Fanny Parkes, née Frances Susannah Archer, was born in Conwy, Wales, the daughter of a British military officer and colonial official. She married Charles Crawford Parkes, a minor civil servant for the East India Company. She lived in India for about 24 years, beginning in 1822, mainly in Cawnpore and Allahabad, and kept a detailed diary that was later published in two volumes as Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque (1850). Begums, Thugs and White Mughals: The Journals of Fanny Parkes (2002) is the abridged version. Her lively writing style makes these books readable even today. Mrs. Parkes loved India, became fluent in Urdu, and learned to play the sitar. In her diary, she described the peoples and customs of India and recorded changes in Britain’s policies governing the country. She also described her travels throughout India and the great natural beauty of its scenery. The 2003 novel One Last Look by Susanna Moore was inspired by the journals and private papers of Fanny Parkes and of Emily Eden and Fanny Eden.