OR, T H E   F A T A L   R I N G :

 by Sir William Jones (1789)
[online version prepared by FWP, January 2004]

*Translator's Preface*
*The Prologue* [scene: among the actors]
*Act One* [scene: a forest]
*Act Two* [scene: a plain at the edge of the forest]
*Act Three* [scene: the hermitage in a grove]
*Act Four* [scene: a lawn before the cottage]
*Act Five* [scene: in the palace]
*Act Six* [scene: a street]
*Act Seven* [scene: Indra's heaven]

Sir William Jones's uniquely influential, delightful, and historically important translation has long been of interest to students in many fields. The translation was first published in Calcutta in 1789, then in London (1790, 1793) and Edinburgh (1796). This e-text is the version printed in The Works of Sir William Jones (13 vols.), ed. by Lord Teignmouth (London: John Stockdale, 1807), vol. 9, pp. 363-532. For further information on its textual history, see the introduction to Jonathan Wordsworth, ed., Kalidasa: Sakontala; or the Fatal Ring, 1807 (Otley, Eng.: Woodstock Books, 2001). Inconsistencies of spelling, transliteration, etc., have not been modernized.

Some background material:

Paul Brians, *Study guide to Shakuntala*

A few *depictions of Shakuntala*

Romila Thapar, Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1999). [Includes Barbara Stoler Miller's translation.]

Dorothy Figueira, Translating the Orient: The Reception of Sakuntala in Nineteenth-century Europe (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991). [*NetLibrary location*]

Barbara Stoler Miller, ed., Theater of Memory: the Plays of Kalidasa, translated by Edwin Gerow, David Gitomer, Barbara Stoler Miller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984).

Yashwant Malaiya, *Kalidasa: some general information*

Henry Morse Stephens, *"Sir William Jones"*

Sir William Jones: an archive of articles (1784-1793) by this very important early Indologist (scroll down and look under "Jones")

Compare: Sir Monier Monier-Williams's translation (1855); and a separate reprint of this translation with an introduction by Epiphanius Wilson (1900)

Compare: Sacountala: ballet-pantomime en deux actes; tiré du drame indien de Calidasâ, by Théophile Gautier (1858)

Compare: Arthur Ryder's translation (1912); and  Arthur Ryder's translation in PDF form (attributed to In parentheses Publications, Cambridge, Ontario, 1999); downloaded with much appreciation (and mainly for extra security) from:


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