Western Daughters in Eastern Lands: British Missionary Women in Asia

Western Daughters in Eastern Lands: British Missionary Women in Asia

Western Daughters in Eastern Lands: British Missionary Women in Asia

Western Daughters in Eastern Lands: British Missionary Women in Asia

Synopsis

This book provides a compelling narrative history of the experiences and achievements of female British missionaries in China, India, and Africa during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century-the first such account available.

Excerpt

In 1931, Sister Gladys Stephenson, a Wesleyan Methodist missionary in central China, had been temporarily drafted in to supervise emergency hospitals set up after the dreadful Yangtse floods of 1931. She recorded in her memoirs the lines above penned by a grateful father. The sentiments confirmed Stephenson’s elevated view of her calling, purpose, and status. In another country and decade, the more humble-minded Annie Small agonized that the Christian religion she represented “was so obviously remote from any concern, need or desire of these dear people with whom otherwise I had become most happily intimate.” These brief extracts provide contrasting insights into an ambitious and complex undertaking that, supported by ardent networks of women at home, propelled many hundreds of British women eastward, participants in a unique venture of Christian womanhood.

Comparatively little has appeared in recent years about the history of an enterprise that mobilized “the largest mass movement of women in Britain in the nineteenth century.” By contrast, a proliferation of works published about the North . . .

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