Book/Printed Material An account of the kingdom of Caubul,
About this Item
- An account of the kingdom of Caubul,
- Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859) was an administrator with the East India Company who in 1808 was sent by the British Indian authorities on a mission to Afghanistan for the purpose of concluding an agreement with the Afghan ruler, Shah Shuja Durrani. Suspicious of British intentions and engaged in a domestic power struggle, Shah Shuja refused to allow Elphinstone and his party to proceed beyond Peshawar (in present-day Pakistan), which was then part of the Durrani Empire. Elphinstone remained in Peshawar for several months, where he met with Shah Shuja and gathered information about Afghanistan from a variety of sources, including merchants, travelers, and Islamic teachers. The result was a detailed report to the East India Company, which Elphinstone later expanded into An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India, published in 1815. The book is arranged logically and systematically. Following an introduction describing the mission of 1808-9, it contains books on geography; the inhabitants of Afghanistan and their customs and way of life; the Afghan tribes; the provinces; and the royal government of Kabul. Appendices cover the history of the kingdom from the founding of the Durrani monarchy; the narrative of a Mr. Durie, a half-English, half-Indian compounder of medicines, of his journey across Afghanistan; an account of neighboring countries, including Kafiristan (a region in eastern Afghanistan conquered in 1896, present-day Nuristan Province); an extract from the memoir of Lieutenant Macartney, the surveyor in Elphinstone's party who drew up a detailed map of Afghanistan; and a vocabulary of Pushto words. The book includes colored plates that portray Afghans of different ethnic groups and a very large fold-out map. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul became a standard work, relied upon for decades by the British and other Europeans as a source of information about Afghanistan. Elphinstone went on to serve in a variety of posts in British India and to write other books, including History of India: The Hindu and Mohametan Periods (1841). World Digital Library.
- Elphinstone, Mountstuart, 1779-1859.
Created / Published
- London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown [etc.] 1815.
- - Afghanistan--Description and travel
- - Afghanistan--History
- - Kabul (Afghanistan : Province)--History
- p. cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
- DS352 .E5
Library of Congress Control Number
- online text
Additional Metadata Formats
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners
The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.
Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Elphinstone, Mountstuart. An account of the kingdom of Caubul. [London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown et, 1815] Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/14015132/.
APA citation style:
Elphinstone, M. (1815) An account of the kingdom of Caubul. [London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown et] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/14015132/.
MLA citation style:
Elphinstone, Mountstuart. An account of the kingdom of Caubul. [London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown et, 1815] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/14015132/>.