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(Ceylon - Sri Lanka). TENNENT, James Emerson. Ceylon. An Account of the Island, Physical, Historical and Topographical with Notices of its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions. Illustrated by Maps, Plan and Drawings.
London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1860. In two volumes. Fourth edition, thoroughly revised (published the same years as the first edition). Tall 8vo., recently rebound with blue calf spine, marble boards, raised bands, gilt compartments, and 19th-century leather spine labels, with new endpapers, xxxix, 643; xvi, 663, (1)pp. With the halftitles. With illustrations and four maps (including two folding). Very faint dampstain on the edge of the half-title and frontispiece of volume two, but otherwise a near fine copy.

“Tennent's two-volume study Ceylon, a richly documented, superbly written work, went through five editions and lasted well into the twentieth century as the standard book on the island. Its success owed as much to the conceptual boldness as to its masterly handling of disparate sets of source materials, for Tennent understood, as did few of his contemporaries, the revolutionary change in the economy of the island that had followed upon the successful cultivation of coffee in the 1830s. Tennent mastered the chronology of the history of ancient and medieval Sri Lanka, understood the processes of state-building under the Sinhalese kings, and above all was full of admiration for the technological skills demonstrated by ancient engineers in irrigation, urban planning, and construction of public buildings and monuments. Ceylon became a classic virtually from the time of first publication...” (Oxford History of the British Empire, p. 244).

Price: $1250.00

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