The Pool in the Desert
In The Pool in the Desert, first published in 1903, Sara Jeannette Duncan explores the impact of isolation on the small British communities of Victorian India. In the four stories collected here - ?The Pool in the Desert,? ?A Mother in India,? ?An Impossible Ideal,? and ?The Hesitation of Miss Anderson? - Duncan's women have certain freedoms living amidst the reaches of Empire, but they also must negotiate their way through a landscape dominated by the constraints of small, military societies. The stories that result combine a delicacy of manners and movement that recalls Henry James, with a wit and sharp eye for small town foibles that bring Stephen Leacock to mind.