwood, regularly socialised and dined with Martyn and Corrie, during the period in which the couple were posted for a second time in Kanpur from 1808–11.15 Although efforts to convert Indians to Christianity were still officially forbidden by the Company, both these men made fairly overt attempts to spread the Christian gospel. Mary Sherwood herself bore witness to Martyn opening up his house in Kanpur every Sunday to a large assembly of Indian faqirs and yogis.16 All Indian attendees were given a pice17 to attend Martyn’s sermons in Hindustani.18 Furthermore, Martyn and Corrie were involved in translating the Bible into various indigenous languages, as well as Arabic and Persian, with the aid of Indian or Arab assistants.19 In addition, they mentored recently converted Indian Christians.20 Improvisational institution-building lay at the heart of both Martyn and Corrie’s efforts. Martyn’s garden shed was converted into a chapel where separate services would be conducted in English and Hindustani for British residents and locals respectively, and where Indian converts would be baptised.21 Both Martyn and Corrie established Hindustani schools for Indian boys who would be taught to read and write in their own languages.22 Mary Sherwood herself was responsible for establishing regimental schools in each of her husband’s postings in India, in which she would teach the children of British officers, many of whom were left orphans.23 When Corrie left his position in Kanpur he entrusted the Sherwoods with managing the Hindustani schools. At these schools Indian boys would be taught to read and write in their own languages.24 The aim of this was to subtly introduce the students to Christianity, given that suitably religious material was deployed in efforts to teach them to be literate and that the classes, which took place in their compound, were in the vicinity of Christian services. Christian schools such as this, created by missionaries, were symptomatic of broader efforts undertaken by missionaries and colonial reformers during this period, to wrestle power away from older forms of Indian pedagogy, which often involved an Indian Guru giving lessons outside to his students. It was, furthermore, intended to be a move away from indigenous oral rote learning to print-based learning, with the emphasis being placed on students’ ability to read as the main criteria for assessing their progress. Instilling literacy into Indian children was considered particularly important, as it was thought that the ability to read was a necessary pre-emptive step to co-opt Indians into a Protestant worldview, where the word was privileged over other forms of knowledge and spiritual experience.25 Later, when the Sherwoods were based at Meerut (1811–15), the couple drew on the template provided by Martyn and Corrie of improvising Christian institutions in one’s own home by constructing a makeshift church out of a small building in their compound.26 Separate services were held there for Indians and European Christians, with a Hindustani service being performed by Captain Henry Sherwood himself.27 The home of the Sherwoods was utilised as a hub of sorts for Bibles that had been translated into various Indian languages.28 Mary Sherwood disseminated translated Bibles to Indian notables out of the existing stock and was thus very much involved in the broader project of circulating Christian religious texts.29 Sherwood’s early Indian literary output evolved out of her experiences of being involved in pedagogical efforts and from penning suitably religious material for use within India. The author’s use of Hindustani vocabulary, in her subsequent Anglo-Indian catechetical and children’s fiction, developed from a pedagogical necessity to adapt biblical moral lessons within cultural idioms, with which mixed race and Anglo-Indian juveniles, living in India were familiar.30 The Indian Pilgrim was a collaborative effort between Henry Martyn, Daniel Corrie, and Mary Sherwood. Prior to their undertaking there had been initial attempts in 1810 by Evangelical missionary circles in Calcutta to translate John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1684) into Hindustani. Bunyan’s original narrative was a tale which took the form of a dream sequence where ‘Christian’, an everyman figure, takes a journey from his hometown, the city of destruction, to the celestial city. On his journey he has to overcome a series of spiritual difficulties and haranguers, allegorically depicted by the author, that tempt him to deviate from the true path of righteousness. The significance of Bunyan’s text was that it had become a key text in the nineteenth-century Anglican movement and was considered somewhat of a shadow Bible among Protestant Christians. It was, furthermore, used as pedagogical material in Sunday schools, providing guidance on how to attain spiritual salvation.31 Consequently, it is unsurprising that missionaries at this time thought that an Indian translation of this text would aid their efforts to make converts in the subcontinent. This group, however, abandoned the project after deciding the ‘plain speaking style’ of Bunyan was not adapted to Indian tastes.32 Corrie, whilst residing in Kanpur, later that very year conceived the idea of constructing an Indian Pilgrim’s Progress which would follow the same basic conception of Bunyan’s original text, in that it would chart an allegorical journey to Christian heaven. In contrast to the original, though, it would deploy Indian scenes, characters and style in a special effort to cater to the perceived aesthetic tastes of the indigenous population. The central protagonist of the narrative would have to bypass, on his journey to the eternal afterlife, the false doctrines of Hinduism and Islam, as well as the festivals and scenes associated with those religions. Corrie, having concluded that he did not have the literary flair to pen the narrative, appointed Mary Sherwood to be the author, with Corrie to criticise and direct its construction.33 Indeed, Sherwood describes herself as ‘under the eye’ of Corrie as she wrote.34 Martyn, a scholar who had published papers on Islam and who was fluent in Persian, advised on the ‘Mahomedan part of the story’, and also provided Sherwood with pieces that he had written on the subject.35 In this