About the book (from Google books):
French cleric and scholar of Sanskrit J. A. DUBOIS (1770-1848) journeyed to and around India as a missionary in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and turned his decades of observation into what was, for many years, the definitive Western work on Indian culture. This revised English-language edition, published in 1905, includes Dubois’s notes and thoughts on. . the caste system, its antiquity and origins . etiquette and customs among the Brahmin . dress and ornamentation . the roles and positions of women . Hindu tales and fables . religious feast, temples, and ceremonies . and much more
About the author (from Wikipedia):
Abbe J.A. Dubois (January 1765 – 17 February 1848) was a French Catholic missionary in India, and member of the ‘Missions Etrangères de Paris’. He was known as Fraadh Saaibh to the parishioners of the Holy Cross Church, Cordel in Mangalore, among whom he ministered.
Dubois had been baptized on January 10, 1766 at Saint-Remèze, in Ardèche. He was ordained in the diocese of Viviers in 1792, and sailed for India in the same year as a MEP missionary.
He was at first attached to the Pondicherry mission, and worked in the southern districts of the present Madras Presidency. On the fall of Seringapatam in 1799, he went to Mysore to reorganize the Christian community that had been shattered by Tipu Sultan.
He was credited with the founding of agricultural colonies and the introduction of vaccination as a preventive of smallpox. His most notable was his record of Hindu manners, customs and ceremonies. He abjured European society, adopted the native style of clothing, and made himself in habit and costume as much like a Hindu as he could. He used to go around in the garb of sanyasi and abstained from eating meat for many years. He was popularly called as Dodda Swamiyoru. Although Dubois disclaimed the title of author, his collections were not so much drawn from the Hindu sacred books as from his own careful and vivid observations, and it is this, united to a remarkable prescience, that makes his work so valuable. It is divided into three parts:
A general view of society in India, and especially of the caste system
The four states of Brahminical life
Religion—feasts, temples, objects of worship
Dubois left India in January 1823, with a special pension conferred on him by the East India Company. On reaching Paris, he was appointed director of the Missions Étrangères de Paris, of which he afterwards became superior (1836-1839). He translated into French the famous book of Hindu fables called Panchatantra, and also a work called The Exploits of the Guru Paramarta.