Welcome to Peter Harrington Books

An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India.
An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India.
ELPHINSTONE, Mountstuart.

An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, & J. Murray, 1815

Stock Code: 105235

£5,750
OR On display in 43 Dover Street

Notes

First edition of this superbly detailed regional study, well illustrated by the series of costume plates - "of excellent quality" (Abbey) - which are closer to individuated portraits than the "types" usually encountered in such works.
Elphinstone stands out as one of the most remarkable figures in establishment of British hegemony in India in the early 19th century. The son of the 11th Baron Elphinstone, he went out to India in 1795 at the age of 16 as a writer in the service of the East India Company. In 1801 he was appointed assistant to Sir Barry Close, resident at the court of Baji Rao the Peshwa at Poona. The Peshwa was virtual head of the Mahratta confederacy and is described in the first DNB as "an avowed poltroon". He was overthrown by Holkar at the Battle of Poona. Holkar refused British requests to reinstate the Peshwa which led to the Second Mahratta War.
Elphinstone was attached to Wellington's staff in the Deccan and saw action at the Battles of Assaye and Argaum and the Siege of Gawilarh. The general remarked of Elphinstone then that he had "mistaken his profession and ought to have been a soldier." Advanced to the important post of resident at the court in Nagpur in 1804, in 1808 he was favoured further with the position of ambassador to the Afghan court at Kabul where he was to assess the extent of French penetration, who had already established an embassy in the Persian capital, and to persuade Shah Shuja into a defensive alliance.
"Elphinstone's mission to Kabul was formally a failure. Suspicious of the British, the Afghan court refused to allow the embassy to proceed beyond the border town of Peshawar. Shah Shuja was only prepared to make an alliance in return for substantial British aid which the envoy was unable to offer. Meanwhile, a revolt in Kashmir had made the shah's tenure of power increasingly precarious. Elphinstone did, however, return to India with a mass of new information about the Punjab and the north-west Elphinstone's subsequent Account of the Kingdom of Caubul continued to inform British policy on the north-western frontier until the 1840s" (ODNB).
Elphinstone remained in India for the next 20 years, "First as resident at Poona, then as lieutenant-governor of Bombay. As a civil administrator he served with distinction, and is often regarded as the founder of the system of state education in India. He twice refused the offer of the governor-generalship of India" (Howgego).

Confused? Read our glossary

Description

Quarto (285 x 208 mm). Contemporary calf, neatly rebacked with original spine laid down, flat spine, title gilt direct.

Illustrations

Hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece and 12 other similar plates, one uncoloured aquatint, large folding engraved map (opening 637 x 789 mm) coloured in outline, and one similar full-page map.

Condition

Contemporary armorial bookplate of Abraham Caldecott, former Accountant General to the Bengal Presidency, to front pastedown, together with the slightly later plate of William Woodville Rockhill, American adventurer and diplomat. A little rubbed, with some judicious restoration and refurbishment at the extremities and on the joints, light browning throughout, the occasional spot of foxing, some offsetting from the plates, the large map with professional repairs at the folds and to an old tear, formerly stub-mounted, but now laid in for ease of opening, overall a very good copy.

Delivery

With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200. View Full Details

DO YOU HAVE A BOOK TO SELL?
OR
CAN’T FIND THE BOOK YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book

Peter Harrington Limited. Registered office: WSM Services Limited, Connect House, 133-137 Alexandra Road, Wimbledon, LONDON SW19 7JY.
Registered in England and Wales No:3609982 Copyright © 2018, Peter Harrington. All rights reserved.

credit cards logo