The Patronage of Literary Criticism

Bhārtendu Hariścandra’s Critical Remarks on Bhakti Poets in the Print Sphere of the 1870s–1880s




Hindi print sphere, bhakti, literary criticism, Bhārtendu Hariścandra, Khadgavilas Press


The present work is inspired by previous contributions to the development of the Hindi public and print spheres in the 19th century (Dalmia 1997; Orsini 2002; Stark 2007). It aims at extending and integrating previously elaborated presentations by focusing on the patronage provided by colonial institutions to the development of Hindi literary studies in the 1870s and 1880s. The study also considers the role played by Indian sampradāys in enacting the religious and intellectual processes underwriting the expansion of this field. By moving in this direction, the article mainly builds on the investigation of some biographies (jīvnī) of the North Indian devotional poets penned by Bhārtendu Hariścandra in the 1870s. Further, it explores the relationship between these biographies and the anthologies published in the mid-1870s by the Naval Kishor Press. The final section of the contribution provides an introductory analysis of the type of patronage extended to Hariścandra and his works by the Khadgavilas Press in the 1880s. The aim is to draw a comparison between the policies of some earlier private publishing enterprises and those pursued by the new, Hindu-oriented publishing enterprises.

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How to Cite

Mangraviti, Fabio. 2023. “The Patronage of Literary Criticism: Bhārtendu Hariścandra’s Critical Remarks on Bhakti Poets in the Print Sphere of the 1870s–1880s”. Cracow Indological Studies 25 (2):109-47.