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Sir Edwin Arnold Letters


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

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Overview and metadata sections

Arnold, Edwin, Sir, 1832-1904

Sir Edwin Arnold was an English poet and journalist. In 1856 he went to India as principal of the Government Sanskrit College at Poona where he gathered material for his future works. Returning to England in 1861, he worked as a journalist and, later, editor of The Daily Telegraph, as well as contributing to other journals including the Press, The LIterary Gazette, The London Review, and The Critic. It was Arnold who, on behalf of the proprietors of the Telegraph, in conjunction with the New York Herald, arranged the journey of Henry Morton Stanley to Africa to discover the source of the Nile River, and Stanley named a mountain after him. To his contemporaries, however, Arnold was best known as a poet. The literary task which he set before him was the interpretation in English verse of the life and philosophy of the East. His chief work with this object was The Light of Asia, which was translated in various languages, including Hindi. It appeared in 1879 and was an immediate success, going through numerous editions in England and in America.

The collection consists of fifteen letters by the English author Sir Edwin Arnold to the London publisher Smith, Elder, and Co. regarding his The Book of Good Counsels. An abridged translation from the Sanskrit of the Hitopadeśa, which was the basis of Bidpai's Fables, Arnold's work of poetical prose was published as a column in the Press newspaper. In his first letter dated Jan. 8, 1861, Arnold asks Smith, Elder, and Co. to publish his book and offers them the copyright. Other letters are about sending him the proofs, making changes, and choosing the right engraver who will be able to portray the Sanskrit "beasts." In other letters he discusses his fees and also asks the publisher to send copies of the book to the newspapers and magazines he worked with to generate publicity.

The Book of Good Counsels: from the Sanskrit of the "Hitopadeśa" by Sir Edwin Arnold ; illustrations by Gordon Browne (Exf) 2367.2909.

The material was purchased on December 7, 1970 (AM20366).

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This collection was processed by Dina Britain in May 8, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey in June 12, 2009. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

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The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

15 Letters from Sir Edwin Arnold to Elder Smith and Co., 1861 January-June. 4 folders.
Physical Description

4 folders

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