respect, The Indian Pilgrim is distinct from Sherwood’s other ‘India’ narratives in that she penned it with a disciplinary male gaze scrutinising its construction. It testifies to the perceived importance of this text that it was thought potentially as too important a tool within Evangelical outreach efforts in the subcontinent, that it be left to a woman writer to be solely responsible for its creation. Thus the two male religious ‘authorities’, Martyn and Corrie, felt obligated to ensure that it adhered to standards of scholarly fidelity and Evangelical Christian morality.36 Although The Indian Pilgrim was authored with the intention that it would be immediately translated and disseminated across the subcontinent, there arose several hindrances which postponed its distribution within India. The main factor was that whilst Sherwood’s shorter narratives, The Ayah and Lady and Little Henry and his Bearer, could be translated through the use of the Munshi (secretary) of her friend Mrs Hawkins, the convoluted plot, length and detailed theological debates embodied within The Indian Pilgrim meant that Corrie, who was overseeing this project, had to seek a more accomplished translator for this particular work.37 It is illuminating to chart the first attempt at securing a translation of The Indian Pilgrim. In 1811 Corrie managed to employ a Danishmand, an Islamic scholar, to translate the text into Hindustani.38 The scholar, according to Mary Sherwood’s diaries, was so pleased with the text’s denigration of Hinduism in the opening chapters that ‘he cried, “Wa! Wa! Wonderful! Wonderful!” and did his utmost to translate it in his best style’.39 There was, however, a debate between Corrie and Captain Sherwood as to the order in which they should have the chapters translated. Captain Sherwood thought that it was important that the Danishmand not be given immediately the task of translating the parts that denigrated Islam for fear that he would be offended and be reluctant to continue. Corrie insisted, though, that he should be given those parts next on the very grounds that the Muslim translator would be potentially Christianised. In the end, Captain Sherwood’s foreboding proved to be correct. The translator refused to continue the work and the project was temporarily abandoned.40 This was an instance of an Indian reading a religious Christian narrative in a way which was resistant to the manner in which its white Christian author and disseminators had hoped it would be received. There was, in this specific case, clearly a profound gap between authorial intentionality and actual reception. What is further evident is that Mary Sherwood, the primary author of the narrative, seems to have been marginalised as a decision maker when it came to deciding in what order the Muslim translator should translate the work. It was left to the male figures to decide amongst themselves this matter, with the eldest and most senior of them having the final say. After this initial failure to obtain a translation in an Indian language for The Indian Pilgrim in India, the work was first published in England by Houlston in 1818, as an English-language edition for a domestic audience. The work had to wait until 1821 for the first translation of the narrative in Tamil to be produced by an English missionary, and even then, due to the laboriousness of the task, this edition was translated and released in parts.41 From the 1820s onwards, however, there were active efforts undertaken by various missionary societies of different denominations based in India to produce translated editions of The Indian Pilgrim in Bengali, Telegu, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and Marathi for Indians in various regions across India.42 The drive behind producing translated editions of The Indian Pilgrim needs to be contextualised in relation to more funding being available to missionary societies and their proselytising activities during this period. Many of the churches, chapels, and parishes that were proliferating from the early to mid-nineteenth century in Britain had forged networks with missionary societies. Such religious institutions often circulated collection boxes at their congregations to sponsor missions abroad. Moreover, there were subscription lists to fund outreach activities, and by the mid-nineteenth century devout Christians even kept missionary boxes at their homes in which they and their family members would periodically insert money. The extensive financial resources available to support the translation and dissemination of catechetical texts such as The Indian Pilgrim within the subcontinent, is testified to by a Missionary Register report of 1850 regarding the printing operations of the Bombay Tract and Book Society alone. The report stated: Tracts printed in 1847 were 29,500, and 25,331 were distributed. The receipts of the Society were 1771 rupees, and the payments 1844 rupees. In 1848 there were 27,000 tracts printed and 30,700 tracts and books distributed. A supply of 70l. in books has been sent to them, with authority to devote one-half of the proceeds to the new Jubilee Translation Fund. Also a supply of books to the amount of 30 l. the proceeds to be applied to the publication of ‘The Indian Pilgrim’ in Mahratta …43 The number of volumes printed and distributed in 1847 and 1848 in the Bombay Tract and Book Society, and the profits generated, testify to the scale and intensity of Christian printing operations undertaken by such societies. It demonstrates that suitable Christian fiction such as Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim could rely on generous donations from religious societies back home to enable its translation and dissemination. Furthermore, it is indicative of the fact that whilst this particular narrative was originally expressive of a particular brand of early nineteenth-century Evangelical missionary Christianity, it was pushed later in the century by missionaries belonging to other denominations of Protestant Christianity. A key reason for the missionary drive on to translate Christian religious tales into indigenous languages within the subcontinent was the particularly Protestant universalistic belief that morally upright Christian texts could be successfully translated from one language to another, without losing