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AYNSLEY, Mrs. J. C. Murray.

Our Visit to Hindostán, Kashmir, and Ladakh.

London, Wm. H. Allen & Co., 1879 Stock Code: 140826
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First and only contemporary edition, a sparkling copy from the library of Franklin Brooke-Hitching, a collection celebrated for its quality (sale at Sotheby's London, 27 March 2014, lot 52). This is the first of three Indian travelogues by Harriet Georgina Maria Murray Aynsley (née Manners-Sutton, 1827-1898), who travelled out to Bombay with her husband, the Rev. John Cruger Murray Aynsley, in October 1875. "Over a leisurely paced three-year period, Murray Aynsley visited most of the important population centres or points of historical interest in Northern and Central India with the exception of Calcutta. Her travel narrative of this journey is marked by these themes. Almost immediately it becomes obvious that she held a high respect for India. Nowhere will one find the typical native or babu stories with their racial derogations. Likewise, Murray Aynsley loved the architecture of the Mughal period and excelled in describing it in loving simplicity. Finally, for most major locales visited, she provided a historical context for the place, and not just its history within British India, but one stretching back for often a millennium or more" (Riddick). Her other books on India are An Account of a Three Months' Tour from Simla through Bussahir, Kunowar and Spiti, to Lahoul (Calcutta, Thacker & Spink, 1882) and Our Tour in Southern India (London: F. V. White, 1883). She also took a keen interest in local legend and symbolism - her Symbolism of the East and West was published in 1900 - and this earned her "the singular feminine distinction of being elected an Associate of the Order of Freemasons" (Robinson). A fascinating narrative by a fascinating woman traveller.

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Octavo. Original red fine oblique-grain cloth, spine gilt lettered and stamped with the Star of India, decoration in gilt and black, front cover with decoration in gilt and black, the frame repeated in blind on back cover, yellow-coated endpapers, gilt edges. Housed in a custom dark blue cloth slipcase.


Chromolithograph frontispiece (with tissue guard) by Grael.


Gilt arms to back cover of St. Peter's College, Brockley; imposing engraved armorial bookplate of John Borthwick of Crookston (overlaying an earlier bookplate). Spine just lightly sunned. A superb copy, bright and square.


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