London: Constable and Company, . Later printing. Finely bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in full crushed morocco, with five raised bands, gilt to spine and boards, and the initials of Ohio book collector B. C. Hoffman stamped in gilt to foot of spine. Yellow silk-moire end papers. Purple morocco doublures stamped with gilt stars (rear). Set into the front doublure are two fine circular portraits of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, and a painting of the Taj Mahal under glass. All edges brightly gilt. Stamped by Sangorski and Sutcliffe on the front turn-in. Internally bright and clean. A lovely finely bound copy, illustrated with 24 plates, and complete with folding map to rear.
Written for British citizens who “want more than a mere narrative of travel” but “something less than the studies of specialists,” Lord Ronaldshay’s India, A Birds-Eye View is “a mosaic of diverse pieces—a composition of historical, pictorial, statistical, and ethnographical vignettes.” The Earl of Ronaldshay served British colonial interests in India for more than twenty years, notably as Governor of Bengal and Secretary of State for India. Photographic plates help readers familiarize themselves with visual representations of Indian culture, especially its geography and architecture; the Earl took and selected the photographs himself. Ronaldshay’s goal is to “construct a mosaic which will present to the man who wishes to know something of this huge and varied land, whose recent history has been bound up so intimately with his own, an intelligible conspectus.” Fine (Item #3109)