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Alice M. Frere (Mrs Godfrey Clerk)

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Chapter Summary

In 1865, at the age of twenty-four, Alice Frere began two years of constant travelling which was to take her on a circuitous journey from Bombay to England. There are two important aspects of her narrative on which the author wish to focus. To some extent, both these focuses become intertwined. The first, of a socio/cultural nature, is her interaction with Japanese people; the second is of the prevailing political scene and how this affected not only her travels but also determined East-West relationships at that time. Like Mrs.Hodgson and Anna D'A before her, Alice Frere experienced the intense interest shown by the common people in the appearance of Westerners. One of the important underpinnings of modernization in early-Meiji Japan was the change, on 1 January 1873, from the traditional lunar calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

Keywords: Alice Frere; early-Meiji Japan; Gregorian calendar; modernization



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