After a lot of nervous brain-racking, I submitted my dissertation proposal late last month. It took me longer than I expected to zero in on a subject for my research. Only a week before the submission was due did I have the epiphany (while reading Graham Shaw’s articles) that lithography in India would be an interesting topic to look at, especially in the context of how it affected the notion of a book, and print culture in the country.
During my chat with Twyman about my dissertation, he mentioned that he had a couple of Indian lithographed books in his collection. He was kind enough to bring one of them to the department during his last lecture. The book he got was J. Grierson’s Twelve Select Views of the Seat of War… (the 1824 Anglo-Burmese War) Drawn on Stone by E. Billon and Printed at the Asiatic Lithographic Press, Calcutta 1825, published by the Asiatic Lithographic Press in Calcutta. This book is the earliest example of lithography being employed for pictorial use in India.
Ben and I were especially excited to see the book because we had been talking about it right before we went into Twyman’s lecture. These are some photographs that Ben took of the book (more can be seen on his Flickr page):