RICE E.P., 1849-1936

 

Edward(Edmund?) Peter Rice, (ಎಡ್ವರ್ಡ್ ಪೀಟರ್ ರಾಯಿಸ್) younger brother of Benjamin Louie Rice was a Christian missionary and a teacher who served the cause of Kannada in more than one way. He served as a missionary in Bangalore and Chikkaballapura during 1873-95. After that, he was the head master of the London Mission High School in Bangalore before returning to the United Kingdom in 1915.

He has translated the old testament of the Bible in to simple and chaste Kannada. He has also rendered in to Kannada the theological texts of Moses as ‘Adikanda’ (1908) and ‘Yatrakanda’ (1909) He has written a biography of his father, B.H. Rice who lived in Bangalore for five decades. The details of this publication are as follows:

Benjamin Rice or Fifty years in the Master's Service, by his son Edmund P. Rice, B.A., Published by the Religious Tract Society, 192 pp.

The lasting contribution E.P.Rice is his ‘A History of Kanarese Literature’. (1915)  This is the first attempt in writing the history of Kannada literature in any language. He gives a broad outline of Kannada literature based on the texts available at that point on time. The book is divided in to four parts called, Jaina, Veerashaiva, Vaishnava and modern.

Of course his pioneering effort is not well received in the scholarly circles of Karnataka because he speaks rather disparagingly about the contribution of Kannada to world literature. Naturally his views were vehemently criticised and many scholars rose in defence of Kannada literature and tried to present their case. The answers given by Dr R.S.Mugali in his ‘Kannada Sahitya Charitre’ (1956) are noteworthy.

 

References:

1. Rice, E.P. [1921] (1982). A History of Kanarese Literature. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120600630.

2. History of Kannada Literature, R.S.Mugali, 1975, Sahitya Academy, Delhi

 

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