INDIA, PAST AND PRESENT.

(Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1903). 206 x 133 mm. (8 1/8 x 5 1/4"). Two volumes. FIRST EDITION.

PUBLISHER'S RED CLOTH, ELABORATELY GILT, front covers with all-over gilt floral decoration, rectangular inset featuring a gilt sketch of the Taj Mahal, flat spines with same floral design, gilt titling, top edges gilt. In original red cloth dust jackets and (lightly scuffed) matching original slipcase. With one folding color mapr tipped in at back of volume II, one full-page map, and 50 photographic plates, as called for. Head and tail of spines just slightly bumped, dust jacket spines a little sunned, very faint offsetting from ribbon markers, other trivial imperfections, but AN EXTREMELY FINE SET, the bindings bright and remarkably well preserved, the volumes opening unwillingly and showing no signs of use, the dust jacket and slipcase a fortunate survival that has maintained the set in near pristine condition.

This account of India in the early 20th century provides us with an overview of the country's colorful history and culture, and then examines the various regions in more detail. Photographs of the exotic locales add interest. The work ends with a glossary of commonly-used Indian words, some of which--bungalow, khaki, and bazaar, for example--have entered the English language. Author Forbes-Lindsay wrote a number of works on far-flung places during the first two decades of the 20th century, including the Phillipines, Panama, and Cuba, but as a son of the Raj, born in Calcutta to British parents, India always held a special place in his heart. The especially attractive publisher's gilt bindings use a decorative motif appropriate to the content and are almost amazingly well preserved, surely as bright today as on the day they were released.
(ST11896f)