At the height of European colonialism, Britain’s reach circled the globe. Yet its empire did not proceed unchallenged, prompting efforts to preserve its kingdom by complementing military might with intellectual warfare. Mid-nineteenth century India was a case in point. After squashing rebellions in the subcontinent, the British clung desperately to an empire that was slipping from their grasp – an effort perpetuated by the literature of India-based British authors who negatively and oftentimes inaccurately portrayed Indians to justify British rule. Reich exposes this literary transformation against the backdrop of historiographical debate. She combines historical and literary analysis to illustrate three recurring fictional themes intended to legitimize British supremacy in India: (1) the perceived vulnerability of Indian women; (2) the alleged rivalry between Hindus and Muslims; and (3) the assumed incompetence of educated Indians regarding self-rule. Although focused on a specific era and region, Reich’s work addresses old intellectual currents in fresh ways, breathing new relevance into appraisals of history, as well as of modern geopolitical times.