Life in Ancient India – Mrs Speir (1856) (1st ed)


Life in Ancient India – Mrs Speir (1856) (1st ed)


A scarce history of ancient India by a resident of Calcutta, with some discussion of the women of ancient India

Title: Life in Ancient India

Author: Mrs Speir

Publisher: Smith, Elder and Co., 1856. First edition.

Condition: Half leather, with boards. Cover is poor condition, with hinge to front cover cracked and requiring gentle handling, and some water damage. Marbled edges and endpapers. Text in very good condition, except for slight water damage affecting a few pages but not the text. Very slight foxing to text. Binding tight. With a foldout map and engraved plates and illustrations. 464pp.

SKU: speir-ancientindia Categories: , , Tag:

A concise introduction to ancient Indian society, architecture, philosophy and history, by a woman who lived in Calcutta. Illustrated with lovely wood engraved plates and in-text illustrations, and one fold-out map.

Contents include:


Chapter 1: The Vedas, Address to the Sun, Indra, Horse Sacrifice, Forest, Mountains, Plains, Medicine, Five Castes

Chapter 2: Changes, Four Castes, Brahmans, Religious Ideas

Chapter 3: Location of Brahmaical Hindus, Code of Manu, Education, Marriage, King and Government

Chapter 4: Epic Poems, City of Ayodhya, Himalaya, Rama

Chapter 5: Mahabharata

Chapter 6: Poems and Code, Custom Deities of Aborigines, Village communities free cooperations

Chapter 7: Agriculture, Iron, Steel, King Solomon

Chapter 8: Women in the Rig-Veda, Upanishads

Chapter 9: Philosophy, Vedas superseded

BOOK II: Buddhism

Chapter 1: Vedic Period, Brahmanical Period, Alexander the Great, Greek & Bactria

Chapter 2: Hindu history, Greek Kings

Chapter 3: Inscriptions

Chapter 4: The Edicts of King Piyadasi, Buddhist Books of Ceylon and Nepal, Sakyamuni

Chapter 5: More on Sakyamuni

Chapter 6: More of Sakyamuni

Chapter 7: Buddhist Council, Asoka, Ceylon

Chapter 8: Life of King Asoka

Chapter 9: Division of Asoka’s kingdom, Scythians, Buddhist council in Kashmir

Chapter 10: Chinese Buddhists visit India

Chapter 11: Buddhist architecture

Chapter 12: Buddhism rejected by Sanskrit or Aryan Races


Chapter 1: Brahmanism from the period of Alexander the Great, Kalidasa, stories of Shiva

Chapter 2: Shiva adopted by Indo-Scythians and Brahmans, Shiva the highest member of the Trimurti,

Chapter 3: Drama, including Kalidasa’s Sakuntala

Chapter 4: Succession of Dynasties

Chapter 5: Puranas

Chapter 6: Effects of Brahmanical schemes, institution of the four castes a failure, Free women of India, Retrospect