JOHN, Horace. The Indian archipelago; its history and present state.

London, Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1853.

2 vols, 8vo (200 x 120 mm), pp. xxxix, [i, blank], 393, [3]; xxvii, [i, blank], 359, [1, blank], 5, [3], 32; original cloth; joints cracking; spines a little frayed; ex-SOAS Dodwell library copy with stamps to verso of titles.


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First edition. ‘St John embarked on a literary career at a very early age, and over a period of thirty years was an assiduous contributor to the leading periodicals and newspapers of the day, including The Times, The Standard, and The Athenaeum, chiefly on politics and Eastern affairs. He published A Life of Christopher Columbus (1850), followed by A History of the British Conquests in India (2 vols, 1852). For his third work, The Indian Archipelago (2 vols, 1853), he used materials provided by his brothers Spenser Buckingham and James Augustus junior, both then living in the Far East. From 1857 until 1861 he was a political leader writer on the Daily Telegraph, his particular gift being “to sit down at a table anywhere, and with the first writing implements that came to hand, dash off a leader in an hour’s time” ’ (Oxford DNB).


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