Patronage over Literature, Translation and Print: Some Remarks on 1809 Edition of the Dabestān-e mazāheb Published in Print with the Support of the East India Company
Keywords:patronage, print in 19th century India, the East India Company, Persian literature in India
Dabestān-e mazāheb is an interesting example of a 17th century text on various faiths and creeds of the Indian subcontinent. The present case study looks at possible explanations for its popularity claimed for it in the editorial note found in the first printed edition (1809) while simultaneously analysing reasons behind selection of this particular text for a print publication in the light of patronage extended by the East India Company to translation and printing of selected Indian writings. The process in this case is well documented in the correspondence of British officials such as Sir William Jones, but as to the reasons for the printing even more may be deduced from the highly ornate Persian peritext appended at the end of the 1809 edition by the book’s editor, Nazar Ashraf. The note provides an interesting testimony to the evolving fusion of the long tradition of manuscript writing and the advancements in printing which the paper explores.
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Grant numbers 2018/31/B/HS2/02328