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133109 133109_1
('ABD ALLAH IBN 'ABD AL-KADIR, Munshi) COOPE, Arthur Egerton.

The Voyage of Abdullah....

A Translation from the Malay … With Notes and Appendices.

Availability: In stock

Published: Singapore The Malaya Publishing House, Ltd., 1949

Stock Code: 133109

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First and only edition. Uncommon. A language teacher and translator for colonial officials, Abdullah (1796-1854), widely considered as the father of modern Malay literature, was the great-grandson of a Hadhrami Arab merchant, who also had Tamil and Malay ancestry. The civil engineer John Turnbull Thomson, one of Abdullah's students, and later prominent in the development of the infrastructures of Singapore and New Zealand, described him thus: "In physiognomy he was a Tamilian of southern Hindustan: slightly bent forward, spare, energetic, bronze in complexion, oval-faced, high-nosed, one eye squinting outwards a little. He dressed in the usual style of Malacca Tamils. Acheen seluar, check sarong, printed baju, square skull cap and sandals. He had the vigour and pride of the Arab, the perseverance and subtlety of the Hindoo - in language and national sympathy only was he a Malay" ( Hill, Hikayat Abdullah, OUP, 1970, p.5). The present work, which Abdullah was persuaded to publish by the American missionary Alfred North, recounts his voyage from Singapore to Kelantan with a letter from the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir George Bonham, to the recently installed Sultan of Kelantan. It also includes descriptions of his experiences en route at Pahang and Terengganu. Abdullah's memoirs are widely considered to have "broken new ground in Malay literature. Unlike their predecessors, these writings were printed, not hand-written, and they were published commercially. Moreover, their authorship was prominently displayed. The pronoun I was used, and the contents were conveyed in simple, contemporary Malay" (Gin, Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, p.116).

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Octavo. Original printed buff light card wraps.


Full-page map to the text.


Wraps a little browned and with some creases, head of spine slightly split and repaired, joint of front wrap starting towards the tail, reinforced internally with archival tape, text-block toned, overall very good.


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