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The Missionary 

The Missionary

An Indian Tale

Written by: Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)
Edited by: Julia M. Wright

Series: Broadview Editions
1st Edition

Publication Date: February 05, 2002
337pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781551112633 / 1551112639
Volume: 0

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Set in seventeenth-century India, The Missionary focuses on the relationship between Hilarion, a Portuguese missionary to India, and Luxima, an Indian prophetess. Both are aristocratic, devoted to their religions, bound by vows of chastity, and begin the novel biased against other cultures. This Broadview Literary Texts edition also includes extensive primary source appendices that situate the novel in relation to Irish, Portuguese and Indian history, as well as to the literature of sensibility and travel writing.


“Lady Morgan's The Missionary is a haunting tale of cultural encounter and trans-racial romance set in early colonial India, whose tragic conclusion casts a sceptical light on the seemingly triumphant march of European imperialism. Morgan's heroine Luxima exerted such a powerful effect on the imagination of the young Percy Shelley that he wrote ‘since I have read this book I have read no otherbut I have thought strangely.' In this splendid, extensively-documented edition, Julia Wright locates the novel in the historical context of British imperial consolidation in India, as well as in Morgan's native Ireland in the aftermath of the Act of Union. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Romantic Orientalism, Ireland, and the development of the early nineteenth-century novel.” - Nigel Leask, Queens' College, University of Cambridge

“Not readily available until now, Sydney Owenson's remarkable novel is given new life in this excellent edition. Set in the turbulent years of Spanish-Portuguese conflict in India, The Missionary is a devastating commentary on the pernicious effects of European colonialism and religious intolerance. Wright's introduction expertly establishes the novel's parallel meanings for Ireland and India under British rule. The supplementary historical and literary materials are comprehensive and well-selected, providing invaluable insight into the broad themes of The Missionary. Readers will welcome the timely publication of this extraordinary novel.” - Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University

Julia M. Wright is Canada Research Chair in English at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has written widely on Romantic literature and is the editor (with Tilottama Rajan) of Romanticism, History, and the Possibilities of Genre: Re-forming Literature, 1789-1837.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

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Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Missionary: An Indian Tale

Explanatory Notes

Appendix A: Imperial Administration and Religious Difference

1. From François Bernier, Bernier's Voyage to the East Indies (1671-72)

2. From Alexander Dow, "A Dissertation concerning the Customs, Manners, Language, Religion, and Philosophy of the Hindoos" (1768)

3. From Alexander Dow, "Dissertation on the Origin of Despotism in Indostan" (1772)

4. From [Quintin Craufurd], Sketches Chiefly Relating to the History, Religion, Learning, and Manners of the Hindoos (1790)

5. From Sir William Jones, Preface to Institutes of Hindu Law: Or, the Ordinances of Menu (1796)

6. From Sydney Owenson, Patriotic Sketches of Ireland (1807)

7. "Extract from the Minutes of the Court of Directors" (1809)

8. From J. J. Stockdale, Preface to The History of the Inquisitions (1810)

9. From Charles Grant, Observations, On the State of Society Among the Asiatic Subjects of Great Britain (1813)

10. From James Mill, History of British India (1817)

11. From rev. of Dramatic Scenes from Real Life, by Lady Morgan, and "Illustrations of the State of Ireland" (1833)

12. From George Salmon, The Indian Mutiny and Missions: A Sermon (1857)

Appendix B: Reviews of and Responses to Owenson's Writing

1. From rev. of Woman: Or, Ida of Athens, by Sydney Owenson (1809)

2. From rev. of The Daughters of Isenberg: A Bavarian Romance, by Alicia Tindal Palmer (1810)

3. Rev. of The Missionary, by Sydney Owenson, in British Critic (1811)

4. From rev. of The Missionary, by Sydney Owenson, in Critical Review (1811)

5. From rev. of France, by Lady Morgan (1817)

6. "Glorvina's Warning" (1819)

7. From rev. of The Life and Times of Salvator Rosa, by Lady Morgan (1824)

8. From rev. of Dramatic Scenes from Real Life, by Lady Morgan, and "Illustrations of the State of Ireland" (1833)

9. From Henry F. Chorley, "Lady Morgan" (1838)

10. Rev. of Luxima, the Prophetess: A Tale of India, by Lady Morgan (1859)

Appendix C: A Selection from Owenson's Poems (1801) and The Lay of an Irish Harp (1807)

1. "The Lyre"

2. "Sonnet"

3. "The Sigh"

4. "Retrospection"

5. "Fragment I: The Irish Harp"

6. "Fragment III: To Mrs. Lefanue"

7. "Fragment X: The Boudoir"

8. "Fragment XXIV: To him who said, 'You live only for the World'"

9. "Fragment XXX: The Minstrel Boy"

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The Missionary

2002 • 337pp • Paperback • 9781551112633 / 1551112639

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.