One of the earliest Indian authors to publish fiction in English, Shoshee Chunder Dutt was a prolific essayist, poet, historian and novelist, and a perceptive social commentator. A member of the gifted Dutt family of Calcutta, his writing is a fascinating window on the colonial ‘contact zone’ of the early nineteenth century. In Selections from ‘Bengaliana’ some of his most significant essays and short stories are reproduced for the first time, including ‘Shunkur’, the only fictional account of the 1857 rebellion from an Indian perspective, and ‘Reminiscences of a Kerani’s Life’, a satirical memoir of his career in the East India Company treasury. Also included in this edition is ‘The Republic of Orissa’ (1845), one of the first Indian-English representations of anti-colonial struggle, and a rediscovered companion piece by Shoshee’s cousin, Kylas Chunder Dutt, entitled ‘A Journal of Forty-Eight Hours of the Year 1945’ (1835). This edition provides an introduction to Shoshee’s life and work, textual notes and a full glossary of Bengali terms.
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