Curry & Rice (on Forty Plates) or The Ingredients of Social Life at "Our” Station in India -
Capt. Geo. F. Atkinson
1858 - Day & Son, London - First Edition
A bright sharp first edition of this magnificently illustrated satire on the British way of life in India with 40 amusing tinted lithograph plates by Atkinson, including additional illustrated title page, all with original tissue guards.
Atkinson served with the Bengal Engineers between 1840 and 1859. Written immediately following the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the work describes a fictional Indian village called Kabob. Included in the narrative are forty full-page tinted lithographs of daily life around the village, which he illustrated himself. Atkinson caricatured colonial officials in a humorous way, presenting brief vignettes of different fictional British characters residing in the village. He was inspired by Sir Charles Doyley’s depictions of Britishers in India, but he took a more critical approach to interpreting the relationships between the British and their colonial subjects. Native Indians were seen as treacherous and unchangeable following the Sepoy Rebellion; British colonialists distanced themselves from their subjects and exaggerated their social values in an effort to preserve their “Britishness” within the foreign space of India. The work enjoyed a long period of popularity among the British following Atkinson’s early death, in part because of the satirical nature of the work, but also because it presented a discerning view of colonial life in India.’ - Sara Miller McCune Collection, UC Santa Barbara