their fundamental essence.44 Christian religious texts in the subcontinent were seen as invaluable contributions in the broader effort to Christianise Indians. The production, translation and dissemination of such narratives in India, were seen as essential given the shortage of European missionaries on the ground and the need to offset the rival printing of material which was being undertaken by indigenous religious organisations.45 In addition, narratives such as The Indian Pilgrim were deployed as appropriate pedagogical material that could be read out in class to Indian children at the Christian religious schools that were proliferating across the subcontinent.46 To understand why this particular text, though, was deemed to be appropriate pedagogical material for Indians, it is perhaps appropriate at this point, to engage in a closer examination of the narrative. The Indian Pilgrim adopts the form of a vision where the dreamer who falls asleep under ‘a pepul tree’ sees Goonah Purist in a city of sin. The city is prone to ‘noxious damps’ and ‘hurricanes’ with the implication that the harsh geographical conditions are directly a result of the region being forsaken by God.47 The inhabitants of this city are unconscious of being ‘abominable’.48 They engage in all sorts of ‘impious sacrifices and vile idolatries’ associated with Hinduism.49 Purist, the central protagonist, although a Brahmin man of wealth and note within his community, is mired in sin. This sin is physically manifested with the protagonist being ‘a leper from head to foot’.50 The Lord God Jehovah, however, makes him sensible to his sin and Purist consequently attempts to find remedies from various religious authorities. A Brahmin Pandit suggests he should engage in various acts of penance in order to cleanse himself. Purist, after observing such religious acts, becomes disillusioned when he notes his ailments have not diminished. Moreover, he is appalled when he sees images of Hindu gods engaged in all sorts of ‘barbarous’ practices. It is here that Sherwood recirculates all the common alleged offences that were attributed to Hinduism within nineteenth-century missionary propaganda, such as Hindu ascetics mutilating themselves in different ways to appease their Gods, and devotees throwing themselves under the wheels of the chariot, to appease the Lord Jagannath.51 Central to Sherwood’s critique of Hinduism is the denigration of a faith in which visual images and communal rituals are privileged over the word, in contradistinction to Protestantism. Indeed, the Hindu carnivalesque forms of religiosity expressed in festivals where devotees engage in ‘idolatrous dances’, consume ‘spirituous liquors’ and sing ‘abominable songs’ does not accord with Protestant ideas of sober worship and private self-reflection.52 Indeed, as Robert Yelle points out, Evangelicals and devout European Protestant observers often associated public chanting and unrestrained enthusiasm, which were displayed at such Hindu festivals, with devotees being possessed by the devil.53 Sherwood has a more problematic task in disparaging Islam when Muslim conquerors that have laid siege to the city seek to impose their religion upon Purist. In the narrative’s account of Islam, the author displays an awareness that Protestant Christianity and Islam share similar traits. Both are text-based and monotheistic religions which privilege a single authoritative written text over visual images. Sherwood’s catechetical tale is thus fraught with tension in that, whilst Islam is in the end denigrated, Purist’s familiarity with the faith, is a necessary first step on his journey to Christian salvation. His encounter with Islam is thus essential in terms of his later spiritual growth. It is through Purist’s interactions with Muslim preachers that he becomes convinced that there is one God and thus dispenses with idolatry and polytheism. His Muslim teachers move him away from a Hindu mode of religious experience known as darshan, which invests images and idols with symbolic power and cultivates a personal link between the devotee and idol, to a mode of spirituality which privileges the text. Similarly, Purist first becomes acquainted with the Judeo-Christian prophets in references to them in Islamic teachings. Islamic tradition thus serves as an access point to Christianity. It bridges the huge gap for Purist between Christianity and Hinduism, thus facilitating him moving closer to acceptance of Protestant Christianity. Furthermore, the narrative’s prefiguring of an Islamic invasion to that of the white Europeans within the narrative was itself a common trope in British eighteenth and early nineteenth-century histories, which framed India’s modern history as beginning with the Mughal invasion which then culminated in the allegedly superior British form of colonialism.54 Notwithstanding Sherwood’s representation of Islam’s superiority over Hinduism, Purist’s Muslim teachers provide no relief for his ailments. The good works and the ritualistic practices that the Muslims prescribe are insufficient, and Purist is left feeling that his sin is so great that only a perfect intermediary can plead on his behalf for salvation. At the heart of Sherwood’s critique of Islam is the religion’s privileging of practices over faith, which differs from Protestant Christianity, where belief itself is the cornerstone of the doctrine. Although Sherwood cannot denigrate Islam as a pagan religion, as was the case when the author represents Hinduism, she does undermine the doctrine by perpetuating stereotypes of Islam as a religion of despotism. Thus right from Purist’s initial encounter with the Muslim conquerors, they brandish ‘swords’ engraved with ‘the word persecution’.55 Purist’s undercutting of the Islamic position in debates, however, stems from attempts to prove that the New Testament is a more reliable text than the Quran. He argues that whilst the Jewish Old Testament foretells the coming of Christ, neither the New Testament or the Old Testament prophesises the coming of Muhammad, thus indicating that Muhammad is an imposter and the Quran is an illegitimate work. Purist thus employs comparative textual and historicist methods to debunk Islamic doctrine, which itself was reflective of a tradition within Western European Christian scholarship, dating