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COLEBROOKE, Sir Thomas Edward.

Life of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone.

London: John Murray, 1884 Stock Code: 121130
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First edition. Elphinstone (1779-1859) was appointed to the East India Company through family influence, and arrived in Calcutta in 1796. He developed a strong interest in Indian literature and politics, and became proficient in Persian. In 1819, after postings in Afghanistan and Poona, he became governor of the recently acquired territory that became known as the Bombay Presidency, remaining in post until 1827. He devoted the rest of his life to scholarly pursuits, exemplified by his History of India (1841), and occasionally intervened in public debates on India, notably opposing Dalhousie's annexation policy. "Colebrooke (1813-1890) was the son of British administrator and Sanskrit scholar Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765-1837), and although he lived in England and served as an MP, Colebrooke remained interested in colonial affairs. He had written about Elphinstone's life in 1861 for the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and subsequently expanded his work into these two volumes, published in 1884" (introduction to the Cambridge University Press reprint, online).

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2 volumes, octavo. Original brown cloth, spines lettered in gilt, frames and floral cornerpieces in black to front boards and in blind to rear, gilt roundel to front boards, brown coated endpapers.


Portrait frontispiece to each volume (mounted lithograph and stipple-engraving), 2 battle plans of which one folding, folding map of Western India.


Contemporary ownership inscription, "Cam. Munro", to front pastedowns. Extremities rubbed, spines rolled, the cloth slightly cockled, a few mild nicks to headcaps, pale markings to sides, tips bumped, rear joint of vol. 2 split at head, folding map very faintly spotted. A very good copy.


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