Author: Imre Bangha
Publisher: Rainbow publishers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186962352
This volume is Thomas Duer Broughton's Selections from the Popular Poetry of the Hindoos 1814. It presents a selection of the stock of poems that Hindustani soldiers were acquainted with in the early nineteenth century.
Thomas Duer Broughton's Selections from the Popular poetry of the Hindu is the first printed anthology of Brajbhasha poets. Being the first work of its kind is sufficient reason to bring the book back from the oblivion in which it has been immersed during the past centuries. Broughton's Selection, however, is also an outstanding source of Indian social and literary history, since it is one of the earliest Hindi sources that has immediate contact with the oral performance.
In the first years of the nineteenth century a British army officer called Thomas Duer Broughton became enchanted by the songs and poems that his soldiers knew by heart. He started to get them noted down and eventually his collection became the first published anthology of Hindi poets. What sort of poems were memorized by Indian Siphais at that time? Surprisingly enough most of them were not folk poems but apart from some devotional quatrains and songs, were products of court poetry in the most refined period of Hindi literature, the so called ritikal, period of mannerism.
Broughton's anthology serves as a source to the cultural interaction between the Indians and the British. His book also indicates the existent to which a member of the British Indian elite was able to appreciate Indian culture through a mannerist Hindi poems. Since in Europe the era of Romanticism was that of a widespread interest in Oriental cultures and the time of the discovery of folk art Broughton presented Bra poetry as popular and rustic and at the same time considered it to be one of the greatest achievements of universal literature. That is why tried to bring it close to the general English reader.
Apart from Broughton's text, the book contains reconstructed Hindi versions of the poems with their new English translation as well as a critical introduction,.