RAVERTY, Henry George

RAVERTY, Henry George. Falmouth, Cornwall 31.5.1825 — Grampound Road, Cornwall 20.10.1906. British Colonial Officer and Oriental (Afghan) Scholar in India. Son of Peter R., a naval surgeon of Irish background (his father was O’Raverty), educated in Falmouth and Penzance. Came to India as cadet of Welsh Fusiliers, in 1843 moved to 3rd Bombay Native Infantry. Served in Gujarat and North-West Frontier (learning Pashto in Peshawar), in 1848 participated in the siege of Multan and in 1850 in the first frontier expedition (on the Swat border). In 1852-59 in civil service as Assistant Commissioner in the Pañjab. Major 1863. In 1864 retired from army and returned to England. He settled down in his native Cornwall and concentrated on his studies. Married 1865 Fanny Vigurs Pooley, no children.

Raverty was an important pioneer of Pashto studies. He was involved in serious controversies with some of his colleagues (Blochmann, Dowson).

Publications: Grammar of the Pukhto, Pushto or Language of the Afghans. 1855, 2nd ed. 204 p. 1860, 3rd ed. L. 1867; Pushto Manual comprising a concise grammar, exercises and dialogues, familiar phrases, proverbs, and vocabulary. 257 p. L. 1880.

Thesaurus of English and Hindūstānī Technical Terms used in Building and other useful Arts; and scientific Manual of Words and Phrases in the higher Branches of Knowledge; containing upwards of five thousand Words not generally to be found in the English and Urdū Dictionaries. . 8+107 p. Hertford & L. 1859.

– “On the Language of the Siāh-pōsh Kāfirs”, JASB 33, 1864, 267-278.

Dictionary of the Puḵ’ẖto, Puśhto or Language of the Afghans with remarks on the originality of the language, and its affinity to the Semitic and other Oriental tongues. 558 p. L. 1860, 2nd ed. 1867.

Gulshan i Roh being selections, prose and poetical, in the Puśhto, or Afghan language. 8+408 p. L. 1860; Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans from the 16th to the 19th century. 32+348 p. L. 1862 (transl.); The Fables of Aesop al-Hakim. 8+7+243 p. L. 1871 (in Pashto).

Notes on Afghanistan and Baluchistan. 1-4. 1881-88 (on geography and ethnogr.).

Minhāj ibn Sirāj: Ṭubaḳāt i Nāṣirī. 66+718 p. L. 1881 (a history, transl. from Pashto).

– “The Mihran of Sind and its tributaries”, JASB 61:1, 1892, 155-297..

Articles in the JASB 1854–1905 on geography, history and ethnology.

Sources: H.B[everidge], JRAS 1907, 251-253; Buckland, Dictionary; E.E[dwards], D.N.B. 2nd Suppl. 3, 1912, 164; *S. Jones, Oxford D.N.B.; *H.A. Rose, “The Late Major Raverty’s general index to his translations”, IA 37, 1908, 176f.; Wikipedia.

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