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This book breaks new ground in perceiving the interrelations among class, caste, religious and gender identities to grasp the complex notion of ideal womanhood in the nineteenth century. In her careful discussion on caste and gender, the author reveals the strategically veiled relationships between caste and women, ‘within which women of all strata were arguably locked’. Questioning the pre-modern and ‘traditional’ perceptions of Indian societies in which the members of society are generally characterized as unreasoning followers of ideologies, this book analyses the different historical forces that have shaped the notion of ideal womanhood and gendered social relations in a constantly shifting caste-based social order.
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