London, Privately Printed for Subscribers Only by Chas. J. Sawyer Ltd., 1924.
Quarto, ten volumes; gilt-decorated black buckram, top edges gilt, others uncut, with thick gilt-and-black textured endpapers; covers slightly scuffed, flecked, and a little rubbed and bumped at the extremities, with minimal wear to the ends of one spine; spines sunned; trifling signs of use and age; a very good set.
Number 240 of 1500 sets. Read on only if you need enlightenment: 'Somadeva, (flourished 1070), Kashmiri Brahman of the Saiva sect and Sanskrit writer who preserved much of India's ancient folklore in the form of a series of tales in verse. The court poet to King Ananta of Kashmir, Somadeva apparently was commissioned to compose a cycle of stories to amuse and calm the queen Suryamati during a political crisis. He borrowed from an earlier work, now lost, the B'hat-katha ("Great Tale") by the Sanskrit writer Gu'a'hya, who probably had used Buddhist sources of an even earlier period.... ("Ocean of Rivers of Stories") bears a strong resemblance to medieval European fairy tales: magic, demons, bloody orgies, vampires, love, and high adventure abound in the 124 chapters ... Somadeva wrote his monumental work during the two periods of Ananta's interrupted rule, which ended in 1077' ('Encyclopaedia Britannica'). Each volume contains the pictorial bookplate (two galleons in full sail) of Cecil George Whitmont, a Sydneysider; the bookplate artist is not identified, but the plates have a Geoffrey Ingleton look about them.