Sophia Dobson Collet, a cosmopolitan at home

Clare Midgley

My contributions to the Beyond Empire project centre on my research into links between members of the Brahmo Samaj and British and American Unitarians.  The Brahmo Samaj was an influential but controversial movement for religious and social reform among Hindus; Unitarians, who rejected the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity and were thus considered heretics by many mainstream Christians, were also in the forefront of social reform movements.  A pivotal figure in cementing transnational exchanges among this interfaith group of activists was Sophia Dobson Collet, the subject of my chapter in our co-authored book Cosmopolitan Lives on the Cusp of Empire.

 Portrait of the feminist author Sophia Dobson Collet (1822-1894) taken from The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy, edited by Hem Chandra Sarkar (1914)

Sophia Dobson Collet (1822-94) is little known today. Thanks to the efforts of feminist historians over the past 30 years we now know quite a lot about the women who gained public recognition or notoriety as activists during the nineteenth century, at a time when women’s ‘proper’ place was meant to be in the home. However, we still know much less about other fascinating individuals like Collet who worked mainly ‘behind the scenes’.

Collet lived close to where I now live in the multicultural area of Finsbury Park in north-east London, but as yet no blue plaque marks out her residence as the hub of a transnational inter-faith network, or records her role as official record-keeper for the Brahmo Samaj and author of the standard biography of its famous founder, Rammohun Roy. In contrast, Roy himself, widely celebrated as ‘Father of Modern India’, is commemorated in Bristol (where he died while on an extended visit to Britain) by an impressive funerary monument and by a statue positioned facing that of Queen Victoria outside city hall. It seems particularly important with the global rise of populist forms of nationalism which are zenophobic, Islamophobic, antisemitic and racist that we draw more public attention to people like Collet, a feminist who devoted her life to cultivating and sustaining transnational and inter-faith connections.

Collet is a fascinating example of the sedentary cosmopolitan. She was a single woman whose physical disabilities, health problems and limited financial resources prevented her from ever making the long journey from Britain to India. Yet she came to identify so closely with the lives of her Indian friends that, in letters to them written from her house in London, she described India, not England, as her ‘home’. How different this is from the self-positioning of most ‘ex-pat’ Anglo-Indians, who, no matter how long they had spent living in the sub-continent, continued to see England as home. Distinctive, too, from the way in which people living in Britain felt ‘at home’ with the Empire in the sense discussed in Catherine Hall and Sony O. Rose, eds,  At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Collet’s positioning is, in contrast, a cosmopolitan one: it involved feeling ‘at home’ in the world on the basis of fostering respectful cross-cultural connections which, though they did not directly challenge British imperialism, undermined the racist hierarchies through which it was maintained and the civilizational hierarchies through which it was justified.

Read my chapter in Cosmopolitan Lives to find out more!

United Theological College Bangalore Research Visit

by Margaret Allen

When in India in February/March 2019 I was able to do some research in the library of the United Theological College in Bangalore. This college is said to be the first ecumenical theological college in the world, being founded in 1910, in the spirit of the World Missionary conference held in Edinburgh in the same year.

Margaret Allen outside the library of the United Theological College in Bangalore.

The conference took stock of Protestant missionary activity and recommended co-operation between and even joint ventures to be supported by the various Protestant churches and missions. The conference was supportive of the growth of indigenous churches in the place of western directed missions, which had developed in Asia, Africa and the Pacific and encouraged the development of indigenous leadership. The foundation stone of the central administration building was laid by the American, John Mott, who had ‘initiated and chaired the [Edinburgh] conference.’[i]

Photograph of Foundation stone by John Mott, taken and supplied by Margaret Allen

The gracious buildings in a lovely garden setting are reminiscent of an American liberal arts college, perhaps a sign of the source of its finance in those days. One building is named the Azariah wing, for V.S. Azariah (1874-1945) the first Indian Anglican Bishop and an important figure in the development of the Indigenous Indian National Missionary Society. In his speech at the Edinburgh Conference he confronted the racism and paternalism of much of the missionary movement famously pointing out that :

‘The problem of race relationships is one of the most serious problems confronting the Church today’.  He asked the missionaries to change their attitudes towards Indians, to be ‘not a lord and master but a brother and a friend…..We ask for love. Give us friends.’

