The earliest Indian literary histories

Tyler Williams tylerwwilliams at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 21 03:14:02 UTC 2012

A few important early attempts at a literary history of 'Hindi' (including
some literary languages that might be considered independent, and a few
nods towards Urdu):

Sengar, Shiv Singh. 1966 (orig. 1878). *Śivasiṃh Saroj*. Edited by Trilok
Narayan Diksit. Lucknow: Tejkumar Book Depot.

Grierson, George Abraham. 1889. *The modern vernacular literature of
Hindustan.  <Printed as a special number of the Journal of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal, part 1, for 1888.>*. Calcutta: Asiatic Society.

Mishra, Ganeshwar, Syamavihari Mishra, Sukadevavihari Mishra. 1972. (orig.
1913) *Misrabandhu Vinoda*. New revised ed. Hyderbad. (orig. Hindi Granth
Prasarak Mandali)


On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 1:54 AM, Ulrich T. Kragh <utkragh at> wrote:

>  Dear Indology List members, ** ****
> I am trying to identify the earliest literary histories of Indian
> literature, in particular the nineteenth-century publications. By "literary
> history," I mean a history that either attempts to cover Indian literature
> as a whole or within a particular language, e.g., Sanskrit literature. I do
> not mean publications that deal exclusively with merely a single or just a
> few Indian works, since what I am interested in is the writing of broader
> literary histories per se.****
> ** **
> So far, my list includes F. Max Müller's "The History of Ancient Sanskrit
> Literature" (1859, though limited to Vedic literature), Robert Watson
> Frazer's "A Literary History of India" (1898), and Arthur A. MacDonell's "A
> History of Sanskrit Literature" (1899). In his preface, MacDonell refers to
> Weber's "Academical Lectures on Indian Literature" (1852-1878) (I haven't
> yet looked up the original German title, as MacDonell refers only to the
> book's English translation) and L. von Schroeder's "Indiens Literatur und
> Kunst" (1887).****
> ** **
> I would like to know whether there is any other early Indian literary
> history that I have overlooked, and I would also like to know what the
> first Indian literary history written by an indigenous Indian author is. If
> by any chance, the history of Indian literary histories has been described
> in any scholarly publication, I would also be thankful for the
> bibliographical reference to such a study.****
> ** **
> With best regards,****
> Tim****
> ** **
> Dr. Ulrich Timme Kragh****
> Research Fellow****
> International Institute for Asian Studies****
> Leiden University, the Netherlands****

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