BENGAL. A monumental, well illustrated volume: a working copy


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 [14½ x 12 ins, 37 x 3o cm]

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]. Re-cased in unlettered black boards with black cloth – an amateur effort. the title page and the last three pages have been covered with a protective film. The page size has been a little reduced [one of our illustrations shows the size against the better copy which will be found elsewhere in this section. The reduction does not distort the pages and nowhere does it affect the printed areas. The printing is of high quality on strong glazed art paper which gives good reproduction to the photographs although is this copy there are some intermittent worm holes, nowhere offensive and in some cases just one or two pinholes to the margin. 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 Dominions 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 two other copies in the last thirty years. A useful working copy.     feb6/1

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