back to the eighteenth century, of damning the Quran by finding misalignments with Judeo-Christian texts.56 It is revealing to examine the way that Purist, the Indian, is co-opted into using such a methodological approach. In effect an integral component of Purist’s Christianisation involves being trained to read and interpret texts, as well as to find a monolithic notion of truth from such sources. His spiritual development is thus predicated upon being lured into a Protestant text-based religious experience, whilst at the same time rejecting other forms of religious expression. The Indian Pilgrim is a narrative where the written text of the Bible takes centrality. Hence Purist is finally set on the path to salvation by a white Feringhee Christian messenger who carries a Bible in his hand and who can speak in Purist’s own language. The Feringhee Christian messenger, when directing Purist out of the City of Sin, hands him a Bible translated into the protagonist’s own language and so ‘that it might at once direct and comfort him through his journey’.57 Indeed, the Bible offers a defence for the obstacles that Purist faces in his journey to heaven. Through referring to memorised passages in the Bible, Purist can overcome his Catholic, Islamic and Brahmin adversaries who harangue him and seek to convert him to their respective faiths. Passages from the Bible are italicised, in contrast to the excerpts of religious texts belonging to other faiths, to indicate its supremacy. Furthermore, in moments of spiritual crisis, such as in the ‘pit of despair’, he can seek direction from its passages.58 As is the case with all of Sherwood’s catechetical tales, the Bible is the master-narrative from which Sherwood’s morally upright characters quote. Moreover, given that Purist is a cipher for a representative Indian, Purist’s memorisation of passages from the Bible, and his carrying of a Bible at all times upon his conversion to Christianity, are strategies advocated by the text to the inferred Indian reader to cope with similar spiritual threats. As Purist approaches the end of his journey to salvation, with a band of converted Christian pilgrims, the Indian imagery and scenes are displaced by Judeo-Christian biblical settings, with images of the hero ascending mountains with his shepherd guides. Purist, upon being baptised, is referred to in this later stage of the narrative as a Nazareenee, in accordance with nomenclature that is derived from the Old Testament.59 Moreover, when he finally crosses over from death to the land of Beulah in the afterlife, the superiority of Judeo-Christian scenes over oriental imagery is made explicit, with the narrator stating that the ‘roses of Sharon’ were ‘far more lovely than those which grow in the fields of Babur’ and the ‘grapes were more delicious than the grapes of schiras’.60 Thus, by the time the dreamer awakens from his vision of Purist and his allegorical journey to salvation, the narrative has been purged of its Indian content and the surfeit of discordant noise and images which Sherwood associates with the region.61 Indeed, the final lines of The Indian Pilgrim–in which the dreamer, upon awaking, informs his prospective readers that he was so affected by the dream that he ‘forsook’ his ‘father’s house’, ‘sold all that’ he ‘had’ and embarked upon a journey to the ‘city of living of God’– explicitly draws on key passages in the Bible.62 When considering that Sherwood’s intended audience was Indian, the aim behind finally displacing Indian images with Christian ones and aligning this narrative with the Bible was a pedagogical one. It was intended to gradually move Indian readers away from Indian motifs to biblical imagery—to overwrite an Indian world view with a Judeo-Christian mental landscape. It is interesting that the concluding passages of Sherwood’s narrative more closely resemble the ‘plain speaking style’ and scenes exhibited in Bunyan’s original narrative. This, in turn, suggests the narrative’s complicity in weening the Indian narrator, and the implied Indian reader, away from a perceived disposition to flowery oriental aesthetics, to a simpler anglicised Anglican worldview. In effect, The Indian Pilgrim is imbricated in an attempt to fundamentally readjust the worldview with what Marshall McLuhan would describe as the ‘ratio of senses’ of its Indian reader.63 It is European colonial intervention from the outside that provides invaluable assistance during Purist’s journey to salvation. The Christian messenger, very much like Sherwood’s friend Henry Martyn, is a Feringhee who is fluent in indigenous languages and disseminates translated Bibles.64 The text alludes to the importance of translating and circulating religious texts within missionary efforts to spread the word to the indigenous inhabitants. In this respect it is reflective of what Robert Yelle has described as the fundamental belief on the part of Evangelicals during this period: due to the plain unadorned truth inherent in the biblical revelation, the ‘underlying semantic content’ of the Bible could be translated with comparative ease from one language to another.65 In addition to the translation efforts of the messenger, it is significant that European Christian soldiers save Purist from being tortured by his fellow countrymen.66 European colonialism in India is scripted as a paternalistic rescue mission to enlighten Indians. The text is notable, though, for the absence of Indian interpreters, preachers and translators whom, in reality, the Protestant outreach efforts in India were very much reliant upon.67 The author’s exclusion of such figures seems all the more striking given her dependence on them in her own proselytising efforts, as well as her awareness of the importance of Indian translators in both Martyn and Corrie’s translation efforts. It seems that the narrative’s function of instil Indians with a sense of their supposed dependence on white feringhees for their spiritual guidance is privileged over the realities on the ground. Indeed, Sherwood relied heavily on a young Indian Christian convert, called Permanand, who taught at one of the author’s schools and gave the Christian service in Hindustani at the Sherwoods makeshift church for Indians. She gave credit in her journals to Permanand for constructing Indian-style