A Voyage to the East Indies: Containing an Account of the Manners, Customs, Etc of the Natives, with a Geographical Description of the Country

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After a six-month voyage, the Carmelite missionary Paolino da San Bartolomeo (1748-1806) arrived in Malabar in India towards the end of July 1776. Later acclaimed as an orientalist, he was among the first to note the relationship between Sanskrit and European languages, and the present work gives a valuable account of the geography and culture he observed over the course of thirteen years. Returning to Rome in 1789, he wrote many books under the patronage of Cardinal Stefano Borgia, including one of the first works on Sanskrit grammar. Here he uses his impressive knowledge of Indian dialects to revise the accepted spelling and pronunciation of a number of cities and natural features. The book also contains observations on the religion, history, botany and laws of eighteenth-century India. First published in Italian in 1796, the work was soon translated into German, from which William Johnston produced this English translation in 1800.