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Da Fonseca, José Nicolau

An historical and archaeological sketch of the city of Goa, preceded by a short statistical account of the territory of Goa, written by the authorization of the government.

Bombay, Thacker & Co Limited 1878.

Reference: 13059

Full Description

8vo. xi + (5) + 332pp, litho frontispiece, folding litho map, folding litho plan of city of Goa, and 3 litho plates (of which 2 folding). Publisher’s printed wrappers, worn, with some paper loss from spine. Occasional marginal stains and a little intermittent spotting. Preserved in cloth box. Ink ownership inscription of a nineteenth century Portuguese owner of the copy at upper margin of front cover. The copy belonged more recently to Boies Penrose (1902-76), the celebrated American collector of travel books, and contains his pictorial bookplate and a loosely inserted invoice showing that Penrose purchased this copy from Francis Edwards Ltd for £4 on 17 May 1956.

This appears to be the first English-language publication to provide descriptions and histories of the principal public buildings and churches of the city of Goa, the Portuguese dependency on the western coast of India (and it may indeed be the earliest book in any language to do so, for the author does not cite any similar publication in his relatively extensive bibliographical footnotes). It also provides a general survey of the history and social and economic conditions of the territory of Goa, and is a real credit to its author, the local historian Jose Nicolau da Fonseca.