About the Book:
Elephants are perhaps the most docile, timid, intelligent of animals, and yet when thoroughly roused and in full charge with curled-up trunk they present a most furious and fear-inspiring spectacle.
For centuries, elephants have been a source of wonder, fear, and fascination to man. While depiction of the Asian elephant in art, sculpture, and literature goes far back in time, this anthology focuses on the nineteenth century when the British Empire was on the ascendant in India, Burma and Sri Lanka, and colonial rulers began using the elephant in war and for transport, even as they were hunting it.
This comprehensive collection includes excellent descriptions of these intelligent and sagacious animals in wild, with rare insights into elephant behavior, anatomy and haunts, as well as the odd apocryphal story about them: is there really an elephant graveyard in Sri Lanka? Does the elephant have an extraordinary memory? Did a man-eating elephant actually exist? The book contains accounts by leading elephant-men-form Champion and Sanderson to Samuel Baker and Symington-all from works no longer readily available.
The editor is an expert on the Asian elephant, and has worked with them for years. His scholarly introductory essay draws on life time of experience for unique anecdotes and observations, even as it situates the selection in its historical context.
Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and maps, this is an informative and delightful collection.
About the Author:
Dr Dhriti K. Lahiri Choudhury completed his PhD in English Literature from Leeds University and was Professor of English at Rabindra Bharti University, Calcutta. His lifelong interest has been the ecology and management of larger mammals, especially the Asian elephant. He was the Principal Investigator of the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) / WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Project on the status and distribution of elephants in north-east India and is on the Steering Committee of the Asian Elephant specialist group.
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