London and Calcutta: Longman & Co and Newman & Co, 1867. First edition. Original printed wraps with adverts to rear verso. Measuring 210 x 130mm and complete in 92 pages. A delicate piece, with loss to upper spine and near foot; wraps somewhat soiled, but internally a fresh copy. Scarce institutionally and in trade, OCLC reports only five copies (three of these in the U.S.).
[accompanied by] Pretmadun, Atmaran et. al. Gratifying Presentation to Miss Mary Carpenter. Offprint from the Bristol Daily Post (Jan. 13, 1871): complete in one sheet printed recto and verso. Measuring 215 x 130mm and very nearly Fine, with faint offsetting to recto; adhered to a mounting sheet with cloth tape along the left edge. Unrecorded by OCLC.
[with] One page Autograph Letter Signed to Miss Mark and dated July 25, 1874 on National Indian Association letterhead regarding copies of the Indian Journal, its prospectus and related pamphlets. In excellent and legible condition, with evidence of prior mounting to verso.
Best known as an education and juvenile justice reformer whose work centered on expanding women's rights, Mary Carpenter began her work in England. Drawing on her family's Puritan convictions and the liberal education provided by her father, she advocated for girls' increased access to rigorous school curricula and for rehabilitation over retribution for young offenders. Her desire to address the social and economic roots of inequality shaped her career.
This commitment to universal equality led her to consider women's situations in other parts of Great Britain beyond England. Through Raja Ram Mohan Roy's visit to Bristol and his stay with her family, she became aware of India's "socio-religious problems, especially of destitute children, which resulted in her taking keen interest in the regeneration of India" (Ganachari). Traveling to India in the 1860s and 1870s, "her record of social and humanitarian work, and her genuine concern for the people of India" allowed her to become a respected colleague of Western Indian reformers; alongside Dr. Bhau Daji Lad, Dr. Atmaram Pandurang and others, she contributed to the "establishment of a Female Normal School for the training of female teachers, reformatory and indistrial schools for juvenile delinquents, and prison reforms" (Ganachiri).
Her efforts in India are documented in all three of the included works, which include several of her important lectures during the period, responses to her work, and her continued efforts in England to generate support from other women activists. These pieces also give insight into the complex results of projects informed by good intentions but tinged by the larger imperialist framework in which they exist. "Imbued with liberal, anti-racist attitudes, she was drawn to India particularly because of gender interests...In England, she eagerly publicized her experiences and strove, with some success, to achieve her interpretation of what Indian reformers desired" (Watts). Carpenter's work certainly took Indian perspectives into account but would never fully be free from "cultural imperialism and class attitudes -- her own ethnicity as a white Englishwoman" and its associated privileges above all (Watts). (Item #5235)