Thornton’s Gazetteer of India, the first single volume edition, 1857


Thornton, Edward:  A Gazetteer of the Territories Under the Government of the East- India Company, and of the Native States on the Continent of India. Compiled By the Authority of the Hon. Court of Directors and chiefly from documents in their possession. Wm. H. Allen & Co. [London] 1857 1st single volume edition, thick 8vo.

Folding map of India,  [iv title page & Preface]. 1015pp, advertisements to pastedowns and facing blanks but those at the front are upside down.  Original cloth blind stamped and gilt with the arms of the East India Company to both boards, closed tear to the top right of the map running through the title, this is internally an excellent example of this fat tome, the single volume edition that replaced the four volume edition produced in 1854, there are no previous ownership markings. Thornton managed to produce this compendious work in a single volume by adopting a smaller print and using double columns, rather than missing out material. There is a crack down the centre of the spine cloth and some damage to head and tail but this is much better than usual for a book which is an example of trying to get too many pages into one volume and suffers in the way that Mrs Beeton and the Peerages do. An extremely useful work and particularly valuable in being produced in the last year of the Honourable Company’s existance and the year of the Indian Mutiny, identifying the then current spellings of towns which have often changed more than once since. The work includes neighbouring states of Afghanistan, Nepal, and Burma. Thornton [1799 – 1875] worked at the East India House uniil1814 to 1857, being Director of the Staistical and marine Departments. He also produced histories of the Indian Empire. We find our own copy of this work invaluable. feb24/5

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