Azariah wing United Theological College Bangalore

The naming of another building after the Nobel Prize winning Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore, echoes the post-1910 approach of more progressive Christians to build communication with Hinduism and other Indian faiths.

In our project Beyond Empire: Transnational Religious Networks and Liberal Cosmopolitanisms we are exploring the affective relationships, which developed in particularly between Indian Christians and non-Christians and Western Christians and missionaries in the period c 1890-1940s, as they worked together to advance common projects.

Around 11am each morning the arrival of the chai man on his motor-bike, draws readers and researchers to gather on the library steps to talk over chai or coffee. Along with degrees in Theology and Divinity and college offers a diploma in Women’s Studies and a Diploma in Young Men’s Christian Association Professional Secretaryship. Students come from across India with a significant proportion drawn from the North East, including from Nagaland. It seemed to me that these friendly and collegial discussions on the library steps echoed the directions, which saw the establishment of this college.

United Theological College Administration Building, Bangalore

[i] Renate HOWE, A Century of Influence: The Australasian Student Christian Movement,1896-1996,  p. 98.(UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009)

S. K. Datta on ‘India and Racial Relationships’

by Margaret Allen

Race was very much on the agenda during the 1920s.

White settlers societies like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States had set up ‘The Great White Walls’, which prohibited in varying degrees movement of people of colour across their borders.  During World War One, colonized peoples could hope that Woodrow Wilson’s notion of national self-determination would bring them freedom. However their hopes were dashed with the rejection of the race clause at Versailles. In East Africa, Indians and Africans were campaigning against white privilege.

Scientific Racism ‘was resurgent’ and the importance of white dominance was strongly proclaimed in two widely read works, Lothrop Stoddard The Rising Tide of Color: The Threat Against White World-Supremacy (1920) and Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, (1918).[i]

In India, any goodwill from the British government’s moves towards some limited provincial self-government, was dispelled by the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, where troops fired on unarmed civilians, killing up to a thousand and injuring many more. Hostility to British rule increased and Gandhi’s non co-operation movement gathered strength. Indeed around the world colonised peoples were beginning to understand their strength.

Progressives within the Christian missionary movement increasingly saw the need for Indigenous leadership and friendship between Indians and western Christians. Racism needed to be critiqued and rejected. Indeed Joseph Oldham, a key figure in these tendencies within international Christianity explored racial prejudice in his work. Christianity and the Race Problem published in 1924. Oldham had become a ‘close and intimate’ friend of S.K.Datta from their first meeting in Lahore in 1897.[ii]

SK Datta courtesy of Records of YMCA International Work in India. Kautz Family YMCA Archives, University of Minnesota. Biographical files, Box 43

This article continues in the Long Reads section.

[i] M. Lake and H. Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the Question of Racial Equality. (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2008), pp. 312-5.

[ii] Keith Clements, Faith On The Frontier, A Life Of J.H. Oldham, Edinburgh : T &​ T Clark ; Geneva : WCC Publications, 1999. 44

Bangladesh Research Visit

by Clare Midgley

I’m just back from a fascinating visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This visit was an outcome of our ARC project panel at the International Federation for Research in Women’s History (IFRWH) conference in Vancouver last August. On finding out about the Bengali dimensions of my research, Professor Asha Islam Nayeem, General Secretary of the Bangladesh History Association, invited me to deliver a lecture on my research in the Society’s quarterly lecture series.

I seized this opportunity to visit Dhaka for the first time. I wanted to find out more about the history of the Brahmo Samaj, the monotheistic movement for religious and social reform among Hindus whose transnational inter-faith connections and collaboration on the ‘woman question’ I am studying in connection with the Beyond Empire project. Books about the Brahmo Samaj tend to focus on Kolkata, the city where it was founded, but Dhaka was the hub of the organisation in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) and I was keen to learn more about its activities in this region.

