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Louis Rousselet India diaries, 1865-1866

Rousselet, Louis, 1845-1929, author.

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  • Title:
    Louis Rousselet India diaries, 1865-1866
  • Author/Creator: Rousselet, Louis, 1845-1929, author.
  • Creation Date: 1865-1866
  • Physical Desc.: 2 volumes : illustrations ; 19.5 x 13 cm
  • Summary: The two diaries kept by Louis-Théophile Marie Rousselet record a key period during the author's five-year sojourn in India. In addition to brief daily entries, they contain lengthier notes on a variety of subjects as well as sketches, photographs, hand-drawn maps, and clippings. Rousselet writes about visits to temples and records his observations on historic sites and places of geographical interest; local customs; methods of transport and engineering; and the games, enertainments, and other aspects of court life he observed while a guest of various local rulers. His entries also include financial notes and news from family and friends.
    The 1865 diary commences with a brief, four-page survey covering the period from 23 September to 21 December 1864 (pages containing entries for earlier dates have been cut from the diary), during which time Rousselet visited Khandalla, Karli and Kattiawar. Further on in the diary, on the pages for 20 April to 25 April, he records notes for his journey from Bahoo to Malim made in June of 1864. The entries for 1865 cover Bombay (Mumbai), the province of Gujarat, Vadodara, and Mathērān, among other locations. Included in this diary are 15 albumen photographs, mostly taken by Rousselet in Bombay and environs, especially at the hill station of Mahābaleshwar. Also included are eight full-page sketches, primarily of scenes of Bombay and Vadodara; a hand-drawn map of the routes between Vadodara and Calcutta; a plan of the ruins of the mosque and tomb complex of Sarkhej Roza near Ahmedabad; approximately 18 thumbnail sketches drawn in the margins of daily texts; and seven newspaper clippings primarily having to do with financial matters and the progress of the American Civil War, including a notice of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
    The diary for 1866 covers Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, Āmer, Bhutpore and Futtenpore, among other locations. The blank pages following the printed advertisements contain three hand-drawn maps including one spread over four pages of the route from Oodepoor to Jaipur, and a three-page list of Indian rulers. The page headed "memoranda of reference" contains a list of persons of note (colonial and Indian dignitaries) and the dates he met with them. The entries for this year are denser overall than those of the previous year, illustrated with only a few thumbnail sketches. Two pages for August are devoted to a plan of the Āmer Valley near Jaipur.
    The monthly summary pages at the end of each diary detail Rousselet's activities for the year, persons visited, dates of travel, financial matters, and the dates and places where he took photographs. A variety of loose notes, clippings and other materials were scattered throughout the two diaries, including a hand-written recipe for photographic varnish found in the 1865 diary and a piece of albuminized paper, possibly a photograph with its image browned beyond recognition, in the 1866 diary.
  • Language: French
  • Notes: Title devised.
    Several pages of text as well as photographs and sketches have been cut out of the 1865 diary; some partial pages remain where photographs were cut out.
    Rousselet's name is written at the top of the lett's Dairy advertisement in the 1866 diary.
    Biographical or Historical Note: Geographer, archaeologist and photographer Louis Rousselet undertook ethnographic and archaeological explorations in India and the Himalayas from 1864 to 1870, spending much of this time in central India. His publications include Voyage dans l'Inde (1869) and Les royaumes de l'Inde (1879). Rousselet was also secretary of the Société d'anthropologie de Paris.
    Binding Note: The diaries are each written in a dark tan cloth-bound Lett's No. 8 annual diary with title and date gilt-stamped on their front covers (1865 and 1866 respectively) and closed with brass locks. The beginning of each diary contains a printed almanac and assorted advertisements.
  • Form/Genre: Albumen prints--India--19th century.
    Diaries--India--19th century.
    Drawings--India--19th century.
    Manuscript maps--India--19th century.
    Sketches--India--19th century.
    Photographs, Original.
  • Subjects: Temples--India. Āmer (India)--Description and travel. Gujarat (India)--Description and travel. India--Antiquities. Jaipur (India)--Description and travel. Mahābaleshwar (India)--Description and travel. Mumbai (India)--Description and travel. Vadodara (India)--Description and travel.
  • Format: Mixed material
  • ID/Accession Number: 2015.M.20
  • Use Restrictions: Digital images and files saved from this website should be suitable for most purposes.
    For more information, see the Library Reproductions & Permissions page.

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