"An important book in the growing interest of Orientalism" (Ghani 138)

Francklin, William. Observations Made on a Tour from Bengal to Persia in the Years 1786-7. With a Short Account of the Remains of the Celebrated Palace of Persepolis; and Other Interesting Events.

London, T. Cadell, 1790.

8vo. VIII, 351, (1) pp. Handsome period style brown gilt tooled half calf with marbled boards and red gilt morocco label. Period ink inscription on the first page of the Preface: "G. Matcham".

With an autograph letter signed from Colonel Francklin to Major Moor, dated 1835, attached to the front endpaper. 4to. 2 pp. Brown ink on laid paper.


Second edition, with an autograph letter signed by the author. While the writing is not particularly clear, the letter is in very good condition. Most likely from the library of English explorer and Officer of East India Company George Matcham (1753-1833). Being William Francklin's older contemporary, Matcham served in the Company in 1771-85 and extensively travelled across the Near East and the Red Sea on the way from India to England and back (cf. ODNB). William Francklin (1763-1839) was an Officer of the East India Company and a prominent orientalist; member, and in later years, librarian of the council, of the Royal Asiatic Society. He was also a member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. "A distinguished officer, Francklin also enjoyed considerable reputation as an oriental scholar. In 1786 he made a tour of Persia, in the course of which he lived at Shiraz for eight months as the close friend of a Persian family, and was thus able to write a fuller account of Persian customs than had before appeared. This was published as 'Observations Made on a Tour from Bengal to Persia' (Calcutta, 1788) and was translated into French in 1797" (ODNB). Francklin's account was also published in German the same year as our English edition. The first edition was published in Calcutta in 1788. "An important book in the growing interest of 'Orientalism.' There are numerous references to Hafez. (Francklin's book was read by Byron, among others). The book is also important because of the retelling of comments the author had heard about Karim Khan Zand. The author states eye-witnesses had told him Karim Rhan always rode at the head of his troops; his soldiers liked him; there was nothing great in him but he was considered a just man even though during the last year of his reign he committed some cruel acts. We are also informed that Karim Khan was a 'debaucher.' The author saw a full cycle of Ta'zie during his stay in Shiraz" (Ghani). "Describes Cochin, Tellicherry, Anjengo, Goa, Bombay etc." (Kaul Travels 858).

A very good, handsome copy.


Howgego I, E8. Ghani 138. Cox I, 257. Henze II, 165.