The Scourge of the Mission: Marco della Tomba in Hindustan



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An unusual and engrossing effort by a career academic, this book tells the life story of the Italian Capuchin friar, Padre Marco della Tomba (1726–1803). Padre Marco worked in Bettiah, near Patna, as a missionary of the Tibet-Hindustan Mission sponsored by the Congregation of Propaganda Fide in Rome, and during his time there, he recorded and commented on a number of critical events of the late eighteenth century in the subcontinent’s history. The fascinating account is told in the first person since more than half the book is translated directly from essays and letters written in Italian by Padre Marco, while the remaining parts have been written by David Lorenzen mostly on the basis of Marco’s letters and essays and those of some of his colleagues in the Mission. For long we have read volumes on the tumultuous eighteenth century by South Asian historians. This unusual effort places an important source directly in the hands of interested readers.

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