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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2014

Sukanya Banerjee*
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1838–94) is widely recognized as one of the preeminent novelists of nineteenth-century India. A literary forerunner of the much-celebrated Rabindranath Tagore, he authored fourteen Bengali novels which set the benchmark for Bengal's foray into novelistic territory. Bankim acquired national and international repute over the course of his lifetime, and not only were his novels translated into other Indian languages over the course of the nineteenth century, but translations of his work also appeared in Russia from as early as the 1870s (Novikova ii). While Bankim's fame rests on the strength of his Bengali writings multiply translated as they were, his first novel, Rajmohan's Wife (1864), was written in English. Interestingly, Rajmohan's Wife, usually considered the first Indian novel in English, is now seldom read, a neglect replicating the scant attention that the novel garnered when it was first serialized in the 1860s.

Research Article
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