hymns which attracted Indians to the ‘Indian’ services held at the Sherwood compound and for the energies he invested as a school teacher at her school.68 Contrary to what Sherwood portrays in The Indian Pilgrim, translation often involved missionaries in a second language collaborating with indigenous scholars working in their ‘mother’ tongue. Translation thus necessitated a level of negotiation between the white missionary and the ‘native’, with the feringhee proselytiser recognising, to some extent, dependence on local indigenous assistants.69 Occasionally–as was later the case with Hari John, a native assistant of the Mirzapore Mission who completed a translation of Sherwood’s narrative in 1844–Indians could be free to pursue a translation with relatively little interference from a white European missionary.70 In addition, in any translation the end product would most likely have differed significantly from the original text. In addition to the absence of Indian translators within The Indian Pilgrim, there is no social mobility for the Indian characters represented in the narrative. This fictional portrayal thus departed from the socio-historical reality where low-caste or outcastes Hindus, in an attempt to escape their marginalised position within the social hierarchy, were often more likely than high caste Hindus to convert to Christianity. Indeed, Purist’s conversion comes with no rise in his social status. In fact, Purist’s conversion is associated with a diminishing of his standing, given that it entails relinquishing his wealth and influence within his own community. It is worth noting that, by the very fact that Purist is primarily identified as the ‘Indian Pilgrim’ in the title of the work, he functions as a cipher for a representative Indian. It is thus implied that the methods employed to Christianise and reform this fictional individual in the narrative can be applied on a mass level within the subcontinent, and that Indian readers should identify with the central protagonist. When situated in this context, the denouements of these narratives clearly attempt to reconcile Indians to their subordinate social status, with Christian morality being discursively employed to reinforce the colonial power dynamic. It is interesting to examine the few sources which document how Indians may have responded to this narrative alongside Sherwood’s intention to convert Indians and to keep them reconciled to their place. An examination of the missionary records of the mid-nineteenth century document the dissemination of a wide variety of Christian religious texts within the subcontinent. In addition to catechetical narratives being disseminated at missionary schools for Indians and churches, major efforts were made by missionaries to disseminate this material at indigenous religious festivals, temples, mosques, villages and towns where they would most likely directly confront the customs and beliefs of the indigenous inhabitants.71 There are reports authored by North American or European preachers who document being approached by Indians who had been introduced to Christianity through translations of catechetical narratives, which included The Indian Pilgrim. Reverend Mr Winslow reports that he came into contact with three Indians who had become interested in Christianity after reading various catechetical works which had been distributed ‘at a fair or festival at a heathen temple’. According to Winslow one was led to reflection by ‘Schwartz’s Dialogues’, another by reading The Indian Pilgrim, a third by a leaf of a Bible on which he saw some practical exposition in the life of a native Christian, and still another by the Gospel of John. He adds: ‘What these men knew, were almost entirely derived from books. They had never seen a missionary except once, and that some five or six years before.’72 Catechists often specially targeted Christian schools for Indian boys and girls when distributing religious tracts, where they gave out free or reduced price translated copies, to school teachers or the occasional Indian students.73 There are reports by missionaries in India that testified to the use of The Indian Pilgrim in a classroom setting. It was used as a text book and read out aloud by the class for the purposes of inculcating these children with Christian values. The fact that this narrative quoted excerpts from key passages of the Bible enabled it to be adapted for such pedagogical purposes. The missionaries on the ground reported the efficacy of catechetical narratives, such as Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim, to turn ‘heathen’ Indians to Christianity. For instance, Mr Reverend Rheinus reported an incident at a seminary in South India, where a particular Indian student kept falling asleep during religious lessons. After reading a translated version of The Indian Pilgrim, according to Rheinus, he became conscious of his sinfulness and decides to be a devout Christian. Similarly in Palamcottah, in the Madras Presidency, Rheinus reports of a ‘Soodra man’ who requested to be received into his Church after being convinced of Christian doctrine upon reading a translated copy of Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim.74 Likewise, there is a report of an Indian man who was inspired to become a preacher after reading a translated copy of one of Sherwood’s ‘Indian’ catechetical ‘tales’.75 It is worth recognising that missionary reports testifying to the efficacy of The Indian Pilgrim in converting Indians need to be treated with a degree of scepticism given that these reports where authored by individuals justifying their own efforts in the field and seeking more funding for their proselytising endeavours. A more critical interrogation of these sources also suggests that Indians read this narrative for reasons other than a simple case of just being convinced by the tenets of Christianity. Indeed, a closer examination of these sources reveals the extent to which Indians could, in certain ways, unintentionally circumnavigate the coercive ideological aims that were imbricated in the authorship and initial distribution of The Indian Pilgrim. It further demonstrates the agency of Indians when selecting these stories. For instance, there are several missionary accounts which document Indians who, upon reading these