Thanks to the wonderful hospitality of Asha and of Dr Zahida Naznin, the Treasurer of the Bangladesh History Association, I was able to make the most of my short visit to Dhaka. I’m very grateful to them both for taking time out of their busy schedules to make my visit rewarding and fun! Asha, who teaches at Dhaka University, is just completing a book (in English) on the history of women’s education in East Bengal. She is a true cosmopolitan, having lived and studied in Britain, the USA and Japan. Her fluency in Japanese and story about learning over 500 Japanese characters put my own faltering attempts to learn Bangla into perspective! Zahida is a senior civil servant in the Education Directorate who has a PhD on women and development in Bangladesh.

Photograph of Dhaka’s traffic supplied by Clare Midgley

Asha and Zahida were ideal guides to Dhaka, which is a great city, but hard to negotiate as a first-time visitor. Thanks to them I did not spend my time trapped in the confines of my luxurious but ultra-high-security hotel! Even the two-hour car rides stuck in the endless traffic jams  also had an expected benefit of time and space to talk, and I feel very happy to have made two wonderful new friends.

This article continues in full in our Long Reads section.

CF Andrews and the Future of Indian Indenture in Fiji

In 1916, in order to focus Indian manpower on the imperial war effort, Indian indenture into Fiji was temporarily suspended. But should it resume after the war? A year earlier, two British men with personal and career connections in India, had travelled to the British colony of Fiji with this question in mind. They travelled from India into the Pacific, via Australia and New Zealand, in order to investigate the conditions of indentured Indians on the islands’ sugar plantations. Through their critical report published in 1916, Charles Freer Andrews and William Winstanley Pearson would contribute to the ‘ending’ of indenture after the war, and, they hoped, to the campaign for Indian independence and free Indian migration into the Pacific.

As the historian of Fiji, Brij Lal, has pointed out, the Andrews and Pearson report was only one instance in a much larger story of political agitation by ‘girmitiyas’ (the indentured) themselves. They worked with a range of Indian-Fijians, Indian unionists and others already active in Fiji during this same era. It is also the case that beyond the activism of Indians and Fijians themselves, the Dominions of Australia and New Zealand were invested in the outcomes of the report also, as each had their own ambitions in the Pacific. In the post-war era, these would be advanced through becoming the mandatory powers – administered through the League of Nations’ – in Samoa, New Guinea and Nauru.

That British imperial reputation was at stake in debates about indenture was also important to the White Dominions. By the first decades of the century, the ‘problem’ of indenture within the British empire had been increasingly difficult to ignore. By the interwar years, it would attract renewed significance thanks to the League of Nations’ Slavery Convention and the Forced Labour Convention of the International Labour Organisation that followed. Already in 1910 the Sanderson Commission had been established by the Colonial Office to investigate indenture in the British colonies of Mauritius, Jamaica, Fiji, and Natal (and also in Sri Lanka in relation to traditional forms of unfree labour). The commission found that indenture was a humane form of labour, as long as it was operated efficiently, and properly administered from recruitment through to monitoring conditions at destination. To achieve the required standards, the commission recommended a series of reforms. Andrews and Pearson would show five years later that the system of indenture from India into Fiji had not been improved: it remained far from just or efficient, and, in reality, created untold suffering in the lives of individuals while demeaning the reputation of the Indian people in general. Their findings contributed to the decision by the government of India and by British authorities to end indenture from India to Fiji, already suspended, following the war.

Beyond the conditions of indenture, Andrews and Pearson framed their investigation in the larger context of the Indian nationalist cause. Both were supporters of Indian Dominion status within the British Commonwealth, and, as such, they declared the system to be not only poorly administered, unjust, and cruel (women and men who had been tricked into signing contracts being ill-treated during their period of indenture with little hope of returning home) but as having an intrinsically negative influence upon the reputation of the Indian people in the eyes of the world. Thus indenture was having a retrogressive impact on the prospects of Indian independence.

Already a key issue within contemporary humanitarian reform agendas to reform empire, indenture held particular significance for the Australasia Pacific. The conditions of unfree labour – of which indenture was one – were part of the claims of a range of Anglo-Australian reform organisations for modernisation in the region, including for Aboriginal rights within Australia. Among them was the Association for the Protection of Native Races in Australasia, with missionary origins, that formed in 1911 and sought to model itself upon the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society in London. By the interwar years, the involvement of Australian governments in perpetuating unfree labour conditions among Aboriginal people would bring into question the international and national reputation of Australia as a British Dominion and as a mandatory power in the Pacific.  The question of Indian indenture into Fiji intersected with these debates, being an earlier feature in the reframing of empire globally, as well as in the modernising of whiteness and settler colonialism sought by both associations.

