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Monumental history of Islam

Price, David, Major Chronological Retrospect, or Memoirs of the Principal Events of Mahommedan History, from the Death of the Arabian legislator, to the accession of the Emperor Akbar, and the establishment of the Moghul Empire in Hindustaun. From original Persian authorities. London Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown; and Black, Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen; sold by J. Booth [1811]-1821
First edition. Three volumes in four, 4to (27.5 x 21 cm.), pp.xvi, 606, [6, notes], large hand-coloured folding map; xvi, 716; xv, 483; (485)-998. A very good set in contemporary embossed cloth, gilt titles on spine. Professionally re-cased, heads and tails of spines repaired. Old wax seals on spines. With ownership inscriptions of Frederick F. Cornell (1804-1875), pastor of the Manhattan Reformed Dutch Church 1836-1856, dated 25 October 1848, New York; recent bookplate of Robert & Maria Travis to first volume.

A remarkably comprehensive chronicle of the history of Islam from the death of Muhammad to the accession of Emperor Akbar, drawing on Price's own translations from Persian sources, particularly Mirkhand, Khandamir, and Abu'l-Fazl. This was the first such chronicle published in English, and contemporary reviewers noted Price's methodical scholarship and his history's ambitious span. As a clear narrative history, with Hijri and Gregorian dates conveniently printed in the margins, it had no contemporary equal and remained a foundational text for English scholars of Islam during the 19th century. David Price (1762-1835) enlisted in the East India Company at the age of nineteen, and went to India, where he studied Persian. He served against Tipu Sultan in the Mysore War, acted as translator to General James Stuart, and lost a leg at the siege of Dharwar. His final post was Judge Advocate of the Bombay Army. Throughout his time in India he collected manuscripts. In 1805, he retired to England, where he wrote a number of works on Indian, Persian, and Arabian history, for which the Oriental Translation Committee awarded him their gold medal. The title-pages are dated 1821, when the final volume was issued in two parts. A note to the binder at the rear of the second part of the third volume records the presence of substitute titles, to replace those originally issued with the first and second volumes, dated 1811 and 1812.