Hodgson in Nepal: Turning Zoological Specimens into Art

In an earlier post, I briefly outlined the nature and extent of British natural history collecting in early nineteenth-century Nepal, focusing on the activities of Brian Houghton Hodgson (1801-1894), an East India Company diplomat stationed for many years in Kathmandu. Here I narrow the scope further, to analyse the ways in which Hodgson’s extraordinary collection…

Brian Houghton Hodgson and the ‘Zoology of Nipal’

Of all the nineteenth-century naturalists who have been obscured in Charles Darwin’s titanic shadow, Brian Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894) must surely rank as one of the most extraordinary. An East India Company diplomat and scholar, he was stationed in Nepal between 1820 and 1843, a period when European knowledge of the Himalayas – its peoples, cultures,…