Book Review on “An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal”

Book Review on “An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal”

Hamilton, Francis Buchanan. An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal and of the Territories  Annexed to this Dominion by the House of Gorkha. Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1819. Pp. 375, $34.75/-

‘An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal’ written by Mr. Hamilton has become the landmark for the upcoming readers to understand the history, geography, and biography of Nepal. King Prithvi Narayan Shah deported the Capuchin fathers and foreigners from Nepal when he invaded the Kathmandu Valley. After the temporary break of the war between Nepal and the British, Hamilton has decided to bear the risk of his life to visit Nepal for 14 months and studying its geography, ethnography, history, culture, customs, economy, politics, and King’s dynasty. The adventurous task. This book should be in your cart primarily before others book if you want to study the history and culture of Nepal. 

The original inhabitants of the Territories of Gorkha such as Magars, Gurungs, Jariyas, Newars Murmis, Kirats, Limbus, Lepchas, and Bhotiyas are mentioned in detail. The representing of their languages, inter-culture behaviors, manners, social structure, festivals, diet, religious faith, financial activities, and customs are very communicative. The four divided regions Tariyani, Hills, Mountains, and Alpine, as well as the cultivation, climate, rivers, mineral productions, forests, birds, soil productions, diseases, and elevation, are introduced systematically. 

Then, he writes the account of particular states which formerly existed and the families by which each was governed. We got to know the brief but clear picture of pre-modern Nepal before King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Finally, he writes about the topography population, buildings, revenue, trader, coins, weights, measures, agriculture, tenures, crown lands, lands held for service, crops, price of labors, food habits, and dress codes of Nepal proper which gives another clear picture of modern Nepal after the rise of King Prithvi Narayan Shah.

The author has put his feet on the sharp edge of the ‘Khukuri of Gorkhalis’ and wrote the details of Gorkhalis. It is an adventurous step for writing a book and the author succeeded in his mission. His work was primarily done on the account of Nepal and we are allowed to study the social status of Nepal, the old names of the places, and powerful persons of contemporary Nepal. 

While studying the book, readers will get the opportunity to analyze the financial valuation and cultural mythology of the modern Nepali society in the present context. The task performed by the author is outstanding and a prototype for the entire researchers in the future. 

Sometimes, readers will be ambiguous either they are reading a long summary of a book written by Mr. Colonel Kirkpatrick or a real book. But, they will understand the contents of the book. The author did his best with the available resources he found related to Nepal. The author has borrowed the information from several intelligent people from original inhabitants of the territories of Gorkha and wrote about the political structure, laws, military, and civil establishments, labor compensation, and taxation rate. The presented data are informative.

The place-name ‘Jajarkot’ is written as ‘Gajarkot’ and the name ‘Rukum’ is written as ‘Rugum’. This happened due to the interviewee or the old name of such places as it was. Still, the typing error can’t be overlooked. The author has followed the tradition of focusing merely on the major tribes of Nepal and hardly describing marginalized caste groups such as goldsmith, blacksmith, cobbler, and farmers. The author has provided the gap to work on the account of the marginalized tribes of Nepal to the upcoming researchers. 

The methodology presented in this book is very unique from the books available in the present times. The registration of the regular weather provides the contemporary climate and atmosphere of Nepal. However, the author seems not so much serious about finishing the book. That’s why the book ends up with an inappropriate conclusion. Still, the book is very helpful for all of us to understand the account of the territories of Gorkha. The author has completed the task that is to write the account of the kingdom of Nepal in a limited period. 


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