Introduction by FWP
Even more than usual, for this text I've been only a kind of *dallal*. The raw material was the excellently proofread electronic version provided by *Project Gutenberg* (text #12006). The original printed version of the handbook had thirteen illustrations and four plans:
List of Illustrations
These were all absent from the Project Gutenberg version, which of course gave me the obvious idea of replacing them with far more abundant and lavish online images. So that's what I've done. Above all, the images to which I've linked are the huge, magnificent ones provided by a wonderful "artserve" site at *ANU* (*ANU's main India index page*). But you'll find others too-- in fact, all the worthwhile ones that I know about.
This guidebook, over a century old now, has some errors in it, and also some old-fashioned, black-and-white views of the various Mughal emperors, and so on. So why bother with it? Partly because it's a good overview for general interest, and partly because it describes the sites as they looked in the 1890's, with the aftermath of the Rebellion of 1857 still very apparent. Using it reminds us that all such guidebooks, like all texts, are themselves situated in time and space, and share the perspectives of their writers. If we have to read this book with a bit of caution, that's a healthy reminder that we have to read our own generation's guidebooks with caution too.
The editing I've performed has been very minor.
All material in square brackets is mine. A very few long paragraphs have
been broken in half; a few typos have been corrected; punctuation has been
corrected here and there and adjusted for clarity. The author has ostentatiously
used diacritics: those that he does give are basically accurate (except
in one case that I've fixed)-- but alas, those that he doesn't give are
so numerous as to make the whole system almost useless. I've left his diacritics
there just for simplicity's sake, but please don't take them as a complete
or scholarly effort. It's possible that the author knew Urdu and simply
did a poor job, but my guess is that he didn't, but was trying conscientiously
(though haphazardly) to acquire them from other sources.
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