“Evolution” and racism in a twentieth century reference book

Over the past few decades there has been a concerted effort among creationists to produce reference books which “tell their side of the story”. Most creationists also spend an appreciable amount of time discussing perceived lapses in evolutionary theory. Although I have seen misrepresentations in these accounts, I have yet to come across any reference … Continue reading “Evolution” and racism in a twentieth century reference book

On Hindus who eat beef

Far be it for me to judge anyone’s right to eat or not eat something. There is a vast list of things I find unpalatable, and I too have apologies as to why I eat what I eat. For example, as much as I love most varieties of fish, I feel guilty when I devour … Continue reading On Hindus who eat beef

A gruesome firsthand account of the Bengal Famine of 1770-1772

Continuing my rapid reading of choice texts from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, I came across what was purported to be an excerpt of a letter from Bengal by someone present in the Doab at the time. The excerpt was published in the New-York Literary Magazine Or Literary Repository in the newly-independent United … Continue reading A gruesome firsthand account of the Bengal Famine of 1770-1772

A “common Hindoo legend” and a religious conversation in India in 1842

In my last piece, I introduced readers to the journal of Charles Acland, a clergyman who wrote extensively about his tenure as chaplain at “Poree, Cuttack, and Midnapore” from 1842-1845 in Manners and Customs of India. Acland provided some very colorful anecdotes pertaining to the natives of eastern India who were under the administration of … Continue reading A “common Hindoo legend” and a religious conversation in India in 1842

On the travels of Charles Acland in Hindoostan (1842-1845)

Out of the hundreds of books I’ve read in 2010, I would be hard pressed to find a more intriguing one than A Popular Account of the Manners and Customs of India written by the Rev. Charles Acland between 1842 and 1845. The slim volume published in the form of a journal describes the time … Continue reading On the travels of Charles Acland in Hindoostan (1842-1845)