A beautiful book with numerous engraved plates and in-text engravings.
The contents of the book are a series of lectures given by the author based on his experiences in India, and include descriptions of the Durga festival, the Kali festival, women, the Puranas, religion, and other topics. Many are centred on the engravings; Wright describes India through the engravings, explaining what each scene represents, where he witnessed the scene, and its significance.
Examples of engravings and their descriptions include the following:
“Engraving No. 50 is a view near the city of Benares. The building at the right of the ghat, or flight of steps, is a temple of Shiva. The one on the left is a resting-place for pilgrims. The water is in a tank about 200 square feet. In November, about one hundred thousand persons assemble around this tank, to perform a variety of ceremonies for the benefit of the souls of deceased relatives.”
“Engraving No. 28 is a view of one of the most celebrated temples in India. It is devoted to the worship of Kali, and is situated at Kali Ghat, three miles from Calcutta. The small building on the left, and the other on the right, are temples of Shiva.”