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The Achehnese. Translated by the late A. W. S. O'Sullivan. With an index by R. J. Wilkinson.
Leyden: Late E. J. Brill, 1906 - 2 volumes, large octavo. Original dark green cloth, gilt lettered spines and front covers, ornamental panels on covers, drab grey endpapers. Booklabels of Dr A. O. Kouwenhoven. One or two very small white marks to back cover of volume II otherwise in exemplary condition. Half-tone frontispieces, half-tone and line illustrations throughout (two coloured folding maps of Acheh and plan of a dwelling house at the end on volume I). First edition in English of this important work on Aceh, "in the period of its greatest power [16th and 17th-centuries]. the most important Muhammadan state in Sumatra" (Brill, Encyclopaedia of Islam, VII p. 552). The author, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (1857-1936), was "a pioneer in the scientific study of Islam. While serving as a lecturer at the University of Leiden (1880–89), [he] visited Arabia (1884–85), stopping at Mecca. His classic work Mekka, 2 vol. (1888–89), reconstructs the history of the holy city and sheds light on the origins of Islam, early traditions and practices, and the first Islamic communities. The second volume, translated into English as Mekka in the Latter Part of the 19th Century (1931), contains many details of daily life in Islamic culture and deals with the Indonesian Muslim colony at Mecca. From 1890 to 1906 Snouck Hurgronje was professor of Arabic at Batavia, Java, and, as a government adviser, he originated and developed a Dutch colonial policy toward Islam that prevailed until the termination of Dutch rule in Indonesia in 1942. Though he was tolerant of Islamic religious life, his policy as a colonial official was to repress Islamic political agitation. His De Atj√®hers, 2 vol. (1893–94; The Achenese), an ethnographic account of the people of northern Sumatra, became a standard reference work. Though Snouck Hurgronje remained a colonial adviser until 1933, he returned in 1906 to the Netherlands, where he was professor of Arabic and Islamic institutions at the University of Leiden until his death. He wrote extensively on a number of Islamic topics" (Encyclopaedia Britannica online). Hurgronje's study was produced against the backdrop of the long-running Aceh War (1873-1904), between the Netherlands and the forces of the Sultanate of Aceh, in which "Dutch forces became involved in a prolonged guerrilla war in the countryside. This war, however, drained the colonial treasury, and public opinion in the Netherlands became increasingly critical of the colonial administration. The administration later realised that their ignorance of the region had led them to commit serious errors. Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Leyden (Leiden), was invited to undertake a thorough study of Aceh and published a book in 1893–94 on the Acehnese" (ibid). A particularly attractive set - bright and sharp-cornered - of this significant work. Howgego, Exploration 1850-1940, p. 1169 ("a standard reference work on the peoples of northern Sumatra"). [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-02-23           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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