The Indian War of Independence of 1857.

The Indian War of Independence of 1857; signed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and from the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur

The Indian War of Independence of 1857.

SAVARKAR, Vinayak Damodar.

$20,000.00

Item Number: 106594

First edition in English of this highly influential work on the history of the 1857 rebellion by “one of the makers of free India.” Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, patterned endpapers, folding map. Signed by the author on the half-title page. From the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur with his ownership initials and library notes to the front free endpaper noting that the book was “purchased on 1-3-1943” (prior to Gandhi’s assassination) and that the author’s autograph was obtained subsequently on 23-12-1957 in Bombay. Indian nobleman Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur assembled India’s greatest library, famed for its diverse collection of rare antiquarian manuscripts and important books. Tipped in is a 1958 newspaper clipping from The Times of India adhered to the pastedown which reads in part, “Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Alyar said here today that the Indian people owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. V.D. Savarkar for his contribution to revolutionary thought and as such he was entitled as being one of the makers of free India.” In very good condition. Uncommon, the only signed example of this work we have seen.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, better known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar, was one of the most prominent figures of the Indian freedom struggle and the revolutionary movement. His revolutionary activities began while studying in India and England, where he was associated with the India House. His was first recognized for his epic 1910 escape through the port hole of SS Morea while being taken captive to India. His highly influential work on the history of the 1857 rebellion, The Indian War of Independence was written in response to celebrations in Britain of the uprising’s 50th anniversary using records from India Office archives. The work drew clear parallels with the French Revolution and the American Revolution to inspire the Indian nationalist movement. First published in Marathi, it was immediately considered highly inflammatory and banned in British India even before its publication. The English government brought pressure on France to ban its printing in Paris, and it was printed ultimately and surreptitiously in the Netherlands in 1909. The copies printed were then disguised in wrappers of the Pickwick Papers and other classics and shipped to India. While large numbers were secretly imported, where it became the Bible of political extremists, few copies of this unimposing volume appear to have survived the ravages of climate and use.

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