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Dubois, Abbe J.A. Description of the Character, Manners, and Customs of the People of India; and of their Institutions, Religious and Civil. Translated from the French Manuscript. London Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1817
First edition 4to, pp.xxvii, [1, blank], 565. Bound without half-title in late 20th century half calf, marbled boards. A little light spotting to extremities. A very good copy.

Jean-Antoine Dubois, 1765-1848, French catholic missionary, sailed in 1792 to India where he spent twenty-seven years, serving first in Pondichery, then at Mysore and Mangalore. He abjured western society, dressed as a Sanyasi, and became a vegetarian. In 1827 he returned to Paris where he was appointed head on the Missions Étrangères. This book, one of the first classic analyses of Hindu society, soon became a standard work and a kind of manual for the Indian Civil Service. It is now known that a substantial portion of the work was plagiarized from the writings of a French Jesuit, Father Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, who worked in south India from 1732 to 1779 and was himself a noted Indologist.