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The East India vade-mecum; or, complete guide to gentlemen intended for the civil, military, or naval service of the Hon East India Company
London: printed for Black, Parry, and Kingsbury, booksellers to the Honourable East India Company, 7, Leadenhall-Street. 1810. Two vols., 8vo., xvi + 520 and (iii) - vii + (1) + 506 + (6)pp., including the half-title in vol.I (lacking in vol.II) and the final advertisement leaves in vol.II, short closed tear in leaf Y1 (pp.321-2) of first vol. but with no loss, bound in uniform contemporary half sheep over marbled boards, flat spines with labels, the labels rather rubbed and faded, the slightest wear to extremities but overall very good copies each with the 19th century armorial bookplate of Robert Smith (Smyth)* of Gaybrook, County Westmeath.> First edition. Described sometimes as the first travel guide to India, this is actually an encyclopaedic reference work on every imaginable subject that the new East India Company staff members - civil or military - would wish to know. Subjects, each treated expertly and in some depth, are wide-ranging, covering matters social, economic, religious, mercantile, legal, agricultural and military. 'In the volumes now offered to the public,' the author writes, 'it has been my zealous endeavour to supply those minutiae and details, which have not, in any distinct manner, been heretofore tendered to its consideration. A residence of more than twenty years in Bengal, during which period I had every opportunity of visiting the several districts under that presidency, has enabled me to afford considerable insight into a variety of topics, which, whether to the statesman, the merchant, the military, or the civil character, should prove highly important, and guide, not only to a just conception of the characters of the natives, and of the European society, in India, but to the removal of that host of doubts, prejudices, and national opinions, which it suffered to prevail, must occasion every object to be seen through a false medium.' [Preface]. Williamson is, perhaps, best known for his 1807 Oriental field sports> with its superb hand-coloured aquatint plates. * Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Smyth (1812-1886) was an officer in the Bengal Artillery.
      [Bookseller: John Drury Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-03-30           Check availability:      Biblio    

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