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Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the Fabian socialists who founded the London School of Economics and theNew Statesman, traveled extensively in India for four months in 1911-12. During this period, they recorded their observations in a diary kept by Beatrice. Remaining virtually unnoticed for seventy-five years, the resultingIndian Diarydid not appear in print for the first time until 1987. The Webbs surpass the writings of their near contemporaries, E.M. Forster and J.R. Ackerley, in sharpness of observation and range of interests. Along with the normal traveler's curiosity with historical sites and people, the Webbs reveal a serious interest in India's politics, religions, philosophies, and associated institutions. Upon arrival in India, they attend the twenty-sixth session of the Indian National Congress and meet political figures such as Gokhale, Tilak, Annie Besant, and C.F. Andrews. They stay with maharajas, nawabs, begums, other residents, and ICS officials. They visit madrassas and gurukulas, Arya and Brahmo Samajists, Mrs. Besant's College (now the Banaras Hindu University) in Banaras, and other learning institutions in Delhi and Poona. They camp in the hinterland with district officers in order to see the underside of imperial rule; watch feudalism in operation within the princely states; and travel to the Kumbh Mela at Allahabad to witness unfamiliar rituals and mass devotion. Niraja Gopal Jayal has provided a detailed introduction and helpful notes which clarify the Webbs' whereabouts during their journey.Indian Diaryremains a work of both considerable documentary value and great literary charm.