TAWNEY, Charles Henry

TAWNEY, Charles Henry. Willoughby, Warwickshire 1837 — 29.7.1922. British Indologist. Son of Rev. Richard T. and his wife, née Bernard. Educated at Rugby, studies at Cambridge, Trinity College (Senior Classic and Fellow 1860), M.A. From 1864 Professor at Presidency College in Calcutta, from 1876 its Principal. Also Registrar of Calcutta University. In 1892 retired and returned to England and in 1893 succeeded R. Rost as Librarian of India Office. Retired from there in 1903. C.I.E. Married 1867 Constance Catharine Fox (d. 1920), three daughters and two sons.

Tawney started the study of Sanskrit soon after his arrival in India, also learned Hindi and Persian. He made several translations, the most important being the Kathāsaritsāgara. In London he guided and edited a number of catalogues of books and manuscripts (Sanskrit books by Rost 1897, Sanskrit manuscripts by Eggeling, Persian manuscripts by Ethé, Hindustani books by Blumhardt 1900, Hindi, etc. books by Blumhardt 1902, Arabic and Persian manuscripts by Ross and Browne 1902).

Publications: “Metrical Translation of the Vairâgya Śatakam or 100 Stanzas on Asceticism, by Bhartṛihari“, IA 5, 1876, 1-3, 65-67, 285f., 305-309; “Indian Folk-lore notes from the Pāli Jātakas and the Kathāsaritsāgara”, Journal of Philology 12, 1883, 112-126.

Translated: Uttara Rama Charita, a Sanskrit Drama by Bhavabhuti. 98 p. Calcutta 1874; The Malavikagnimitra, a Sanskrit Drama by Kalidasa. 1875, 2nd ed. 16+96 p. Calcutta 1891; Two Centuries of Bhartṛhari. 21+108 p. Calcutta 1877; Somadeva, Kathā Sarit Sāgara or Ocean of the Streams of story. 1-2. 590+695 p. B.I. Calcutta 1880-84; The Kathākośa or Treasury of Stories. 23+260 p. L.1895; Merutuṅga, Prabandhacintāmaṇi, or, Wishing-stone of Narratives. 1-2. B.I. Calcutta 1899-1901.

With F. W. Thomas: Catalogue of two Collections of Sanskrit MSS. in the India Office Library. 4+60 p. L. 1903.

Translated from German Loth, The English People and their Language. Calcutta 1873; edited with notes: The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. 21+316 p. Calcutta 1888 (Shakespeare’s Richard III).

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; F. W. Thomas, JRAS 1923, 152-154; Wikipedia with photo.

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