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Leland, Charles P. Capt. Leland's report of the horrible sacrifices of human victims among the various wild tribes of India. And also of the self sacrifices so prevalent in that country. New York: [© by O.L. Lovell], 1851. 8vo (22 cm, 8.7"). , –36 pp.; illus. $475.00
Sole edition of this lurid account of human torture and sacrifice. Little information is readily available on Leland, who says he "travelled extensively over the various Circars or Provinces of India" (p. 9) in 1845–48, and submits this report with a dateline from New York City. While the author claims to have witnessed mass human sacrifices, suttee, and assorted self-sacrifices himself, he also cites a number of other sources (Captain Macpherson, Captain Campbell, the Rev. William Ward, the Calcutta Review, etc.) for stories of infanticide and other horrors.
"Capt. Leland" may have been an American, for he says, in the extract from a letter he sent to the British governor of northern India (1847), "Now sir, brought up as you and I have been in England and America"; but he cannot, for a variety of reasons, have been the American Charles Leland who was later to publish on the ethnography and folklore of other regions.
The front wrapper of this "popular" publication bears an unsigned wood-engraved portrait of the author, which is repeated as the frontispiece, and the rear wrapper reproduces from the interior the unsigned => wood-engraved illustration of a sacrifice at the hands of club- and sword-wielding priests.
This ephemeral booklet is uncommon: WorldCat locates => only two U.S. institutional holdings.
Bibliotheca Munselliana, 47. Publisher's printed yellow paper wrappers; stained, chipped at extremities and spine. Lower inner portions waterstained; pages moderately foxed, with corners bumped. => Worn but wholly readable, and remarkably representative of a particular 19th-century mentality. (37220) Please RESHELVE This.
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