An Indian travelogue on Europe

Abu Taleb Khan, Mirza. [Masir-i Talibi, English]. The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme (by R. Watts, Broxbourne), 1810.

2 vols. 8vo. VIII, (16), 320 pp. 418 pp. With engraved frontispiece in the first volume. Contemporary quarter calf and marbled borards, spine decorated in gilt, black morocco spine labels titled in gilt, marbled endpapers.


First edition in English of this seminal travelogue originally published in Persian by Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (1752-1806), an Indian tax collector from an Iranian family who became famous abroad and in his homeland for his extensive travels. Published in London, where Abu Taleb was a well-known figure, it was among the first travelogues available to Europeans which treated their own continent from an Asian perspective. Although he praises English industry and modernization, Abu Taleb generally concludes that the Asian or particularly Indian approach is superior. Nevertheless, the British considered the picture painted to be flattering enough to promote its distribution among colonial subjects in British India.

The translator responsible for the English edition was Charles Stewart, a professor responsible for teaching Persian and Urdu at the East India Company College just outside London.

Some light exterior wear, with covers beginning to detach and resulting tape repair to endpapers; some toning and foxing.


Wilson 3. NSTC A139. OCLC 1061604751.

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