Leave of Absence in the Straits Settlements. India.
Leave of Absence in the Straits Settlements
Leave of Absence in the Straits Settlements

Leave of Absence in the Straits Settlements.

Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co. (printed by P.M. Craneburgh at the [Bengal] Military Orphan Press), 1859.

First edition. [iv], 244, viii pp. 8vo. Original blue ribbed cloth, spine gilt, bookplate to front pastedown of Sir Charles P. Hobhouse, Bart., Bradford-on-Avon, presentation inscription to title page. A fine copy The Calcutta Review, vol. 33. July-December 1859. Serampore: "Friend of India" Press, 1859, pp. lxviii-lxxi. Item #320421

Inscribed on the title page: "For Annie with the Author's love." This copy also formerly belonged to Sir Charles Parry Hobhouse, 3rd Baronet of Westbury.

A crisp copy recording the anonymous author's seven month's of exploring through South East Asia in 1851 and 1853. Departing 8 September 1851, the author (who remains anonymous to this day) spent four months travelling to Ceylon and Singapore before returning to Calcutta. In 1853, he set off again, this time for a three month excursion to the Madras and Bombay Presidencies. There are vivid descriptions of Singapore, Penang, Malacca, Madras, Calcutta, Bombay, Bangalore and Candy as well as coffee plantations and Buddhist temples. The author spends quite some time travelling overland and describes an ascent of Pedro Tallagalla and Kilkamany, and camping at Makoortie Peak. Despite the scarcity of this little book, it did attract critical attention. A favourable notice appeared in the Calcutta Review, which states that the author had "seen and noted down ... as much as any one who had preceded, or who has since followed him, in the same track."

The work concludes with an appendix in two parts, the first being a table showing the route, modes of transport (ship, rail, bandy, pony) and the amount of time spent at each location. The second is titled "Hints for travellers" which concludes: "Travellers will find it wiser never to have coolies to their palanquins when they can procure bearers; never to go in palanquins when they can, with safety from the sun, ride; never ride down passes when they can walk, and never to be discouraged by indifference or dissuaded by alarms from prosecuting any enterprise." There is nothing in the preface to explain the six year delay between the conclusion of his travel and the publication of the account.

Exceedingly rare. No copies on OCLC or COPAC. The only other copy we know of is the Brooke-Hitching copy (identically bound); the present copy is in superior condition.

Price: $5,500.00 Free International Delivery