"Calcutta: Past and Present" by Kathleen Blechynden, published in 1905, lays before the reader a vivid picture in lucid style of the colonial Calcutta, then capital of British India, from its initial days at the time of Job Charnock till the time of Warren Hastings, the first governor-general of India. Adorned with rare engravings and photographs, this work was written by a British lady from a somewhat unusual perspective. In the author's own words, "My aim has not been to give any account of the great deeds by which the men of old Calcutta laid the foundations of the British Empire in the East, but rather to try and depict the lives they led, their daily cares and amusements, the wives and daughters who lightened their exile, the houses in which they dwelt, the servants who waited on them, the food they ate, the wines they drank, the scenes amid which they moved, the graves in which they laid their loved ones or sank themselves to rest."
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