CLARK, Thomas Welbourne

CLARK, Thomas Welbourne. Ilkeston, Derbyshire 2.1.1904 — 22.12.1969. British Indologist, a Specialist of Bengali and NIA Linguistics. School in Derbyshire, from 1921 studies of English and Latin at University College of Nottingham (then affiliated to London University). Graduated there, then one year at Cambridge. In 1925 joined Bengal Educational Service, was soon posted at Victoria School in Kurseong (Darjeeling district), where he remained until his retirement in 1948. Learned there Bengali, Nepali, and Hindi. On a furlough in 1928-29 he continued his studies at Nottingham for a M.A. in English, but became more and more interested in Indian languages and, during a second furlough in 1934, began studies at S.O.A.S. There he concentrated on Sanskrit under Rylands, Indian philology under Turner, and Bengali under Sutton Page. Now spent all vacations among Bengalis. Became acquainted with R. Tagore. A new furlough at S.O.A.S. in 1938-39 was interrupted by the war. Served 1939-46 in Indian Intelligence Corps. In 1946-48 headmaster of his old school in Kurseong. After retirement became in 1948 Lecturer in Bengali at S.O.A.S. in London, from 1955 Lecturer in Bengali and Nepali. In 1961 visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. From 1962 Reader in Bengali (on a new chair) at S.O.A.S. Died after a difficult operation. Published very little.

Publications: “Evolution of Hinduism in Medieval Bengali Literature: Śiva, Caṇḍī, Manasā”, BSOAS 17, 1955, 503-518; “The Rānī-Pokhrī inscription, Kāṭhmāṇḍu”, BSOAS 20, 1957, 167-187, 1 pl.

– “The Languages of Calcutta, 1760–1840”, BSOAS 18, 1956, 453-474.

Introduction to Nepali: a first-year language course. 421 p. Cambridge 1963; 2nd ed. Kathmandu 1989.

With T. Mukherjee, translated Bibhutibhushan Banerji’s novel Pather Pañcālī. 324 p. L. 1968; “Encounter and Growth in Bengali Literature, A Survey of Medieval Bengali Literature”, E. C. Dimock, Bengal. Literature and History. East Lansing 1967, 9-20.

– “Nepali and Pahari”, Current Trends in Linguistics 5. the Hague 1969, 249-276.

Ed. The Novel in India: Its Birth and Development. 240 p. L. 1970.

Sources: J. Burton-Page, BSOAS 33, 1970, 368-371 with photo. Not in Who Was Who.

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