Founts of Knowledge is the third in a series titled ‘Book History in India’, which was started in 2004 to showcase the latest research in what was then a nascent field in India—the history of the book. It continues the trajectory of the first two volumes (published by Permanent Black) in establishing book history as a major tool of enquiry in the Indian academy, and brings together the finest scholars and the most recent research in the area.
This volume carries the second instalment of the four-part study of censorship of print during the Raj. It also examines print modernity and book entrepreneurs in colonial Benares; the complex history of Konkani print culture; the re-configuration of the community and building of a reading public by the coming of print in undivided Bengal through studies of theBhagavata Purana and the literary journal Bangadarsan; the construction of childhood through Hindi children’s periodicals in north India in the early twentieth century; early travels of the Bible in the Gangetic plain; and problems relating to the import of British educational texts in colonial India, especially Bengal.
This collection will be an invaluable resource for book historians, literary and textual scholars, historians of colonial India, historians of trade, social scientists, and researchers in media theory. It will also be of great interest to students and scholars of history, literature, publishing studies, print culture, and cultural studies.
Abhijit Gupta is Professor, Department of English, Jadavpur University; and Director, Jadavpur University Press, Kolkata. He completed his graduation in English from Jadavpur University and received a PhD from Cambridge University for his work on 19th-century British publishing. His other research areas include science fiction, graphic novels, crime fiction and the 19th century. His previously published work includes A Facsimile Edition of H. Sargent's Bengali Translation of Aeneid 1810 (2013, co-edited with Amlan Dasgupta); New Word Order: Transnational Themes in the History of the Book (2011, co-edited with Swapan Chakravorty); Crazy and Crazier: Tall Tales of a Fantastic Family (Manojder odbhut bari by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay) (2011, translated); and Funny and Funnier (short stories by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay) (2010, translated).
Swapan Chakravorty (1954–2021) was Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities, Presidency University and was former Director-General, National Library of India, Kolkata. An alumnus of Presidency College, Kolkata and Jadavpur University, he obtained his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford. He joined the English Department at Jadavpur University in 1985 and was Head from 2005 to 2007. He was also Joint Director, School of Cultural Texts and Records.
Professor Chakravorty was a reputed scholar of Shakespeare studies. He was a contributory editor of The Oxford Middleton (2007). His published work includes Society and Politics in the Plays of Thomas Middleton (1996), Print Areas: Book History in India (2004 co-edited with Abhijit Gupta), Nameless Recognition: The Impact of Rabindranath Tagore on Other Indian Literatures (2012, edited); New Word Order: Transnational Themes in the History of the Book (2011, edited with Abhijit Gupta); and Movable Type: Book History in India (2008, edited with Abhijit Gupta). Professor Chakravorty also wrote in Bangla and edited Mudraner Sanskriti O Bangla Boi (2007).
List of Figures
1. Benares Beginnings: Print Modernity, Book Entrepreneurs, and Cross-Cultural Ventures in a Colonial Metropolis
2. At Home in Bombay: Housing Konkani Print
3. Six Blind Men and the Elephant: Bhagavata Purana in Colonial Bengal
4. Childspeak: Children’s Periodicals in Hindi in Colonial North India (1920–50)
5. Bangla Literary Journalism at Nationalism’s ‘Moment of Departure’: The Intervention ofBangadarsan
6. On the Wrong End of the Raj: Some Aspects of Censorship in British India and its Circumvention during the
7. Educational Texts in Bengal, 1830–1900: Some Problems Relating to British Imports
8. What Really Happened under a Tree outside Delhi, May 1817
Notes on the Contributors