Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan (Hardcover)
Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan (1882) is a collection of poems by Toru Dutt. Compiled after her death and published in London, Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan is an invaluable work of art from a pioneering figure in Indian history and Bengali literature. Born in Calcutta to a family of Bengali Christians, Toru Dutt was raised at the crossroads of English and Indian cultures. In addition to her native Bengali, she became fluent in English, French, and Sanskrit as a young girl, eventually writing novels and poems in each language. Despite her limited body of work, Dutt's legacy as a groundbreaking writer remains firm in India and around the world. "Savitri was the only child / Of Madra's wise and mighty king; / Stern warriors, when they saw her, smiled, / As mountains smile to see the spring." In rhyming English verse, Bengali poet Toru Dutt presents some of the oldest and most sacred stories from ancient India. Translated from Sanskrit into the popular ballad form, Dutt introduces an English audience to the story of Savitri, originally from the epic Mahabharata, as well as the tale of Lakshman, which comes from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Alongside these poems appear Dutt's versions of Bengali folklore--"Joghadhya Uma"--and poems written during her stay in Europe. "Near Hastings" is a particularly beautiful example of her original verse depicting an otherworldly encounter along the English seacoast: "Near Hastings, on the shingle-beach, / We loitered at the time / When ripens on the wall the peach, / The autumn's lovely prime." With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Toru Dutt's Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan is a classic work of Bengali literature reimagined for modern readers.