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Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 1
Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 2
Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 3
Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 4
Thumbnail of Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 1
Thumbnail of Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 2
Thumbnail of Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 3
Thumbnail of Bhagavad Gita Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans. The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London Printed for C. Nourse, 1785. image 4
Lot 252
[Bhagavad Gita] Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans.
The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, London: Printed for C. Nourse, 1785.
23 January – 2 February 2023, 12:00 EST
Skinner Marlborough, Massachusetts

Sold for US$25,500 inc. premium

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[Bhagavad Gita] Wilkins, Charles (1749-1836), trans.

The Bhagvat-Geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon. in Eighteen Lectures, With Notes., first edition, Folio, full red morocco, gilt-ruled, gilt edges, title gilt to spine, marbled endpapers (corners bumped, covers rubbed, black stain to rear cover, lighter stains to front cover, edge wear, some loss to edge of rear cover near top, foxing to first 10 pages), 12 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.

Preface by Warren Hastings. Title page states, "Translated from the original, in the Sanskreet, or ancient language of the Brahmans." The first direct translation of the Bhagavad Gita into any Western language, it was enormously influential and helped convince Romantic-era European philosophers and artists that Indian thought was as worthy of respect as that of the West. Among those influenced was William Blake, who in 1809 made a drawing titled The Bramins (now lost) depicting Wilkins consulting with Hindu scholars over his translation.

Wilkins, co-founder with Sir William Jones of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, spent 16 years in India studying religions, languages, and early scripts. A printer by trade, he was instrumental in creating the first typeface for the Bengali language.

On the verso of the ffep, this copy is inscribed by a previous owner, by the name of Bodwell: "Bought by me at the sale of the late Queen Charlotte -- at Christies rooms in Pall Mall." The reference is to the auction dispersing property of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III, which began on June 9, 1819 and was advertised as the "the Genuine Library, Prints and Books of Prints of an Illustrious Personage, lately deceased." The sale consisted of 4,415 lots, all of which were sold.,
London: Printed for C. Nourse, 1785.

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