UPHAM, Edward. Exeter 1776 — Bath 25.8.1834. British Bookdealer and Orientalist. Born in Exeter, where his father Charles U. was later the mayor (1796). Himself worked as bookseller in Exeter, in 1807 became its sheriff and 1809 mayor. After earlyretirement lived in Dawlish (Devon) and Bath. Married 1801 Mary Hoblyn.
In London Upham met —> Alexander Johnston, who, as a judge in Ceylon, had let to prepare a paraphrasis of the Mahāvaṁsa, Rājaratnākarī, and Rājāvalī. Sent by Johnston, he was in 1826 in Paris asking Burnouf to edit the original Mahāvaṁsa. It became to nothing as Burnouf saw Johnston’s translation to be “une traduction anglaise d’une traduction hollandaise d’une paraphrase singhalaise du texte pali”. Later Upham published this work, which covers Mahāvaṁsa 1–88 and a third volume with miscellaneous material about Buddhism – all deemed useless even by contemporary scholars. He also published other historical works and anonymous historical novels (all deemed poor).
Publications: History and Doctrines of Buddhism popularly illustrated with Notices of the Kappooism or Demon Worship, and of the Bali, or Planetary Incantations of Ceylon. With 43 lithographic prints for original Singalese designs. 8+136 p. L. 1829.
– The Mahávansi, the Rájá-Ratnácari, and the Rájá-Vali, forming the Sacred and Historical Books of Ceylon; also A Collection of Tracts illustrative of the Doctrines and Literature of Buddhism. Translated from the Singhalese by Al. Johnson. 1-3. L. 1833.
– History of the Ottoman Empire from its Establishment till the year 1828. 1-2. L. 1829.
– Historical and Descriptive Notices of China and its North-Western Dependencies. 13 p. L. 1832 (sep. from Gentleman’s Magazine Oct. 1832).
– Anonymously publ.: Rameses: an Egyptian Tale. 1-3. L. 1824; Karmath, an Arabian Tale. L. 1827.
Sources: Briefly in JRAS 1, 1834, v; Harris 2006, 21f.; H.R.T[edder], D.N.B. 58, 1899, 37; Windisch 117; Wikipedia.
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