[The Oriental Collections: consisting of original essays and dissertations, translation and miscellaneous papers; illustrating the history and antiquities, the arts, sciences, and literature, or Asia.] Volume I.
by [Orientalism] Major Sir William OUSELEY (editor).
London:: Printed for the Editor, by Cooper and Graham, 1797., 1797. [Four parts in one vol.]. 4to. [iii]-xii, 92, viii, -196, iv, -300, iv, -403,  pp. Lacks the preliminary title for the annual [supplied in photocopy facs.]. Advertisement, prospectus, contents, 18 engraved plates (2 hand-colored)***, 5 figures (including 1 hand-colored [pp. 16, 307, 310, 338 (2)], index, errata; minor penciling p.95-6, 267. At end of first issue: "Subscription for the four numbers . . . for 1797. Modern half navy blue blind- and gilt-stamped calf, blue cloth covers, raised bands, new endleaves. Very early periodical, which lasted for about three years, bringing Oriental-themed essays dealing with Middle Eastern & Asian literature, language, music, archeology, history, fauna & flora, birds & animals, and celebrates as well some of the earliest translations of the great Persian poets, such as Hafez and Sa'di. The work contains anecdotes, and an especially early rendition into English of the Arabian Nights, "A Tale from an original MS. of the Arabian Nights", translated by Jonathan Scott. The two hand-colored plates depict the Musk Deer of Nepal, "The Fighting Bulbul of Bengal", an additional plate offers four beasts shown as "Persian zoology" [with four figures]. / "Many of his academic contributions were published in the Oriental Collections, the three volumes of which appeared in London between 1797 and 1800." "William Ouseley, as well as his brother Gore, continued the pioneering work of William Jones (1746-94; q.v.) in the field of Persian studies in Great Britain. Jones and the Ouseley brothers shared the experience of extended stays in India, and their careers in turn illustrate how Great Britain's economic interests in India indirectly promoted Persian studies." / Includes translations from a number of Middle Eastern and Asian literatures including: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, Sanskrit, with illustrative plates including alphabets and some music; original texts included, with commentary on various languages./ Selected papers include all of these from the first fascicule: Sketch, Biographical and Literary, of Abu'l Taieb Al Motanabbi; with his two Poems on the Sickness and Recovery of Saif Uddaula, by the Rev. John Haddon Hindley – Of the Fighting Bulbul* of Bengal – Extraordinary Persian Distich, by P.D.V. – On the different modes of writing the word [----] in European Characters, by Philologus – Extract of a Journal and Memorandums written during a Tour in the Nizam's Country, in the Month of November, 1791, by an Officer – Hebrew Running Hand – Cufick Inscription – Persian Lines on the Deity, quotes in the Historical Work entitled "Tarik Moagem si Athar Moluck al Agem, translated by W. Ouseley – Sonnet b ythe Poet Sadi paraphrased from the Persian, by P.D.V. – On the Christianity of the Mohammedans; with Anecdotes of Murad Beg, a Trukish Writer of the sixteenth Century, by I.U. – Remarks on the Collation of Manuscripts; with various Readings in the Gulistan of Sadi, by Major Ouseley – The Lover to his Taper, translated from the Arabick of the Sheick Safy Eddin Alhillay, by the Rev. J.D. Carlyle, . . . – The Conquest of the Island of Zoos, from the Persian, by the Rev. R. Gerrans** – Anecdotes of Indian Musick, by W. Ouseley – Account of a Large Tree, Communicated by Colonel Ironside – Account of a Banian Tree in the Province of Bahar. . . – Persian Sonnet by Khosroo – Dialogues in the vulgar Arabick of Morocco, by Mr. William Price – Explanation . . . – Queries and Notes. Three other fascicules contain as much additional material. BIOGRAPHICAL: Major Sir William Ouseley (1767-1842), British Orientalist, went to Paris to learn French in 1787 and then became interested in Persian literature, which he undertook to learn in Leiden (1794). He was in the year 1800 knighted by "Charles Lord Cornwallis (1738-1805), who from 1786 to 1793 had been Governor-General of India, had him knighted in recognition of his promotion of oriental studies." "Ouseley's life as gentleman-scholar is marked by his unsuccessful efforts to obtain government support for a journey to Iran and by his unfulfilled ambition to become a government envoy to a Near-Eastern court. It was the diplomatic career of his brother Gore that allowed William to make the personal acquaintance of the Qajar envoy Abu'l-?asan ??n Il?i (1776-1845; q.v.), who visited England between 1809 and 1810, and to become his brother's secretary when between 1810 and 1815 Gore traveled as the British ambassador to the Qajar court in Tehran. Ouseley's memoir of Travels in Various Countries of the East is an important source of British-Persian politics during the Napoleonic Wars." – Encyclopaedia Iranica. His works are notable, including the present annual issued from 1979-1800, Persian Miscellanies. An Essay to Facilitate The Reading of Persian Manuscripts; With Engraved Specimens, Philological Observations, And Notes Critical And Historica + Persian Lyrics, of scattered poems, with the Diwan-I-Hafiz, (1795), Epitome of the ancient history of Persia. Extracted and translated from the Jehan Ara, a Persian manuscript, (1799), The oriental geography of Ebn Haukal, an Arabian Traveller of the Tenth Century, (1800), Observations On Some Medals And Gems, Bearing Inscriptions In The Pahlavi Or Ancient Persick Character, (1801), The Bakhtyar nameh, or, Story of Prince Bakhtyar and the ten viziers : a series of Persian tales, (1801), Travels in Various Countries in the East; More Particularly Persia, (1819-23), an edition of John Lewis Burckhardt's Travels in Arabia Comprehending an Account of Those Territories in Hedjaz Which the Mohammedans Regard as Sacred, (1829), Arabian Proverbs, Notes on the Bedouins and Wahbys, Catalogue of Several Hundred Manuscript Works in Various Oriental Languages, London, (1831), A Critical essay on various mss. works, Arabic & Persian illustrating the history of Arabia, Persia, Turcomania, India, Syria, Egypt, Mauritania and Spain, (1832). REFERENCES: English Short Title Catalog, P6556; "William Ouseley," in Encyclopaedia Iranica
(Inventory #: MEA1066)
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