Cornelia Sorabji: Indias Pioneering Woman Lawyer

Hardcover | September 30, 2006

bySuparna Gooptu

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Cornelia Sorabji (1866-1954) was the first woman lawyer of India whose formative years coincided with the high noon of the British Empire. She occupies a significant place in Indian history, as she played a pioneering role in trying to open up the legal profession to women much before theywere formally allowed to plead before the courts of law. This detailed biography uses rich and hitherto unused data to illustrate a remarkable individual, who has remained neglected in the historiography of modern India. Sorabji's opposition to Indian nationalism in the Gandhian era led to adisapproval of her role and personality. Yet this Parsee and the daughter of a convert to Christianity was the first woman to study law at Oxford, the first Indian woman to be allowed to practise in the Calcutta High Court, became the first woman to be appointed to a senior bureaucratic office underthe colonial government, and the first person to champion the cause of Indian women in purdah who owned property. Sorabji's life is has been shown as reflecting the dilemmas of a colonial subject who, in trying to negotiate her dual subjectivity to colonialism and patriarchy, was left with verylittle neutral space to operate upon. This book relates Sorabji's life to the complexities of gender issues in colonial India, and will be of equal interest to general and specialist readers.

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Cornelia Sorabji (1866-1954) was the first woman lawyer of India whose formative years coincided with the high noon of the British Empire. She occupies a significant place in Indian history, as she played a pioneering role in trying to open up the legal profession to women much before theywere formally allowed to plead before the court...

Dr. Suparna Gooptu is a Reader in the Department of History at the University of Calcutta. She is also the Director of Calcutta Universitys Gandhian Studies Centre.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 8.46 × 5.51 × 0.75 inPublished:September 30, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195678346

ISBN - 13:9780195678345

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"...an extremely important contribution to the history of modern India and gender history. This biography of a pioneer unfolds the unavoidable tragedy of an exceptional life. Fighting patriarchy and opposed to the main strand of Indian nationalism, this...woman lawyer of India struggled in ahostile world to fight for the legal rights of purdah ladies. [This] beautifully writtten study reveals the bitterness of her struggle and establishes her...as an uncompromising champion of women's rights." --Tapan Raychaudhuri, Emeritus Fellow,St. Antony's College, Oxford