BROWN, Charles Philip

BROWN, Charles Philip. Calcutta, India 10.11.1798 — London 12.12.1884. British Civil Servant in India (1817-55) and Indologist, specialist of Telugu language. Son of Rev. David Brown (1763–1812), the provost of Calcutta College, and Frances Cowley. Educated by his father in India, after his death came to England in 1812. After studies at Haileybury entered Madras Civil Service in 1817. Served many years in revenue, magisterial and judicial duties in the districts of Cuddapah and Masulipatam. Became a good scholar of Persian, Sanskrit, Hindustani, and Telugu, which until then had been mostly discarded. Relieved from his duties lived 1835-38 in London. From 1838 Persian translator. 1846 postmaster-general, Telugu translator, member of the Council of Education, government director of Madras Bank, and Curator of Manuscripts at the College Library in Madras. Retired in 1855 and returned to England, where he became an unpaid (“almost honorary”) Professor of Telugu at University College in London.

Brown was the pioneer of the scholarly study of Telugu, and, back in England, of Indian chrono­logy. Especially important he was as a lexicographer. His Telugu grammar and dictionaries were still reprinted in the 1970s. He also made a collection of more than 2000 manuscripts in Sanskrit and Telugu, which he presented in 1845 to M.L.S., now kept in Chennai. He had important role in revitalizing Telugu literature. In his memories, quored in JRAS, he tells of the careful detail work he did with the manuscripts of classical Telugu texts.

Publications: Prosody of the Telugu and Sanskrit Languages explained. 12+115 p. Madras 1827; “A Familiar Analysis of Sanskrit Prosody”, Asiatic Journal & sep. 20 p. L. 1837; Sanskrit Prosody and numerical Symbols Explained. 84 p. L. 1869; articles in MJLS, etc.

Vemana’s Verses, Moral, Religious, and Satirical. Telugu and English. 4+176 p. Madras 1829, new ed. (?) 290 p. 1829; “Essay on the Language and Literature of the Telugus”, MJLS 10, 1839, 43-59, 360 and sep. 17 p. Md. 1839; “Essay on the Creed, Customs and Literature of the Jangams”, MJLS 11, 1840, 143-177 (i.e. Vīraśaiva); “Account of the Basava Puran; the principal Book used as a religious Code by the Jangams”, MJLS 12, 1840, 271-292; “Telugu Spells”, MJLS 3:1, 1864, 60-70; other articles in MJLS.

A new Telugu version of St. Luke. 1838 and other parts of the Bible.

Dialogues in Telugu and English. Madras 1844, 2nd ed. 106 p. Madras 1853; The Telugu Reader, being a Series of Letters, private and on business, police and revenue matters, with an English Translation, grammatical Analysis, and Vocabulary. 1-3. Madras 1851-52, 2nd ed. Md. 1867; Vakyavali, or Exercises in Idioms, English and Telugu. 2+242 p. Madras 1852; Popular Telugu Tales. 62 p. Madras 1855.

A Grammar of the Telugu Language. 11+267 p. Madras 1840, rev. 2nd ed. 379 p. Md. 1857.

A Dictionary, Telugu and English, explaining the Colloquial Style used in Business and the Poetical Dialect. 16+1302 p. Madras 1852, thoroughly revised new edition by M. Venkataratnam, W. H. Campbell, and K. Veeresalingam. 1416 p. Madras 1903; A Dictionary of the Mixed Dialects and Foreign words used in Telugu. 28+131 p. Madras 1854; A Dictionary, English and Telugu. 7+20+1392 p. Madras 1852/53, 2nd ed. Md. 1895.

The Zillah Dictionary in the Roman Character: explaining the various Words used in Business in India. 4+132 p. Madras 1852; English and Hindustani Phraseology, or Exercises in Idioms. 435 p. Madras 1855.

Cyclic Tables of Hindu and Mahommedan Chronology of the Telugu and Kannada Countries. 66 p. Madras 1850; Ephemeris showing the corresponding Dates according to the English, Telugu, Malayalam, and Mahommedan Calendaries 1751–1850. Madras 1850; Carnatic Chronology, the Hindu and Mahommedan Methods of reckoning time, explained with Symbols and Historical Records. 11+90 p. L. 1863.

Translated: The Wars of the Rajahs, being the History of Anantapuram. 94 p. 1853 (the Annals of Handeh Anantapuram, written in Telugu in or about 1750-1780).

A Titular Memory. L. 1861.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; S.L[ane]-P[oole], D.N.B. 7, 1886, 2f.; *P.L. Schmitthenner, Telugu Resurgence: C. P. Brown and Cultural Consolidation in Nineteenth-Century South India. 324 p. New Delhi 2001; JRAS 17, 1885, xv–xx; 2 accounts in Br. Biogr. Arch. 1st Series; *autobiography Narrative of the literary life of Ch.Ph.Br. 23 p. Privately printed, Madras 1866; Wikipedia with photo.

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