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The Wesleyan Methodist Mission to Ceylon

Harvard, William Martin A Narrative of the establishment and progress of the mission to Ceylon and India, founded by the late Rev. Thomas Coke, L.L.D. under the direction of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference: Including notices of Bombay, and the superstitions of various religious sects at that Presidency, and on the continent of India. With an introductory sketch of the natural, civil, and religious history of the island of Ceylon. London printed for the author 1823
First edition. 8vo (23 x 13.5 cm),, [vi], lxxii, 404, hand-coloured frontispiece and map of Ceylon. A very good copy bound in modern half morocco. Gilt title on spine mis-tooled (China instead of India). All edges untrimmed.

An account of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission on Ceylon from 1814 to 1822. William Martin Harvard (1790-1857) and his wife accompanied Thomas Coke on his final mission to the island. Coke died at sea in 1813, but the rest of the party reached India safely. He wrote his account after his return to Britain in 1822. Harvard describes the mission's activities across Ceylon, from establishing their own printing press and schools, improving on the appallingly mismanaged Government Press, and successfully establishing missions across the island. Harvard and his group reached Ceylon shortly before the British overthrew the Kingdom of Kandy, and his text includes notes on the newly accessible interior. Harvard's interest in Buddhism led him to spend "much of our time in conversing, in a quiet way, with the most learned priests we could meet with." The coloured map shows the nine stations of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission on Ceylon in 1822.