two texts, decided to embark on activities which may have led to social mobility in some form. There is the narrative of the Shudra man who applies to be accepted into the Church. Furthermore, we have Reverend Winslow’s account of three Indian men who, upon reading translated religious tracts, decided to establish their own group, and the account of the Indian preacher who was inspired to pursue this vocation after reading Sherwood’s narratives. When viewed in context, the Shudra man’s conversion to Christianity would presumably lead to some sort of escape from his relegation in Hindu caste-related discourse. In the latter two examples, what is notable is the capacity of Sherwood’s narratives to inspire Indians to undertake various socially aspirational activities, whether to establish a social network to discuss Christianity, or to gain a position of influence as a preacher. It also seems likely that three Indian men who confront Reverend Winslow have not been converted to Christianity, but are discussing The Indian Pilgrim and other Christian catechetical narratives alongside indigenous religious reading materials. This seems likely as these texts were, after all, first presented to them at a Hindu religious festival. The Indian Pilgrim emerged out of Mary Sherwood’s involvement in evangelical Christian outreach activities in India. An examination of the text and the circumstances of its production usefully illuminates the particular predicament of the Evangelicals in colonial India in the early nineteenth century, as well as offering an insight into how they viewed the religions of the indigenous inhabitants. It thus demonstrates the ways in which Hinduism was viewed by Evangelicals as a barbaric and pagan religion whose adherents were fanatically enthused. It reveals the ambivalent stance that Evangelicals in the early nineteenth century could adopt towards Islam, a doctrine which is presented as sharing similar belief structures to Protestant Christianity. The narrative is significant for further highlighting that circumstances on the ground may have persuaded certain Evangelicals in India such as Sherwood, Martyn and Corrie, of the value of Islam as a gateway religion which allowed access to Protestant Christianity for Indian ‘heathens’. Yet the significance of The Indian Pilgrim lies in it being an instrument that was specifically designed to instantiate a transformation in the very mentalities of ‘heathens’, by displacing Hindu forms of religiosity and mental landscapes with Judeo-Christian text-based religious experience and imagery. The Indian Pilgrim’s plot devices, structure and imagery were all assembled to make fundamental readjustments to the worldview and mindsets of the Hindu and, to a lesser extent, the Muslim indigenous population. When one considers this point, it paves the way for re-examining the way in which colonial catechetical narratives have hitherto been examined by postcolonial literary scholars who have, more often than not, examined narratives such as these as sites for exploring issues of ambivalence and hybridity, without first coming to an understanding of the machinations and cultural specificity of this particular genre. Indeed, investigations concerning the discrepancy between the intended authority that these English texts were supposed to exert in the ‘contact zone’, and their actual ambivalent presence and reception by the Indian readers, can only be enhanced by a more nuanced understanding of the authorial intentions behind the construction of these colonial catechetical narratives and the actual conditions in which they were produced.76 With this in mind, a close examination of the few missionary reports available which document Indians responses to this text serves to highlight a disjunction. The disjunction occurred between the proselytisers, who authored and disseminated such a narrative to fashion an ideal obedient Evangelical subject, with the ways it was actually received by real-life Indians. It is significant that in Sherwood’s The Indian Pilgrim the Indian character does not become a proselytiser who converts other Indians. Furthermore, his conversion to Christianity does not lead to social advancement or autonomy. It is thus surprising to note the capacity of these tales to instantiate such aspirational responses from real-life readers. It leads one to question whether these indigenous readers, when reading these tales, were identifying with the Indian protagonists, or with the empowered white European characters that were given the capability to lead sinners to salvation. Did reading these texts motivate the colonial subjects to mimic their masters? If, as their responses would suggest, they identified with the white empowered sahibs or memsahibs, then they read in a fashion that contravened Sherwood’s plot resolutions, which reconciled the Indian characters to her/his subordinate position within the coloniser/colonised power dynamic and to her/his dependency on white feringhees. Moreover, the three Indian men’s reading and discussion of The Indian Pilgrim was most likely undertaken within a syncretic framework that absorbed this Christian text alongside indigenous religious teachings. If this was the case, then it demonstrates the failure of Sherwood, Martyn and Corrie, who constructed this text with the purpose of overwriting a Hindu worldview with a Christian one. references Footnotes 1 Mary Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim; or, the Progress of Pilgrim Nazareenee (formerly called Goonah Purist, or the Slave of Sin) from the City of Wrath of God to the City of Mount Zion (Second Edition) (Wellington, Salop: Houlston, 1818), p. 211. 2 My quotation marks. 3 Joyce Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers: Mary Sherwood’s Indian Experience and “Construction of Subordinate Others”’, in ‘Being Global From the Age of Enlightenment to the Age of Information’, South Atlantic Review 66.2 (2001) 14–44, p. 16. 4 See Dora Rossman Regaignon, ‘Intimacy’s Empire: Children, Servants, and Missionaries in Mary Martha Sherwood’s “Little Henry and his Bearer”’, in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 26.2 (Summer 2001) 84–95. Also Supriya Goswami, Colonial India in Children’s Literature (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 15–46. 