BENGAL. A monumental, well illustrated volume.


Campbell,  A. Claude: Glimpses of Bengal. A Comprehensive, Archæological, Biographical , and Pictorial History of Bengal. Behar and Orissa. Campbell & Medland [Calcutta], c1907 1st edition large quarto [16¾ x 13½ ins 43.5 x 34 cm]  RESERVED 2nd June 2024

x [preface, lists of contents and illustrations], 341pp [plus a number of pages such as 70A-G], approx 300 illustrations from photographs including 7 full page coloured portraits of princes – all correct as contents list]. Original decorative red cloth gilt with some fading and rubbing but generally sound although the contents are somewhat shaken with some pages a little ragged or chipped at the extremities where they have overhung the main text body. This work is in larger format than the comparable Glimpses of the Nizam’s Dominions and has heavy bevelled boards which the hinges just manage to control. The printing is of high quality on strong glazed art paper which gives good reproduction to the photographs. No publication date given but the introduction is dated 1907.This is marked as Volume One but we not believe the author ever produced a second volume. This volume appeared some 20 years after his previous work on the Nizam’s Dominioins and his preface apologises to subscribers for the long delay in producing this volume, which he blames on the earthquake of 1897. The Special Biographical Section includes portraits and details of most of the ruling princes of the state and many other notables [many of the influential Calcutta and Dacca families of Tagores for instance]. There is a substantial section on Calcutta with many good photographs of buildings and further sections on the Presidency Division, Cooch Behar, Dacca, and Murshidabad. A nice touch is the inclusion of the rulers’ coats of arms at the head of most of the chapters dealing with them. The colour portraits include the rulers of Hutwa, Durbhanga, Gidhauer, and Burdwan. A very scarce volume now hard to find and we note that even a modern facsimile edition is on offer foe around £300. We have only had one other copy in the last thirty years.    jan18/1

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