BAIN Francis William

Publication Date: 1911
From Bauman Rare Books (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

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BAIN, Francis William. Works. London: Methuen, (1911-13). Nine volumes. Slim 12mo, contemporary three-quarter red close-grain morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $1750.Mixed later editions comprising this nine-volume set of Hindu love stories, purported by F.W. Bain to be his translations of ancient Sanscrit manuscripts. Handsomely bound by Bickers & Son.British author of fantasy stories Francis William Bain claimed that the tales he published were translated from ancient Hindu Sanskrit. Bain was for a number of years a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford, and then professor of History at the Deccan College in Poona, British India presumably being well schooled in both the Eastern and Western traditions. Bain offered the first of these tales, A Digit of the Moon (first published in 1898), as his translation of the eighth part of a 16-part Sanskrit manuscript presented to him by an unidentified brahmin. Argument over the authenticity of Bain s "translations" raged throughout his life. Each of the stories contains erudite footnotes explaining Sanskrit puns and wordplay that Bain himself confessed he did not fully understand. A contemporary reviewer saw it this way: "Though palpably a pretence, they are graceful fancies, and might as well have appeared for what they really are instead of masquerading as translations. No Hindu, unless of this generation and under foreign influence, ever conceived these stories Moreover, they are of a strict propriety, whereas original Hindu love stories would put Rabelais s ghost to the blush" (The Nation, 1905). A Digit of the Moon was followed by a number of other stories in the same mode: including In the Great God s Hair, Bubbles of the Foam, An Essence of the Dusk, Ashes of a God, Mine of Faults, and A Heifer of the Dawn. A fine set, with only light flecks of foxing to fore-edges, elegantly bound. Bookseller Inventory # 76657

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Title: Works

Publication Date: 1911

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