Andrews and Pearson were deeply affected by the conditions of the indentured Indians they met in Fiji. These former Anglican clergymen were part of a generation of Christians who embraced the ecumenicalism and religious relativism of the sort promoted by the International Missionary Council held in Edinburgh in 1910. Through their work as educators in India, Andrews in particular formed close personal bonds with Indian liberals and nationalists. He became a close ally of Rabindranath Tagore, for example. Both of the men who were Cambridge graduates had become adherents of the aim of self-rule within the British empire, as articulated by Gandhi and others, including in the name of the Indian diaspora, indentured among them.

Aware of the controversial nature of their support for Indian independence, Andrews and Pearson were quick to emphasise that they undertook their enquiry into Fijian conditions with the support of Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India. They were also encouraged in their mission by G.K. Gokhale of the Indian Imperial Legislative Council who was founder of progressive movement, The Servants of India. In 1912, Gokhale had presented a resolution to the Indian Legislative Council declaring that indenture was a form of slavery. In recognition of his influence upon their thinking, Andrews and Pearson dedicated their report to Gokhale who died shortly before it was published.

Their investigation of Fijian indenture began in India among recruiters and newly contracted workers awaiting departure. From there they sailed across the ocean via Australia and New Zealand into the Pacific and finally to Suva, Fiji. They were struck by the conditions on the ‘coolie line’ where, they reported, corals not unlike those provided for farm animals provided little privacy. Moreover, the lack of women among the indentured led to sexual exploitation. In general, they argued that Indian women and men taken from the traditional ways of village life found themselves adrift in a harsh world without rights or sympathy. As Mrinalini Sinha and others have argued, the Indian woman was a key figure in both nationalist and anti-nationalist literature and worldviews, and she was certainly a pivotal figure in debates about indenture within India where sensational stories describing the abuse of indentured Indian women were widely circulated and contributed to nationalist agitation.

Travel into the region provided the two men with insights into the views of a range of Australian and New Zealander progressives. Mostly the opponents of indenture, some of these women and men were of the opinion that Fiji should become a colony of Australia following the war. This would formalise the role of Australians already based in the islands. Thus the findings of Andrews and Pearson were shaped not only by the Indian nationalist cause, and by the global context of humanitarian concern about colonial labour, but also by local articulations of concern among Dominion progressives invested in linking their investment in the Pacific with improving labour standards through distancing themselves from the notorious reputation of indenture. This local perspective interconnected the future of India with the future of Fiji within the British empire, reminding us of the largely subsumed presence of Native Fijians on the British colony of Fiji in debates about replacing indenture with free migration.

According to Andrews and Pearson, the island economy as a whole, and specifically the profits of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR), required the replacement of indenture with freely contracted Indian immigrants who would be invested in remaining in Fiji and contributing to its development. By focussing on indenture without taking into account the British occupation of Fijian land, their report veiled the pivotal point that Native Fijians were cast as insufficiently advanced as a racial group to play an active role in the development process. At the heart of this account of indenture was not an end of Indian arrivals on the islands, but rather their transformation into a scheme of migration that would provide Indians living in Fiji (presumably soon also nationals of their own country) with increased status alongside white settlers. The assumption underlying the report was that while indenture was an intrinsically outmoded system, migration would resolve the need for labour supposedly never to be filled by the indigenous population. Contrary to the case being made for Indian migration, the ‘natives’ of Fiji were to be excluded from modern labour relations in order to preserve their traditional way of life.  Ironically, moreover, by representing India migration into Fiji as a benign project, the report was entirely silent on the ‘blackbirding’ or forced indenture of Pacific Islanders (‘Kanakas’) into Queensland in the previous century. This earlier form of indenture had involved the very same company, the Australian and New Zealand company, CSR, that, by the 1910s, ran the sugar economy of Fiji and from which Andrews and Pearson sought permission to make their study.  During the 1870s, CSR had featured in appeals made to the Anti-Slavery Society in London by humanitarians on behalf of indentured Fijian workers employed under terrible conditions by the company in northern Australia. It was the end of the traffic in ‘Kanaka’ labour, encouraged by such reports that had provided the context for the rise of Indian indenture into Fiji over following decades.

