The daughter of a naval officer, Maria Graham (1785-1842), later Lady Callcott, combined her passion for travel with a diligent attention to scholarship and self-improvement. In 1808, the talented linguist and artist sailed for India with her family. She travelled widely in south and east India and Ceylon, and became fascinated by the culture, religion and antiquities of the sub-continent. This, the first of her celebrated travel journals, was published on her return to England in 1812. She regarded it as a supplement to scholarly works of history or economics, aiming to give a real, and unusually open-minded, impression of the country. Covering flora and fauna, social life, and tourist attractions, and written in a vivid style with her own illustrations, the book was an immediate success, the second edition (reissued here) appearing in 1813. It was followed by volumes on Brazil and Chile, also available in this series.
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection