Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
The Kama Shastra Society

Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot (21 May, 183325 May, 1901) was a notable British Orientalist and translator. His early career was spent as a civil servant in India; his last post was as Collector for the Bombay government. He was named after his grandfather, Field Marshall Sir John FitzGerald. His first name is sometimes spelled "Foster".

Arbuthnot was well versed in the ancient literature of India. He collaborated with his close friend Sir Richard Burton in the translations of two Sanskrit erotic texts, the Kama Sutra of Vatsayana (1883) and The Ananga Ranga (1885), both privately printed by the Kama Shastra Society. He also wrote the books Arabic Authors, The Mysteries of Chronology, Early Ideas (1881, under the pseudonym Anaryan) and Sex Mythology, Including an Account of the Masculine Cross (1898, privately printed), which attempts to trace the phallic origins of religious symbols. He edited The Rauza-Us-Safa, or Garden of Purity by Muhammad Bin Khavendshah Bin Mahmud, Translation by E. Rehatsek.

It is largely due to his work that several of the masterpieces of Arabic, Persian and Indian literature first became available in English translation.


  • Mrs P S-M Arbuthnot Memories of the Arbuthnots (1920). George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

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