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Book Profile and Revue: 19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon – Sri Lanka by R.K. de Silva

Book profile and revues, 19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka by R.K. de Silva. Extensive look at the culture, social history, customs, work and leisure pursuits, topography and natural history of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka). With author details, contents and estimated value of this book.

19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka - Accompanied by original texts with notes and comments, was published by Serendib Publications in London (1998). Interestingly, "Serendib" is one of the ancient names for Sri Lanka.

19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka is a superbly written and illustrated book

This is a super book, very detailed, with over 400 pages which present a fascinating look at the culture, social history, customs, work and leisure pursuits, topography and natural history of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka). It includes a coloured map frontispiece (from the original drawn by A. Arrowsmith and engraved by Sid Hall) and photographs of black and white engravings throughout. Most of the engravings were photographed by Graeme Gardiner, Conservator at the Royal Asiatic Society (London). There are detailed historical notes relating to publishing in newspapers, particularly of engravings from artists with an interest in Ceylon, with additional notes about some of the leading engravers and artists. Original captions and texts from the newspapers are included.

Sources for the material published in this book include numerous 19th century periodical publishers from around the world:

A coloured map frontispiece, originally drawn by A. Arrowsmith and engraved by Sid Hall

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About the Author: Rajpal de Silva

Rajpal de Silva (1931-2019) was born in Sri Lanka. His father was a District Medical Officer in Moratuwa and his mother, Maisie de Silva, was a Sri Lankan painter.

A medical practitioner in England and Sri Lanka, Rajpal de Silva had a keen interest and widespread knowledge in and of Sri Lankan history and antiquarian art: Particularly prints, engravings and watercolour drawings. He was also an art and book collector, had a keen interest in cooking, and was widely travelled.

Before 19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka was published in 1998, he had one other published book: Early Prints of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1800-1900 and Illustrations and Views of Dutch Ceylon 1602-1796. He subsequently went on to write numerous other books and pamphlets including:

  • Maps and Plans of Dutch Ceylon (2002)
  • Revision of WA Nelson’s book of The Dutch Forts of Sri Lanka (2004)
  • Poetical Sketches of the Interior of the island of Ceylon (2011)
  • A booklet about the Irish artist Andrew Nicholl
  • A booklet about his mother, Maisie de Silva
  • Rajpal also edited a number of books for the National Trust and
  • He wrote for a number of periodicals, including an article about his experiences as a doctor in both Sri Lanka and England
The engravings photographed in this book reveal much about the culture and social history of Ceylon

Book Contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Peoples, Customs and Occupations
  • Historical Events
  • Leisure and Sports
  • Elephants: Kraals and Hunting
  • Towns and Buildings. Views. Natural History
  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary

Book Outline:

  • Title: 19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka, accompanied by original texts with notes and comments
  • Author: R. K. de Silva (Rajpal de Silva)
  • Published by: Serendib Publications (London), 1st edition, 1998
  • Format: Large, thick, hardback book with a dust jacket
  • Pages: 404, including historical and background text, annotations, a colour map frontispiece and many black and white photographs of engravings
  • Printed in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Printing (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Size Approx: 217x287mm
  • Approx weight: 2,200g
Some engravings are reproduced in colour

19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka: Estimated Book Value

If you need values in US dollars, Euros or a host of other major currencies, a currency converter is included in the right hand sidebar of this page, and another in the footer area.

  • 19th Century Newspaper Engravings of Ceylon - Sri Lanka, estimated value of the pictured copy, which is in fine condition in a very good dust jacket, £90
  • Estimated value of the same book in good condition, with a good dust jacket, £50