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Letters From A Father to His Daughter

Letters From A Father to His Daughter
$22.00
Item Code: NAG439
Author: Jawaharlal Nehru
Publisher: Puffin Books
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 9780670058167
Pages: 168 (Throughout B/W and Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book 345 gms

About the Book

 

When Indira Gandhi was a little girl of ten, she spent the summer in Mussoorie, while her father, jawaharlal Nehru, was busy working in Allahabad. Over the summer, Nehru wrote her a series of letters in which he told her the story of how and when the earth was made, how human and animal life began, and how civilizations and societies evolved all over the world.

 

Written in 1928, these letters remain fresh and vibrant, and capture Nehru's love for people and for nature, whose story was for him 'more interesting than any other story or novel that you may have read'.

 

About the Author

 

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 at Allahabad and educated in England, at Harrow and Cambridge. In 1912, Nehru returned home to play central role in India's struggle for freedom from British colonial rule, and then, as prime minister of independent India for seventeen years, went on to shape the nation's future as a modern, secular and democratic state. He died in office, on 27 May 1964. Visionary and idealist, scholar and statesman of international stature, Nehru was also an outstanding writer. His three major works-An Autobiography, Glimpses of World History and The Discovery of India- and his children's classic, Letters from a Father to His Daughter, are all published by penguin.

 

Foreword

 

The story this book of letters tells is eternal. They were written by my great-grandfather to my dadi, Indira Gandhi, when she was a child. In them, he introduces his daughter to the wonders of the world we live in. His understanding of history was so modern and liberal that this book remains as relevant today as it was then.

I first read these letters in boarding school when I was eleven years old. That was a good fifty-five years after they were written, yet they fascinated me. I returned home with a hundred questions to ask my dadi. To many people, Indira Gandhi may have appeared a rather serious, formidable personality. In fact, she was a most warm and loving person. My brother and I were fortunate to grow up in her home. We delighted in her company-she was tremendous fun to be with and she was a born teacher, awakening our curiosity about all kinds of things, and opening our minds, and our eyes and ears, to the world around us. Even a little walk in the garden with her was an adventure and an exploration, as she taught us to observe the swirls and textures in a little pebble and the myriad colours in a beetle's wing, and identify the stars in the sky. Mealtimes, through the stories she told us and the games we played, became fascinating lessons in world history and culture. The love of history and nature that her father instilled in her is a cherished gift that she gave to me.

I hope this book will help you read the 'Book of Nature' which is full of wonderful stories, and inspire you with Jawaharlal Nehru's ideas about what makes a country and its people great. Above all, I hope you will enjoy Letters from a Father to His Daughter as much as I did.

 

Foreword to First Edition

 

These letters were written to my daughter Indira in the summer of 1928 when she was in the Himalayas at Mussoorie and I was in the plains below. They were personal letters addressed to a little girl, ten years of age. But friends, whose advice I value, have seen some virtue in them, and have suggested that I might place them before a wider audience. I do not know if other boys and girls will appreciate them. But I hope that such of them as read these letters may gradually begin to think of this world of ours as a large family of nations. And I hope also, though with diffidence, that they may find in the reading of them a fraction of the pleasure that I had in the writing of them.

The letters end abruptly. The long summer had come to an end and Indira had to come down from the mountains. And there was no Mussoorie or other hill station for her in the summer of 1929. The last three letters begin a new period and are somewhat out of place by themselves. But I have included them as there is little chance of my adding to them.

I realize that the letters being in English, their circle of appeal is limited. The fault is entirely mine. I can only remedy it now by having a translation made.

 

 

Contents

 

 

Foreword

ix

 

Preface to third edition

x

 

Preface to second edition

xi

 

Foreword to first edition

xii

1.

The book of nature

1

2.

How early history was written

7

3.

The making of the earth

13

4.

The first living things

19

5.

The animals appear

27

6.

The coming of man

32

7.

The early men

38

8.

How different races were formed

46

9.

The races and languages of mankind

52

10.

The relationships of languages

58

11.

What is civilization?

63

12.

The formation of tribes

67

13.

How religion began and division of labour

71

14.

The changes brought about by agriculture

77

15.

The patriarch-how he began

81

16.

The patriarch-how he developed

86

17.

The patriarch becomes the king

90

18.

The earl y civilizations

95

19.

The great cities of the ancient world

102

20.

Egypt and crete

106

21.

China and India

112

22.

Sea voyages and trade

116

23.

Language, writing and numerals

123

24.

Different classes of people

128

25.

Kings and temples and priests

132

26.

A look back

137

27.

Fossils and Ruis

140

28.

The Aryans come to India

143

29.

What were the Aryans in India like?

147

30.

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata

151

 

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