Manmatha Nath Dutta
Author: Bibek Debroy
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

Often Rupa Publishers come up with such intriguing biographies that I cannot help but devour them in detail. One such book that has been recently released is ‘Manmatha Nath Dutta’ that portrays the life and works of Manmatha Dutta who was an eminent Indian translator. Sadly, his name still remains hidden within the layers of pages that gather dust on the bookshelves. Known to have translated the Valmiki Ramayana, Agni Purana, Rig Veda and many other ancient scriptures in the 18th century and early 19th century, Manmatha Dutta had a varied profile as he had written the biography of Buddha (1901) and a book on Hindu Metaphysics.

‘Manmatha Nath Dutta’ is a neatly edited book. The irony is that a translator has written the biography of another translator. A member of the Royal Asiatic Society, Manmatha Dutta translated several works from Sanskrit to English. I could not help but think of how much importance his works will hold in this era when people are drifting away from the Sanskrit language. At the same time, it is saddening to realize that he did not receive the much-deserved attention and fame when he was in flesh and blood.

This book is intellectually dense and quite well-researched. It offers an alacritous journey into one of history’s most persuasive and skilled translators. I am so glad I got a chance to read and review this book.

Buying link: Amazon

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