"HOW DELICIOUS AN INSTRUMENT IS WOMAN, WHEN ARTFULLY PLAYED UPON": BURTON'S TRANSLATION OF THE ANANGA-RANGA
BURTON, Richard F. Ananga-Ranga; (Stage of the Bodiless One) or, the Hindu Art of Love (Ars Amoris Indica). Cosmopoli: Kama Shastra Society of London and Benares, 1885. Octavo, original full vellum, uncut. $1200.
First edition, third issue of Burton's translation of the erotic Indian marriage manual.
A sexual manual for husbands and wives, the Ananga-Ranga was written in India in the late 15th or early 16th century. Following the success of his translation of the Kama Sutra in 1883, Burton resurrected his translation of the Ananga-Ranga, which he had first tried to publish in 1873. At that time, only four to six proof copies were produced, "for the printer, on reading the proofs, became alarmed at the nature of the book, and refused to print off the edition" (Penzer, 171). "The actual proceedings of the [Kama Shastra] Society, the rendering into English, the financing and printing, were at first shrouded in mystery: the translators were not identified until later, and then by their initials only and reversed-A.F.F. and B.F.R." (Rice, 446). This volume is the third of three successive "reprints" (so called on the title page) of that 1873 text, all issued in 1885. Penzer, 171-73. Spink 85.
Offsetting to endpapers, a bit of toning to vellum spine. An about-fine copy.