SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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POSTANS, Marianne; as Mrs. Young
The Moslem Noble: His Land and People. With some Notices of the Parsees, or Ancient Persian

London: Saunders and Otley, 1857.
London: Saunders and Otley, 1857.

Octavo. Original orange embossed cloth title, gilt to spine, gilt block of an Indian horseman to the upper board, all edges gilt. Two-tint lithographic portrait frontispiece - the Nawab of Surat - printed within an ornate printed gold border half-title printed in gold with image of the official seal and signet of the Nawab title page printed in blue. 6 hand-coloured single-tint lithographic plates of costume and 3 single-tint lithographs of views 8 steel-engraved illustrations to the text. The title page explains that the illustrations are from Original Drawings by the Author" one view is credited to her husband "the late Capt. Postans" the two other views are not credited but the costume studies are captioned as the work of E[benezer] Landells we presume that Landells "worked up" Young's sketches. Some light foxing and browning cloth a little rubbed and soiled but remains an attractive copy. First Edition. Uncommon; COPAC has BL Oxford and Cambridge only just 8 on OCLC. The wife of an officer of the Bengal Light Infantry Postans husband's postings to various little-known parts of India Cutch the Deccan Surat and Sind provided opportunities for her to research and write a series of books in which she set out "... to popularize information about India. She sought to remedy the lack of interest in Britain about India by clothing in more alluring form the facts which she had obtained through firsthand experience often in little-known areas; she was aided in her researches by her fluent Hindustani. Although she was scholarly in her interests she wore her learning lightly and her writing is marked by liveliness and the personal voice of the author." [ODNB] Having returned to England after the death of her husband in 1846 in 1848 she married an army surgeon and travelled to the Crimea with him publishing an account of her experiences Our Camp in Turkey and the Way to it in 1854. In the present work her last she went back to her experiences in India "... calling among other things for greater sympathy between British and Indians. However her call met a cold response in the aftermath of the Indian mutiny and the work was poorly received." This copy inscribed on the front free endpaper "Mr. A Dyce Sombre from H.H. the Prince of Surat. Sent to me by His Highness on the eve of Sept. 8/57 after I had taken leave of him." Dyce Sombre was evidently a relative of David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre the Germano-Indian "traveller and putative lunatic" and heir to the Begum of Sardhana. There is no hint to this effect in Postans' ODNB entry but the lavish and rather quirky printing might suggest when taken along with the frontis. "From a photograph in the possession of His Highness Meer Jafur" that this was in some way a vanity publication". Coloured plates in order: 1. His Highness Meer Jafur Alee, and his Secretary. 2. Title page. 3. Sheik Khoob. (from life) 4. Parsee Lady. (from life) 5. Parbutti Dhobun. (from life) 6. Native Pedlars. (from life) 7. Hadjie Ahmed Borah. (from life) 8. The Fort, Surat. 9. French Tower near Surat. 10. Dowlutabad. 11. Vindia Purdasi. (Mangoe Seller) (from life)