GILCHRIST, John Borthwick. 15776



Autograph Letter Signed, to his publishers, requesting an account of the sales of his books, suggesting a strategy for advertising them, hoping that “your Critics” can be persuaded to take up these books. 2 pp. 9½ x 8 inches, left margin ragged, otherwise good. 23 Duke Street, Portland Place, 25 January 1805. John Borthwick Gilchrist (1759-1841), Scottish orientalist, began his career as assistant surgeon with the East India Company at Calcutta (1783). In native dress, he explored areas where Hindustani was spoken, having realised that Company servants needed Hindustani as well as Persian. He published the first of many grammars and dictionaries in Calcutta in the 1790’s. He returned to Scotland in 1804. In this letter he mentions his ‘Guide’, probably an edition of The Stranger’s East Indian Guide to the Hindoostanee’ (Calcutta, 1802). “It may be adviseable occasionally to put such a short advert of the Guide, as you have lately observed, in the British press & other London prints, in those of Edinburgh successively at proper intervals merely to keep the subject so far alive. Should you however observe that this expence proves heavy or unproductive by all means avoid it for I find to my cost in this country that I have little, very little to spare in the Cash department.”