- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: May 2013
- Print publication year: 2012
- Online ISBN: 9781139199162
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139199162
John Davy (1790–1868), the younger brother of the chemist Sir Humphry Davy, published this account of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) in 1821. An army surgeon and later Fellow of the Royal Society, he also wrote books on the Ionian Islands and the West Indies (also reissued in this series) and edited his brother's collected works. This book is a detailed study based on interviews with the islanders and Davy's own observations during his four-year visit. Part I is an overview of the natural history of the island - including its geography, geology, zoology and climate - as well as its people, demography, political system and culture, including architecture, craftwork and languages. Part II details Davy's travels within the country. With a number of beautiful reproductions of native drawings, as well as Davy's own, the work remains a rich resource for the insights of a Victorian polymath into early nineteenth-century Ceylon.