The Golden Treasury of Indian Literature (1938)


The Golden Treasury of Indian Literature (1938)


Title: The Golden Treasury of Indian Literature

Author: The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah

Publisher: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., London. No date, research reveals it to be 1938.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Some wear, tanning and foxing to dust jacket and book. Blank ffep missing, inscription to half title page. Text very clean, binding tight. 294pp. App. 8.5″ by 5.5″.

SKU: indianlit Categories: , , Tag:

Contents include:

Story of Bali


Passages from a Hymn Dedicated to the Goddess of Peace in the Atharva Veda

Unity in Diversity


The Maiden’s Smile

Peasants Poetry

To Krishna

Learing Ignorance





About the author (from Wikipedia):

Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah (born 1894 in Sardhana, India, died 4 November 1969 in Tangier, Morocco) was an Indian-Afghan author and diplomat descended from the Sadaat of Paghman. Educated in India, he came to Britain as a young man to continue his education in Edinburgh, where he married a young Scotswoman.

Travelling widely, Ikbal Ali Shah undertook assignments for the British Foreign Office and became a publicist for a number of Eastern statesmen, penning biographies of Kemal Ataturk, the Aga Khan and others. His other writing includes lighter works such as travel narratives and tales of adventure, as well as more serious works on Sufism, Islam and Asian politics. He hoped that Sufism might “form a bridge between the Western and the Eastern ways of thinking”; familiar with both cultures, much of his life and writing was devoted to furthering greater cross-cultural understanding.

Ikbal Ali Shah fathered three children, all of whom became notable writers themselves; his son Idries Shah became particularly well known and acclaimed as a writer and teacher of Sufism in the West. When Ikbal Ali Shah’s wife died in 1960, he moved from Britain to Morocco, spending the last decade of his life in Tangier.
Controversy related to his sons’ claims to have a special role in representing Sufism in the West also reflected back on Ikbal Ali Shah; a researcher seeking to discredit his son Idries unearthed Foreign Office records which appeared to cast doubt on Ikbal Ali Shah’s honesty, and towards the end of his life he was involved in a literary scandal surrounding a new translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a joint work by his eldest son Omar and the English poet Robert Graves. He died in a road accident in Morocco, aged 75.