By Mountstuart Elphinstone
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:December 2011
Original Publication Year:1815
Subjects: Middle East History
Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779–1859) was a Scottish diplomat and colonial administrator. After joining the civil service of the East India Company in 1796 he was appointed the first British envoy to the Court of Kabul in 1808. In 1819 he was appointed the Governor of Bombay, and after his retirement in 1827 he devoted his life to historical and literary studies. First published in 1815, this volume contains Elphinstone's detailed description of the Kingdom of Afghanistan. Elphinstone describes the geography, economy and political situation of the kingdom and provides a brief account of Afghan history. He also gives the first detailed ethnographic accounts of the various Afghan tribes and ethnic groups in the kingdom. This fascinating volume informed British military and diplomatic policy in the region until the 1840s, and remained the main source of information on the culture of the Afghan tribes for much of the nineteenth century.