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From time to time, you might see a book in the catalogue listed as Stack. These are books which are housed behind the scenes in the Central Library - items that the Library definitely wants to keep, but for some reason (e.g. older condition, or not in as high demand) the open shelf is not the right place for them. Most can be borrowed.

Please ask at the enquiries counter on the Second Floor and staff will be happy to retrieve them.

This webpage will highlight some of these nearly forgotten treasures - note that the author's selections and recommendations of these golden oldies are entirely idiosyncratic!

Last updated 13 April 2005

Indian Journeys & Stories

from Edward Lear's Indian Journal : Lucknow (1873)

Amazon book jacket An area of darkness, by V.S. Naipaul. (1964)
Naipaul's grandfather had left India for Trinidad. Now, two generations later Naipaul is able to return and he travels widely - from Madras in the south, to Calcutta in the east, and north to Kashmir and back to his grandfather's village where he found relations still living. He describes the side of India that is tragically part of any journey there, but often overlooked in the guidebooks.

Indian journal, by Edward Lear. (1899)
As a personal friend of the Viceroy he was given a full introduction into Indian life - at least as full as an English gentleman could receive in 1873/4. The journal is filled with passages that only an artist and poet could have written "Beyond the village all is green until it gradually becomes sandy to the sea-shore where the ancient pagoda stands in complete loneliness above the fretting waves." Lear's journey here was one of his last great expeditions.

Born to trouble, by Patrick Alexander. (1942)
"I was going to like India : I could feel it in my bones. The sun made me feel that way, chasing through my blook like wine, until I felt like an emerging butterfly." (p. 14) So begins the arrival of the author's visit to India in 1919.

India called them, by William Beveridge. (1947)
Henry entered the Indian Civil Service becoming an magistrate and spending all his working life in India. Annette the daughter of a businessman, was conducting an Indian girl's school. Selections from their correspondence are included here which show remarkable interchange of ideas - rich with commentary on people, from religion to mathematics, to the Indian scene.

Kingdoms of yesterday, by Sir Arthur Cunningham Lothian. (1951).
This is a political account from 1911-1947, but is of interest in describing the last efforts of H.E.H. the Nizam (ruler of the largest princely state in Hydradab) to retain his sovereign independence.

From sea to sea and other sketches : Letters of travel, by Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling was born in Bombay, where his father had a chair in architecture. After stydying in England he returned to India as a journalist and rapidly acquired a reputation, but by the age of 24 he had resettled in London. Kipling declined national honours but was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1907.

Shivaji the Maratha : his life and times, by H.G. Rawlinson. (1915).
Who was Shivaji? Indian raja of the Marathas 1674-80. He raised a successful Hindu revolt against Muslim rule in 1659 and expanded Maratha territory. "English writers on Indian history generally speak of Shivaji as an assassin and free-booter; Indian authors run to the opposite extreme in palliating his faults and magnifying his achievements. " (preface)

The wonder that was India, by A Basham. (1954).
For the Western general reader - "to cover all aspects of Indian life and thought." And it is indeed a classic work on Indian history. The book is becoming a little dated now but the breadth of its coverage, in such an accessible way, still recommends it.

Pundits and elephants : being the experiences of five years as Governor of an Indian province, by the Earl of Lytton. (1942).
Representative of the days when Indian political life was run by British doing a bit of OE, who encountered such a cultural shock, that they felt complelled to write about it on their return to tell "the true picture of India as I knew it".

Narrative of the visit to India of their majesties King George V. and Queen Mary, , and of the Coronation Durbar held at Delhi 12 December 1911, by Hon. John Fortescue.(1912).

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