The History of Sumatra,
Containing an Account of the Government, Laws, Customs, and Manners of the Native Inhabitants, with a Description of the Natural Productions, and a Relation of the Ancient Political State of that Island. London printed for the author 1784
Second Edition 4to, pp.xii, 373, (vi), alphabet plate, folding map. A very good copy bound in contemporary quarter-calf, marbled boards. Boards a little chipped and worn. Bookplates on endpapers. Occasional light foxing.
William Marsden, one of the great British Orientalists of the late eighteenth century, was sent out to the East India Company establishment at Bencoolen in 1771 as a writer. He rapidly rose to become Principal Secretary to the Government. He devoted his time to the study of literature and science and became proficient in the Malay language, later publishing a grammar and dictionary.