Publisher: London: Printed for J. Nourse, 1777.
Edition: First and only edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC 95401; Sabin 37777; ODNB; Robinson, page 242.
Condition: Very good copy.
Book ID: 28316
Description8vo, modern dark brown morocco, gilt rules and lettering. Frontispiece. With half-title.
CommentsIn 1762 Jemina Kindersley married Lieutenant Nathaniel Kindersley and soon followed him to India, where he served with the East India Company’s Bengal artillery. Her journey to India took almost a year, with stops en route in the Canary Islands, St. Salvador, Brazil – where she spent almost a month - and the Cape of Good Hope. Though not from a prosperous family, Kindersley was well educated “which enabled her to write a confident account of her journey to India and life there, mainly in Calcutta and Allahabad, from 1764 to 1769. Her work gives an interesting account of the early period of British consolidation in north India. . . . The Letters, which contain no personal information . . . record her wide-ranging observations of local life, religion, and culture, and consider more generally the prevailing characteristics of Indian society . . . [including] that 'oriental despotism' undermined politics, society, and military achievement, and controlled the lives of Indian women. She was particularly interested in the latter, and sought to investigate suttee. As a woman she was able to visit a zenana in Allahabad, and gives one of the earliest Western accounts of the appearance and life of Muslim women. . . . She thus helped set the pattern for women travel writers, who were welcomed for their style and ability to popularize subject-matter which was often dry or difficult of access” – ODNB. Kindersley was also one of the first women travel writers to observe first hand and comment on British colonialism.
Status: On Hold