Robert Baikie (1799-1889).
Observations on The Neilgherries, including an Account of their Topography, Climate, Soil & Productions, and of the Effect of the Climate on the European Constitution. Edited by W.H. Smoult. Calcutta: printed by The Baptist Mission Press, 1834.
8° (241 x 158mm). Hand-coloured lithographic frontispiece by J. Bennett, 34 hand-coloured lithographic maps by and after J.B. Tassin, comprising 3 folding maps, 30 route maps and one 'Index' map of the route maps, 10 lithographic plates by J. Bennett after Gantz and others, all but one hand-coloured, comprising 7 topographical and ethnographical and 3 botanical. Errata leaf bound in after list of subscribers. (Some scattered spotting and light offsetting and staining, one map slightly marked and with small hole, 2 with small tears at folds, one botanical plate trimmed at foot touching title.) Contemporary Indian half blue roan with the binder's ticket 'Bound by , R. MACCULLOCH , No 113 Mirzapore , CALCUTTA', the spine titled in gilt and blind-stamped with stylised floral and foliate sprays (boards a little rubbed and scuffed, skilfully rebacked preserving original spine). Provenance: 'Charlotte Dalrymple 1835' (inscription on verso of frontispiece, wife of Major-General Sir John Dalrymple Bart, subscriber for 2 copies, cf. p.x).
A FINE AND COMPLETE COPY OF THE RARE FIRST EDITION OF BAIKIE'S NEILGHERRIES IN A CONTEMPORARY CALCUTTA BINDING. In his 'Preface', Baikie states that: 'The purpose of the Author of the following pages has been, by a simple statement of facts, to attract attention to a circumstance of which, he has reason to believe, a great majority of the Indian public is not aware; namely, the existence of an elevated tract of country, with a climate completely European, situated within the heart of our own dominions in southern India, and accessible from almost every part of the three presidencies' [of Bengal, Madras and Bombay]. The work comprehensively details the routes described in the maps, and gives information on the geographical, topographical, meteorological, botanical and other aspects of the area, using a number of firsthand accounts by other writers. The botanical information includes a 'paper on the Botanical Physiognomy of the Hills' by Baron C.A.A. von Hügel and 'A List of Plants gathered in the Neilgherries ... By the Rev. Mr. [B.] Schmid'. According to the 'Preface by the Editor', only 500 copies were printed (p.vii). BM(NH) I, p.85; Catalogue of the Library of The India Office I, p.15 (noting a second edition published in Calcutta in 1857); Wellcome II, p.86.