'Sharply observed, snappily written and thoroughly researched, She-Merchants provides a fabulous panorama of a largely ignored area of social history. Katie Hickman successfully challenges the stereotype of the snobbish, matron-like memsahib by deploying a riveting gallery of powerful and often eccentric women ranging from stowaways and runaways through courtesans and society beauties to Generals' feisty wives and Viceroys' waspish sisters. It is full of surprises and new material and completely engaging from beginning to end' - William Dalrymple
'Thrilling tales of some of our wild colonial women... There have been other studies of the British memsahibs but none so focused on the adventurous and unconventional, and none more conscientiously researched, historically sound and compelling written. An excellent book' Evening Standard
The first British women to set foot in India in the early 17th century, were not the languid memsahibs of popular imagination, these women were tough adventurers. their voyages daring leaps into the unknown. They went to find husbands, and to re-invent themselves, finding work as traders, doctors, geologists, teachers, shopkeepers, actors, and more. In this lively and entertaining account, Katie Hickman, bestselling author of Courtesans and Daughters of Britannia, reveals the astonishing lives of the extraordinarily bold, and often eccentric, women who crossed the sea and changed history.