Recent work on cosmopolitanism has aimed to engage with the possibilities of cross-cultural interaction experienced ‘at home’ or in transit. For historians of cosmopolitan political networks the personal engagements formed across ‘racial’ or colonial lines have suggested spaces or moments of potentiality and interaction easily overlooked. But as indicated by this report on indenture in 1916, such interactions are always complicated and partial – in this case, those operating between British and Indian elites in India, or between British interlocutors and their Indian informants in Fiji, expressing something of the universalisms as understood by the indentured themselves.

Moreover, as the report by Andrews and Pearson indicates, these two worldviews – the one British humanitarian and the other indicated by Indian indentureds’ testimonies of injustice – were interpreted additionally through the lens of Australian and New Zealand interests as Dominion powers in the Pacific. Transnational histories of the international, the imperial and the (settler) colonial have brought renewed attention to the formations of zones of contact involving anticolonial nationalists, Indigenous critics of settler colonisation, and Anglo liberal reformers and humanitarian imperialists. The latter, while asserting the ultimate virtues of western-style modernity, calling also for its present reform through collaboration with non-western and/or colonised peoples. New studies have described, for example, Indigenous or ‘native’ representations for rights on the international stage such as to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations (for example, see Patricia O’Brien’s work on Samoa), or the informal and affective interactions, as well as strategic alliances, between Anglo and Black British and African American, Indian and other intellectual and activist networks in London (such as by Jonathan Saha).

But as these same studies have revealed, formal or informal international or transnational networks of political activism did not so much transcend hierarchies of difference but articulated them in alternative ways via interactive zones of contact and exchange. As my collaborators in @Beyond EmpireARC have shown in their impressive scholarship, many Anglo progressives saw in their ‘eastern’ counterparts opportunities to learn from non-western knowledges, spiritualities, and ways of being, in the hope of ameliorating the alienating and dehumanising effects of industrialisation experienced in the Industrial Revolution. These same effects were now wreaking terrible impacts across the colonised world.

Of course, humanitarianism and the desire for humane modernisation are not external to the imperial project, but have been integral to its long history (as Christina Twomey has argued). Similarly are immigration restrictions and protective policies in the settler colonies, with their claims of humane treatment towards Asian peoples from outside of the nation, and native peoples from within. The imperial and Dominion intersected in the case of indenture into Fiji. When interrogated through these dual lenses, the 1916 report on indenture by Andrews and Pearson provides a window onto the complex transnational histories of empire, nationalism, and settler colonial rule circulating within and between (in this case) India, Britain, and Australasia during WW1. They would only intensify following the war, when, once again, local agitation would be required before indenture in Fiji actually came to an end. Needless to say, the legacies of that history continue into the present.


For more on this report and its implications, see Fiona Paisley, ‘Sexuality, Nationalism, and “Race”: Humanitarian Debate about Indian Indenture in Fiji, 1910-18’, Labour History, 113 (2017): 183-208.

And for indenture and forced labour as part of a humanitarian critique of settler colonialism in Australia in the interwar years, see Fiona Paisley, ‘An Echo of Black Slavery: Emancipation, Forced Labour and Australia in 1933’, Australian Historical Studies, 45:1 (2014): 103-125.

Fiona Paisley

Visiting Scholar

Today’s Public Lecture Masculinity, romance and ‘temperate heroism’ given by Dr Alison Twells as part of the Gender Seminar Series was well attended at the Victoria Square campus.

Further information and video will be available online soon under our past events tab.

Ella York

The Journey Begins …

83 years ago today, at some point before lunch, a group of young Indian women boarded the Italian liner Conte Rosso, docked at Bombay (today’s Mumbai) en route to Venice, Italy.  The  figures in the grainy photograph on our home page and header give us little idea of these women as people or their historical significance.  But fuzzy faces in old photographs arouse my curiosity. I am impatient to get to know what I can of these women and their travels; to bring some clarity to that photograph and pin down what makes the image so evocative to me.

