Burlington: Stephen C. Ustick, 1812. 12mo. 266 pp. Later edition. Contemporary brown calf, gilt tooling on spine, edges and spine worn; tear to upper corner of p. 11 (one word of text missing), text leaves browned with some foxing, stain through last 40 leaves. Ownership inscription on fly-leaf. Item #15162
Rare edition of an influential work. It contains sometimes lurid accounts of religious and cultural practices in India, including, for example, a section on “Immolation of females.” First published in 1811, the work Christian researches in Asia was issued in several editions in England and the United States in the ensuing two years. It was also translated into several languages. According to the Oxford DNB, “Buchanan’s writings were considered authoritative in America and helped to stimulate the American missionary movement and to shape American attitudes towards non-Christians.” The sermons included with each edition vary somewhat. This particular edition, published by Stephen Ustick in Burlington, New Jersey, appears to be relatively rare, with OCLC listing just 6 known copies in libraries.
Buchanan (1766-1815) was born in Scotland, and became an East India Company chaplain. He traveled extensively in India and wrote compellingly on what he observed.