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Record number: WCP5019

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Romesh Chunder Dutt
1 March 1899

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Romesh Chunder Dutt [none given] on 1 March 1899.

Record created:
06 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Gupta, Jnanendra N. (1911). Life and Work of Romesh Chunder Dutt, C.I.E.. J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London. [p. 267-268]

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[[1]]1 [p. 267]

Parkstone, Dorset,

1st March 1899.

Dear Sir,--I thank you very much for sending me your beautiful translation of the "Mahabharata," which I have heard much of, but have never before become acquainted with. If, as you say, your translation is almost a literal one, it is indeed a great poem. I am surprised at the clear sequence of the story, which is in itself interesting, but more especially in the force and [[2]] [p. 268] simplicity of the language and the beautiful, often poetical and lofty ideas.

I must also express my admiration of your beautiful, poetical, and rhythmical version in what is to you a foreign tongue. It is perfectly clear and harmonious, and is a pleasure to read; and I am sure that, if better known, it would become a favourite with English readers. I only regret that it has not been issued in a more worthy form, with better paper and a little more margin. You have showed excellent judgement in giving what you do translate in full, with brief connecting prose summaries. I think, however, you should give in notes, or in a glossary at the end, the meaning of the various untranslated Sanskrit words you introduce in your translation. Also the proper names are so numerous that I think, at the commencement of each book, the names of all the persons mentioned should be given, with their positions, titles, and relationships, as in the dramatis personae of a play. I should like to see a new edition, with illustrations of the chief scenes like that you have as a frontispiece.

I seldom go to London now, but shall have great pleasure in receiving a visit from you here, should you ever be in the vicinity.--Believe me, yours very truly,

Alfred Wallace.


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: First of three letters to R. C. Dutt: two on his translation of the epic poem 'Mahabharata,' and one on his book Famines in India. Printed in the 1911 biography Life and Work of Romesh Chunder Dutt C.I.E., by Jnanendra N. Gupta.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S690AA.htm

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