5 Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers’, p. 36. Also Nandini Bhattacharya, Reading the Splendid Body: Gender and Consumerism in Eighteenth Century British Writing on India (London: Associated University Press, 1998), pp. 145–7. 6 Ashok Malhotra, Making British Indian Fictions, 1772–1823 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 132. 7 My quotation marks. 8 Homi K. Bhabha has noted, in his article ‘Signs Taken for Wonders’ that even though the English text was supposed to be a sign of English cultural authority in the subcontinent, Indians had the capacity to appropriate the English text to a certain extent autonomously from the matrices of the hegemonic power relations that were the initial driving force behind the colonial text’s dissemination and production within India. See Homi K. Bhabha, ‘Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence under a Tree outside Delhi, May 1817’, in ‘Race Writing and Difference’, Critical Inquiry 12.1 (Autumn 1985) 144–65. 9 Grossman, ‘Ayah, Dhayes and Bearers’, p. 15. 10 Ibid., p. 17. 11 Jeffrey Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 (New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 18. Sherwood also subscribed to this view. She stated in her journals that she ‘assuredly believed—that the labours of missionaries’ were destined to result in ‘the glorious future state of the world spoken of in prophecy’. See Sherwood Family Papers 1437 box 3 1818–25, p. 116. The Sherwood Family Papers, held in the Charles Young Library at UCLA, Los Angeles, holds the correspondence, journals and important documents of the Sherwood Family, beginning with Mary Sherwood and then her children. 12 Andrea Major, Pious Flames: European Encounters with Sati, 1500–1800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 112–13. Senior figures within the Company such as William Elphinstone, Robert Dundas and Lord Minto were anxious, especially in the wake of the Vellore Mutiny of 1806, that missionary proselytising would exacerbate resentment from the indigenous population. See Penelope Carson, The East India Company and Religion, 1698–1858 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2012), pp. 70–4. My quotation marks. 13 Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise, pp. 87–90. 14 Carson, The East India Company and Religion, p. 105. 15 Mary Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood (Chiefly Autobiographical) with Extracts from Mrs Sherwood’s Journal during his Imprisonment in France & Residence in India (edited by her daughter Sophia Kelley) (London: Darton & Co., 1854), p. 390. 16 A Faqir is a Muslim Ascetic and a Yogi is a Hindu religious ascetic. 17 A pice is a small denomination of Indian money. 18 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1808–1811, pp. 438–42. 19 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 421 and p. 429. 20 Ibid., p. 340 and pp. 438–9. 21 Ibid., p. 377. 22 Ibid., p. 376. 23 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, pp. 303, 434 and 475. 24 Ibid., pp. 438–9. Italics in quotation. 25 Isabel Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), p. 13. 26 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, pp. 376–7. 27 Ibid., p. 447. 28 Ibid., p. 446. 29 Ibid., p. 447. 30 I use Anglo-Indian in the nineteenth century sense to denote a Briton residing in India. 31 Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan, p. 1. 32 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1810, p. 480. 33 Ibid., pp. 480–1. 34 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 421. 35 Ibid. 36 My quotation marks. 37 Ibid., p. 429. A Munshi is an Indian secretary. 38 Sherwood Family Papers Collection 1437 box 2 1808–11, pp. 480–1, 522 and 553. 39 Ibid., p. 553. 40 Sherwood, Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 429. 41 India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Saturday, 1 December 1821, p. 13. 42 The Baptist Missionaries at Serampore first produced a Bengali edition of The Indian Pilgrim in 1822. In 1834 and 1853, The Calcutta Tract and Book Society produced their Bengali versions of the text. In their second edition of the narrative 1,500 copies of the Bengali translation were printed. The American Presbyterian Mission in Allahabad produced 2,000 copies of The Indian Pilgrim in Hindi. The American Presbyterian Mission in Ludhiana printed 5,000 copies in Romanised Urdu. The Bombay Tract and Book Society produced 2,000 copies of The Indian Pilgrim in Marathi in 1841. The Madras Tract and Book Society published a Tamil translation which was released in two parts (1825–61). This society further produced a Telegu version of the text in 1830. See John Murdoch (ed.), Catalogue of the Christian Vernacular Literature of India: with Hints on the Management of Indian Tract Societies (Madras: Caleb Foster, 1870), pp. 7, 20, 54, 77, 116, 149, 157 and 237. 43 India within the Ganges, Missionary Register (London, England), Friday, 1 March 1850, p. 126. 44 Hofmeyr, The Portable Bunyan, p. 13. 45 Reverend Winslow, a Madras-based missionary, stated that that ‘the printed page’ in ‘India, where the number of preachers is so few, and the multitudes to be taught, are so great’ is ‘almost an indispensable aid to the minister, and where there is no minister, may even to some extent supply his place’. The East Indies, The Christian Spectator, and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. Similarly, The Calcutta Christian Tract and Book Society, in a letter to the Friend of India, stated that they ‘have long felt the necessity for providing a vernacular Christian Literature for the use of the native Christians’. They society argued, ‘it is not, desirable that converts to Christianity should keep up much acquaintance with the literature of their own country, connected as it is so closely with the errors and abominations of Hinduism. But it is desirable that for those works others should be substituted, of purer and healthier tone …’. See Original Correspondence, The Friend of India (Calcutta, India) Thursday, 11 April 1850, issue 797, p. 232. Italics are in the original quotation. 46 Cox, The British Missionary Enterprise, p. 96. 47 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 1. The italics are in the original text. 48 Ibid., p. 2. 49 Ibid., p. 4. 50 Ibid., p. 6. 