Book: Miniature Books
Chapter: Mite Qurans for Indian Markets: David Bryce in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century
As an influential publisher of miniature books in Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, David Bryce in Glasgow realized the profitable business of religious books and took use of the latest printing technologies to mass-produce small facsimiles of sacred texts in the world religions for a global market. This chapter presents some of the preserved letters from his colleague Henry Frowde at Oxford University Press which reveal how the two publishers cooperated with the production of miniature books over three decades and how David Bryce began printing and selling large quantities of diminutive Qur’ans intended for an Indian market in the 1890s. In literature of the twentieth century these mite Qur’ans became objects of fascination and were linked to Orientalist narratives of Arabs and Indian Muslim soldiers during the First World War that enmeshed the books in amuletic traditions of Islam.