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Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs II Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs II THOMAS ROWLANDSON (1756 - 1827)
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The Grand Master or Adventures of Qui Hi? In Hindostan. A Hudibrastic Poem in Eight Cantos by Quiz. Illustrated with engravings by Rowlandson, London. Printed by Thomas Jegg, 1816
pp. viii, 252 with 27 hand-coloured aquatints including title page and the folding "A New Map of India from the Latest Authority" [actually an elephant caricature] as frontispiece + 1 uncoloured plate
Half-leather binding with marbled boards and raised bands on spine and gilt designs and title in compartments. Marbled endpapers and edges.
Bookplate of Wm A. Aycrigg. A previous owner [M Hawkes] has scrawled his name in black ink on the back of all engravings without it showing through on the picture side
Engravings are by Rowlandson, the great English caricaturist of the Georgian era, the text is attributed to William Combe [1741-1823].
In part, this work is a satire against the Marquis of Hastings, the Governor General of Bengal and commander-in-chief of British forces in India, who had been implicated in a financial scandal, though in reality, its scope is more far reaching, in that it criticizes the pompous British colonial attitude towards the inhabitants of India, the corrupt British institutions, and pokes fun at the proselytizing of the church and its patent disregard for Indian culture; it does not even spare Hindu customs, notably that of widow burning.
Condition NotesFrontispiece fold strengthened. Mis-pagination with text jumping from p. 30 to 33 [no page missing], and pp. 73-74 repeated as issued, in case of all copies