51 Susan Thorne, Congregational Missions and the Making of Imperial Culture in Nineteenth-Century England (Redwood, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp. 5–7. 52 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 21. 53 Robert Yelle, Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 104. 54 P.J. Marshall and Glyndwer Williams, The Great Map of Mankind: British Perceptions of the World in the Age of Enlightenment (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1982), pp. 159–62. 55 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 24. 56 Mohammed Sharafuddin, Islam and Romantic Orientalism Literary Encounters with the Orient (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994), pp. xv–xxix. 57 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 62. 58 Ibid., pp. 126 and 165. 59 That the Indian convert should have to change his name, or indeed his dietary habits, as Purist does in the narrative, seems to be an ardent Evangelical position. Indeed, Baptists missionaries such as William Carey did not believe it was necessary for Indian converts to change their names, dietary habits or dress. Moreover, it is likely that many Evangelicals operating in India realised that the realities on the ground necessitated compromise on these matters. Bill Bell, ‘Signs Taken for Wonders: An Anecdotal History’, in New Literary History, 43.2 (Spring 2012) 309–29, p. 314. 60 Ibid., p. 207. 61 Indeed, Robert Yelle argues Evangelical discourse often metaphorically equated India and its associated languages, mythologies and diversity with a confusing jungle that needed to be cleared and demarcated. See Yelle, Language of Disenchantment, pp. 79 and 98. 62 Sherwood, The Indian Pilgrim, p. 211. See Psalms 45:10, Matthew 13:44 and Hebrews 12:22, King James Version. 63 Marshall McLuhan proposes in The Gutenberg Galaxy that the introduction of print technology was implicated in altering individuals’ ratio of senses when processing information pertaining to their surrounding environment and helped shift cultures from privileging auditory to privileging visual stimuli. Whilst McLuhan, I would argue, veers towards to generalisation and overstatement regarding the capacity of print technology to actually transform mentalities and societies, his thesis is helpful when coming to terms with the ways in which a written text such as The Indian Pilgrim fundamentally aimed to readjust the conceptual frameworks and modes of perception of its intended Indian audience. See Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: the Making of Typographic Man (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), pp. 18–21. 64 A feringhee is a Hindustani term for a foreigner. 65 Yelle, Language of Disenchantment, p. 37. 66 In reality, missionaries in the field often complained that the Company did not do enough to protect Christian converts from discrimination and attacks from fellow Indians. See Carson, The East India Company and Religion, p. 175. 67 Indeed, the lion’s share of conversion in India was carried out by indigenous preachers in the frontier zones of the British colonial presence within the subcontinent. See Robert Frykenberg, ‘Christian Missions and the Raj’, in Norman Etherington (ed.), Missions and Empire: The Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 107–31, p. 117. 68 Sherwood, The Life of Mrs Sherwood, p. 466. 69 In addition to Mrs Hawkins’ munshi being involved in translating Sherwood’s texts, missionary reports document a Mirza Yusuf Bahir, under the guidance of Rev. G.W. Crauford in Allahabad, revising and correcting a translation of The Indian Pilgrim by Lieutenant Candy into Hindustani for the Church Missionary Society. See India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Saturday, 1 January 1831, p. 51. A report states that the Religious Tract Association, which disseminated Tamil translations of The Indian Pilgrim, had 14 Indian workmen involved in the printing of Christian religious material translated into Tamil. See Survey of the Protestant Missionary Stations throughout the World. Missionary Register (London, England), Tuesday, 1 February 1825, p. 57. 70 Hari John completed a Hindi translation of The Indian Pilgrim, which was then revised by Mr Warren only ‘to correct errors caused by the translator’s imperfect acquaintance with peculiar English idioms’. Yet according to The Missionary Chronicle the ‘general style of the work’ was ‘left untouched’ by Warren. See The Missionary Chronicle: Containing the Proceeding of the Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions of the Presbyterian Church (New York, USA), June 1845, vol. 1, issue 6, p. 88. 71 Esme Cleall, Missionary Discourses of Difference: Negotiating Otherness in the British Empire (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 17, DOI: 10.1057/9781137032393 and The East Indies: The Christian Spectator, and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. 72 See The East Indies, The Christian Spectator and Record of the Religious Tract Society (London, England), Wednesday, 18 September 1850, issue 107, p. 559. 73 This was the case for Sherwood’s other translated narratives. For instance, a missionary visiting various mission stations in Surat documents giving two Indian schoolgirls a Gujarati translation of Sherwood’s Little Henry and his Bearer. See Foreign Mission, R. Montgomery. The Missionary Herald of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (Belfast, Ireland), Wednesday, 1 June 1853, issue CXXVI, p. 2057; Also, in the Fifth Report of the Gujarat Auxillary Missionary states how Rev. W. Fyvie gave away religious tracts, which included The Ayah and Lady at ‘native’ schools in Gujarat. See Missionary Intelligence, The Friend of India (Calcutta, India), Thursday, 5 March 1835, issue 10, p. 77. 74 A ‘Soodra’, or Shudra, is someone who belongs to lowest Varna in the Hindu caste system. India within the Ganges. Missionary Register (London, England), Thursday, 1 November 1827, p. 542. 75 Autobiography of a Native Evangelist, Thomas Aveling. Ram Chondro Khelloa. The Missionary Magazine and Chronicle (London, England), Wednesday, 1 October 1845, p. 153. 76 My quotation marks. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press 2017; all rights reserved. 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