For the next four months this group of women would travel around Europe under the care of the tour leader, Mrs Alexandrena Datta. The tour was part of  a series sponsored by the International Student Service or ISS; a Christian organisation  based in Geneva, with a commitment to interfaith and apolitical cultural co-operation.  The 1935 tour was the second, with two others in 1937 and 1938. So far, we  know most about the 1935 tour thanks to Mrs Kuttan Nair’s journalism and a set of scrapbooks in the British Museum in London. The scrapbooks, kept by Mrs Datta, are preserved amongst her husband’s extensive personal papers, bequeathed to the library by their son (more on the Dattas’ later in our project).  The scrapbooks, large and hard covered, include not only photographs of places visited and people met on each tour, but papers revealing something of how the tours were organised, including the names of the women and their places of origin and even reading lists recommended to the women as homework prior to their departure. Because the scrapbooks cover all four tours, we know that each tour, while varying in places visited and people met, followed a similar format that makes the 1935 tour typical.  However, the scrapbooks are pretty thin on personal details or stories, except for snatches of interviews sometimes found in the press articles carefully glued on to the pages amongst the photographs.

What we know

What these slim resources tell us about the women who went on these tours is that they were diverse – from different parts of India and ethnic groups as well as faiths. They were on the whole either teachers or students, although some appear to have been practising doctors on their way to do further studies in Europe. Some were married, some single. For the most part, they appear to have been youngish women in their twenties and thirties. Even our grainy  photo of the group departing from Bombay in 1935 indicates diversity. Some wore short hair, still relatively unusual among Indian women of that era; most wore saris, variously draped, with at least one in European attire (apart from Mrs Datta in the front centre).  The albums record the meticulous organisation required to mount such tours. The cost of the 1935 trip was 1600 Rupees which Mrs Kuttan Nair described as “a minimum cost”, suggesting the women were not poor, but neither were they from elite or wealthy backgrounds as their occupational status suggests.

It is, however, Mrs Nair’s articles and book that brings the tour alive as a personal and inter-cultural event. I’ll write more about her accounts of the tour and incidents she describes in later posts. On the anniversary of the tour’s departure, however, here’s a taste of the unpromising start to the adventure for Mrs Nair, as I share her focus on food!

Not a Lunch for ‘Grass Eaters’

‘What we had heard of the comforts and conveniences on Italian ships had raised in me great hopes as far as food, the prime necessity of life, was concerned. A splendid array of choices vegetable dishes with the delicious luxury of pickles and the far famed fruits of the sunny South rose up before my mental vision. But alas! dreams seldom come true  … The dishes served were few and the little that was given far from relishable, while the looks of sympathy cast on us by the waiters did little to appease our hunger. The gloomy prospect of being starved on board the ship was by no means welcome and some of us were already beginning to feel depressed and homesick. 

Four of the women, including Mrs Nair, were ‘grass eaters’ or vegetarians. But our hero was saved as she reports the food was much better the next day so starvation was averted and spirits brightened.

Jane Haggis.



Dr Gahlot

“Dr Miss Gahlot of Jodhpur the first Marwari lady to go to England. She means to continue her studies in medicine.” appeared in an April 1935 issue of The Hindustan Times. While Dr Gahlot was not part of one of Mrs Datta’s continental study tours, it is worth noting the manner in which her achievements were acknowledged.

Ella York

Mrs Kuttan Nair

“Mrs Kuttan Nair, a well-known social reformer of Kerala, one of the members of the party of Indian women teachers and students who are in Europe now.” as published in The Hindustan Times 24 June 1935.

Mrs Kuttan Nair published a series of articles about the Continental Study Tour, of which she was a member, in The Hindustan Times. These articles were drawn from her diary which was later published as A Peep at Europe and is a seminal text of the work being undertaken by Jane Haggis as a part of this ARC grant.

Ella York

Continental Study Tour

Taken from The Hindustan Times Saturday 25 May 1935; ‘Continental Study Tour: A batch of 20 women and girls from all parts of India sailed from Bombay for a Continental tour May 23. Mrs Datta who will be in charge is third from the right (sitting).’
Finding this on microfilm was truly an exhilarating moment – here was this group of women whom we’d been reading about and discussing over several months.

Ella York