The remarkable verse of Kahlil Gibran has touched the lives of tens of millions of people. This hugely influential work is now presented for the first time in a stunning Folio gift edition bound in leather.
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana
Illustrated by Victo Ngai
Translated by Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot and Sir Richard Burton
Limited to 750 numbered copies each sent with a print signed by Victo Ngai
One of the world’s great literary legacies, this manual of virtuous living, courtship and pleasure affords an intimate glimpse into Hindu culture.
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana
Limitation colour print signed by the artist
Translated from the Sanscrit by Sir Richard Burton and Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot
Typeset in Aria and printed on Abbey Pure Rough paper.
Title page printed in two colours
Eight colour plates by Victo Ngai tipped into decorative borders. 25 black and white drawings integrated with the text
Bound in cloth blocked in gold on the spine and inset with a cloth label printed and blocked in gold foil with a design by the artist
Endpapers printed with a design by the artist
Gilded top edge, ribbon marker
264 pages. Book size: 13’’ x 9¾’’
Essays by W. G. Archer, Hanif Kureishi and John Keay
64 pages set in Aria and printed on Abbey Pure Rough Paper
Quarter-bound in cloth with paper sides blocked in dark blue foil
64 pages. Book size: 13’’ x 9¾’’
Presented in a solander box bound in cloth, blocked in gold and lined with cloth printed and blocked in gold foil with a design by the artist
There have been many editions of the Kama Sutra, but none more vividly imagined as through the work of award-winning artist Victo Ngai. Each full-colour illustration weaves an intricate story and tantalises with erotic suggestion. Ngai has also created 25 beautiful black and white interpretations of the sexual positions and these liberally illustrate the text. A signed artist’s print portraying an amorous couple locked in the Embrace of Thighs is presented with every book.
The classic English translation
The fictional ‘Kama Shastra Society of London and Benares’ first brought the Kama Sutra to Western attention, having employed Indian scholars to compile a single text from four extant versions, before translation. Initially printed anonymously ‘for private circulation only’, rumours of the content resulted in reprints and pirated copies, and the identities of the erstwhile translators, Sir Richard Burton and Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot, were revealed.
An explorer, linguist, spy and diplomat, Burton was fascinated by Indian culture and had a particular penchant for the erotic. With a similar taste in subject matter – and a love of India gained through a career as a civil servant in the subcontinent – Burton’s close friend Arbuthnot shared his fervent desire to publish the Kama Sutra. Despite many subsequent translations of the epic work, Arbuthnot and Burton’s text has distinguished itself in the pantheon of Victorian writing.
Beautifully presented, the commentary opens with the preface to the 1963 edition of this translation by W. G. Archer, in which the former Keeper of the Indian Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum explores the cultural context of the Kama Sutra. This is followed by multi-award-winning novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi’s The Kama Sutra: A Guilty Pleasure, first published in 2011. The final essay, by historian John Keay, was specially commissioned for this edition; in it he discusses the pivotal role of sensuality in ancient Indian society. Together these three pieces add much to the appreciation of this unique work.
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