Title: Sekaler Katha [Stories from a Prehistoric Age]
Author: Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri
Publisher: Published from Calcutta
Printer: Not mentioned
Date & edition: 1903
Price: 1 Rupee
About the book: The title page announces the work as an illustrated story book for children with tales about various prehistoric beasts. The tales had previously been published serially in the juvenile periodical Mukul.
In the preface the author is careful to clarify his intentions in writing a children’s book on a branch of science. The contents as well as the illustrations of the book, he states, though drawn from science, have largely been designed to please children and not to burden them with facts.
Raychaudhuri declares that the illustrations are entirely original and have not been copied from foreign texts. The pictures, solely commissioned for this book, are different also from those used in Mukul. He mentions having retained the English terminologies for the animals’ names since translating those into Bengali would make the book unnecessarily cumbersome. Such details hardly matter, he reiterates, since this is meant to be a story book and not a text book of science. However, in the book he did use some easy-to-understand Bengali names in place of Latin nomenclature.
Illustrations: The volume is embellished with one full page colour illustration [frontispiece showing the Archaeopteryx] and other black and white illustrations in halftone prints. The author was the artist as well as the printer for the illustrations.
Note: The following endorsement, printed on a leaflet is appended to the volume:
PEDLER, Esq. F.R.S. Director of Public Instruction, Bengal, says:
“I have to thank you very much for the book you have sent to me. It seems very interesting and is got up extremely well. I had no idea that such good illustration printing etc. could be done in Bengal.”
Genre: Natural history
Source: The National Library, Kolkata
1. Page 1
2. Illustration of the Archeopteryx