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Eastwick, Edward Backhouse

EASTWICK, EDWARD BACKHOUSE (1814-1883), British Orientalist, was born in 1814, a member of an Anglo-Indian family. Educated at Charterhouse and at Oxford, he joined the Bombay infantry in 1836, but, owing to his talent for languages, was soon given a political post. In 1843 he translated the Persian Kessahi Sanján, or History of the Arrival of the Parsees in India; and he wrote a Life of Zoroaster, a Sindhi vocabulary, and various papers in the transactions of the Bombay Asiatic Society. Compelled by ill-health to return to Europe, he went to Frankfort, where he learned German and translated Schiller's Revolt of the Netherlands and Bopp's Comparative Grammar. In 1845 he was appointed professor of Hindustani at Haileybury College. Two years later he published a Hindustani grammar, and, in subsequent years, a new edition of the Gulistán, with a translation in prose and verse, also an edition with vocabulary of the Hindi translation by Lallú Lál of Chatur Chuj Misr's Prem Sagár, and translations of the Bagh-o-Bahar, and of the Anvár-i Suhaili of Bídpáí. In 1851 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1857-1858 he edited The Autobiography of Lútfullah. He also edited for the Bible Society the Book of Genesis in the Dakhani language. From 1860 to 1863 he was in Persia as secretary to the British Legation, publishing on his return The Journal of a Diplomate. In 1866 he became private secretary to the secretary of state for India, Lord Cranborne (afterwards marquess of Salisbury), and in 1867 went, as in 1864, on a government mission to Venezuela. On his return he wrote, at the request of Charles Dickens, for All the Year Round, "Sketches of Life in a South American Republic." From 1868 to 1874 he was M.P. for Penryn and Falmouth. In 1875 he received the degree of M.A. with the franchise from the university of Oxford, "as a slight recognition of distinguished services." At various times he wrote several of Murray's Indian hand-books. His last work was the Kaisarnamah-i-Hind ("the lay of the empress"), in two volumes (1878-1882). He died at Ventnor, Isle of Wight, on the 16th of July 1883.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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