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Orientalist JonesSir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746-1794$
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Michael J. Franklin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532001.001.0001

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Claiming Kin in Calcutta: Jones Discovers the Indo-European Family of Languages

Claiming Kin in Calcutta: Jones Discovers the Indo-European Family of Languages

(p.1) 1 Claiming Kin in Calcutta: Jones Discovers the Indo-European Family of Languages
Orientalist Jones

Michael J. Franklin

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins at a high point with the triumvirate of Jones's judgeship, knighthood, and marriage; and a passage to India, ironically overshadowed by a seditious libel trial of The Principles of Government. It provides detailed consideration of Jones's account of Indian ocean cultural hybridity in the Comoros island of Johanna. Unpublished materials from Anna's journal illustrate first impressions of Calcutta, and of Hastings. Manuscript materials concerning convalescence in Banaras reveal Jones's key relationship with dynamic amateur musicologist, Margaret Fowke. MS sources stress his close relationships with Ali Ibrahim Khan, whose Banaras present of the Mānavadharmaśāstra shaped the main research emphasis of the rest of Jones's life, and with his Vaidya (medical caste) pandit Rāmalocana. Within six months of starting Sanskrit, Jones institutes Indo-European comparative grammar and modern comparative linguistics, radically adjusting Europe's self-understanding by seeing Sanskrit as a more beautiful sister of Greek and Latin.

Keywords:   Anna and William Jones, Warren Hastings, climatic dangers, Margaret and John Fowke, Indian music poetry, Hindu law, intercultural collaboration, Indo-European thesis, interconnexions

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