In historical fiction, India has always been a land of mystery and enchantment for travelers from all around the world. The rich flora and fauna, the exotic palaces of the maharajas, the vibrant culture, and the flavorful cuisine have attracted visitors for centuries. Among the many travelers who visited India were British merchants, who came to establish trade relationships between England and India. Their travel accounts are a treasure trove of information about the conditions of India during the Regency era. In this blog post, we'll explore the detailed travel accounts of British merchants in India and discover what they saw, tasted, and experienced which includes some of my research for Ben's journey to India from In Just A Year.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the travel accounts of British merchants is their detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna of India. They marvel at the beauty of the tropical forests, the exotic flowers, and the colorful birds. They write about the strange-looking monkeys, the majestic elephants, and the elegant peacocks that roamed the countryside. Their descriptions give us a glimpse of the rich biodiversity of India and the awe it inspired in travelers.
Another highlight of the travel accounts is the detailed descriptions of the palaces of the Indian nobility. The British merchants were fascinated by the opulence of these buildings, with their towering domes, intricate carvings, and sprawling gardens. They write about the fountains, the palm trees, and the exotic animals that inhabited these gardens, including elephants, camels, and monkeys. These descriptions transport us to a time when the world was still full of wonder and mystery.
The British merchants also write about the delicious flavors of the Indian cuisine. They describe the rice dishes, the spicy curries, and the sweet desserts that they tasted during their travels. They are particularly impressed by the variety of spices used in Indian cooking, which they believe make the food healthier and more flavorful. Their descriptions of the cuisine make us yearn to taste the exotic flavors of India for ourselves.
Finally, the travel accounts give us an idea of the challenges of communication in the Regency era. The merchants often wrote letters to their families and business associates in England, but these letters could take months to arrive. They had to rely on messengers who traveled on foot or on horseback to deliver the letters, and the cost of postage was high. These challenges remind us of how much easier communication has become in the digital age.
The travel accounts of British merchants in India are a fascinating window into a bygone era. They give us a glimpse of the rich biodiversity, vibrant culture, and exotic flavors of India during the Regency era. They inspire us to explore the world and discover its many wonders. If you're a fan of Regency romance novels or historical travel writing, you'll definitely want to check out "In Just a Year," my latest book, which is rich in suspense, romance, and adventure in India.