Title Observations of the Mussulmauns of India: Descriptive of their Manners, Customs, and Habits, and Religious Opinions, Made during a Twelve Years Residence in Their Immediate Society. Complete in two volumes
Book Condition Very Good Plus
Edition First British Edition
Size 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
Publisher London, England Parbury, Allen & Co. 1832
Seller ID 007774
Printed by Sedding and Turtle, London. Ex library but with virtually no ex library markings. Splendidly rebound in brown quarter morocco and marbled paper boards. The spines with gilt-stamped lettering and rules. The boards in yellow, cream and brown. Unbumped spine heads and tails, and with sharp corners. No flaws to the bindings observed. Strong hinges. Text blocks firmly bound in. 9 x 5.75 inches. All page edges marbled in brown, ocher and green. Fresh pastedowns and opposite FEPs. With xix, 395, viii, and 427 numbered pages. Both title pages with small, oval library stamp, and a few hand-written numbers in ink. Rear FEPs also with a few ink numbers. Vol. I with crease at top corner of pp. 161-164 and 180-183, also tiny tear at fore-edge of FEP and title page. Same again at bottom edge of last page of Vol. II, as well as tiny purple ink blotch on p. 319. Else the interiors appear clean and bright and free of apparent demerits. Bindings protected by clear Mylar over-wrappers..A Very Good Plus copy. Rare in any condition. With thanks to Katherine Blank for the following, from her publication, British Women and Orientalism in the Early Nineteenth Century: "Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali's book... stood as a benchmark of British knowledge about Islam in South Asia throughout the 19th and 20th centuries... Published in 1832, [the book] countered many negative stereotypes about Islam that had become common in the works of Indologists by putting forth a new perspective gleaned from Ali's decade-long stay in India, where she lived with her husband's family in Lucknow ... that belonged to the Shia sect of Islam. Straying from anti-Muslim ideas present in late 18th- and early 19th-century Orientalist literature, [her book] contended that Islam called for the fair treatment of women and was closer to Christianity than most Britons previously thought. After its publication, British scholars and popular writers constantly referred to [her book] due to Ali's detailed descriptions of Muslim beliefs and practices. Ali's positive, first hand experiences with Islam helped to change the perception of Islam in early 19th-century British literature."