Toru Dutt was the Indian women poet of the 19th century Bengali Renaissance. Her family happened to be one of the few converts to Christianity in Bengal at time of orthodox Hinduism. That was a well known family of Rambagan in North Calcutta.
Taru Dutt was born in her ancestral residence in Rambagan on the 4th March, 1856. She was the youngest daughter of his father, Govind Chandra Dutt, a highly placed Indian officer. Her childhood was passed with her elder sister, Aru Dutt, at her father’s garden house in the city of her birth. She was only six, when her family was baptized in 1862. Along with her parents and sister Aru, she remained a devout Christian.
Taru Dutt, despite her rigorous attachment to her Christian faith, never alienated herself from the epical and mythological accounts and legends of the Hindu religion. She was, in fact, much inspired by them and their echoes were heard in her literary creations. In fact, she had a poetic sensibility and a romantic yearning, both of which were found expressed in her poetical works, not voluminous, but impressive enough.
Taru Dutt, as one of the first Indian women, went abroad in 1870 and visited France and England. Along with her sister Aru, she mastered the French language in a short time during her stay in France. She became competent enough to write original works in the language.
Taru Dutt, like Derozio, did not live up to maturity. She was a little more than twenty one when she died in Calcutta on August 30, 1877.
Taru Dutt remains a notable name among the Indian poets in English, particularly for her poetical collection ‘A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields’ published 1876. The work brought her to fame, of course posthumously, because she did not live to see and enjoy her recognition as a Bengali poetess in English.