Specimens of Hindoo Literature: Consisting of Translations, from the Tamoul Language, of some Hindoo works of Morality and Imagination, with Explanatory Notes: to which are prefixed introductory remarks on the Mythology, Literature, &c. of the Hindoos - Inscribed - N. E. Kindersley 1794 - Printed by W. Bulmer and Co., London - First Edition A scarce and important work, inscribed ‘From The Author’ – one of the earliest translations of Hindu literature and mythology. Kindersley’s composition features the first English rendering of extracts from the Holy Kural, or ‘Ocean of Wisdom’, and the Hindu romance, ‘A History of the Nella-Rajah’, together with his explanatory notes and comments on the Tamil (Tamoul) language.

Described by Kindersley as a
‘moral poem... understood to have been written fourteen hundred years since’, The Holy Kural, ‘Tirukkural’ or ‘Teroo-Vaulaver Kuddal’, is considered one of the most universal expositions on honourable thought and compassion ever composed. It elucidates on the natural wisdom of man, and includes sections on worship, charity, domestic life, hospitality, gratitude, and justice.

With examples of the Tamil alphabet on page 46, and five plates including engravings of the Hindu cupid ‘Munmoden’, the ‘Treemoortee’ and ‘Shivven’.
  Nathaniel Edward Kindersley (1763-1831) translated and composed Specimens of Hindoo Literature while stationed in the south eastern provinces of the Coromandel coast as a member of the East India Company’s Civil Service.

Provenance: Armourial binding, with coat of arms and motto in gilt to spine. Later, small booksellers plate to front.

References: Muller, ‘Antiquity and Sacred Writing: Tamil Literary Histories in the the 19th - 20th centuries’ tamilnation.org. Griffiths,
The Monthly Review, or Literary Journal Volume XVI, 1795. Himalayan Academy, ‘Ancient Tamil Scripture Published For First Time in U.S.’ 1979 Hinduism Today, web. Thorne, The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820 1986.

Octavo (binding size 21.6 x 13.5 cm) pp. [2] [2 (original front free endpaper)] xiii [3] 335 [5].
Collated 8/2018 - p.110 single plates, 328 two folding plates, 334 two folding plates.
  In period armourial binding of quarter navy morocco over blue marbled boards, spein with gilt lettering and gilt blocked coat of arms, brown endpapers.   Condition: Near fine, toning to some edges, in very good binding, with later restoration to corners and spine.   Ref: 108757   Price: HK$ 4,500