The Languages and Races of Dardistan.
Leitner, G.W. The Languages and Races of Dardistan.First edition, London 1876.
3 parts in one volume. Frontispiece with signed photographic portrait, inserted addendum slip, one full-page mounted photographic plate of a ‘Group of Dards’, 3 mounted photographs on one page showing Greco-Buddhist (Gandharan) sculptures excavated at Takht-I-Bahi on the Panjab (North-West Frontier), 15 engraved text illustrations on 7 pages, and 4 folding maps in pocket, one printed in colour, the rest handcoloured in outline, and another not called for in index.
The 4 maps are by E.G. Ravenstein; one is ‘A Native Map of the country between Peshawar and the Oxus, translated by Dr. G.W. Leitner, 1875’. Title uniformly browned and spotted, occasional light spotting, marginal stain affecting corner of one photographic plate. Original maroon cloth, lettered in gilt. pp. 8, iv, 37, vii, 51, (ii), iii, 109, ii, 4, (ii – Official and other acknowledgements of the success of Dr. Leitner’s Linguistic Mission to Kashmir and Chilas). Folio. One of only 100 copies of this first edition, signed by Dr. Leitner.
An exceptionally rare account of Kashmir and adjoining regions, it contains an account of Leitner’s journey from Lahore in 1866 through Kangra, Mandi, Lahul, Zanskar, Ladakh and Kashmir. His findings include a comparative grammar and vocabulary and records of legends, fables, customs and religion.
Gottleib William Leitner (1841-1899), one of the greatest linguists of the Victorian age, was appointed Professor of Arabic at King’s College, London at the age of 21. He was the founding Principal of Government College, Lahore. As the Asiatic Quarterly Review observed in its obituary notice in 1899 ‘to him was due the movement on behalf of the Panjab University, its foundation, organization and its successful working from 1865 to 1884’.
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