The book - Mogul India (4 volumes in 2) - provides a vivid eye-witness account of Mughal India. The publication of such volumes is essential to the future progress of the study of Indian History and Archaeology. The author, Niccolao Manucci was a native of Venice. He was born in 1639 and reached India in 1656. He went to Delhi at a time when the Mughal court had taken up its residence. Spending as he did a life time in Mughal India, the record of his reminiscences published here cannot but be of the highest value. Catrou, the French historian of the Mughal Empire who wrote in 1705 had access to his original manuscript, written particularly in French, Italian and Portuguese. Like its author, the manuscript wandered from India to France, Italy, Holland, England and finally in Germany where these first came to light in book form. It is needless to say that Manucci played many significant roles in Indian history.
Here are materials out of which the history of the development of the social conditions, an account of Hindu religion, manners, customs and description of Muhammadan weddings, funerals and their social norms, the industries and the political relations of the people of India could be reconstructed. The texts to be explored would not mere be histories. They purport to be more of chronicles.<-p>
A word now remains to be said about William Irvin (1840-1911) who was responsible for unearthing the Manucci manuscript and bringing to light this valuable historical document in its English version. The volumes will continue through the years to provide a succession of just the sort of books that, as tools to a craftsman, will enable the historian of India. To trace out the evolution of social institutions, religion and literature, in the same manner as the provision of the necessary tools and enabled the historians of Europe to do for the west.<-p>