Contents: Preface. Foreword. 1. The language and its origin. 2. A general survey of Urdu literature. 3. General characteristics of Urdu poetry. 4. The Deccan school of early Urdu poetry. 5. The Delhi school of Urdu poets: Part I, the age of Arzu and Hatim. 6. The Delhi school of Urdu poets: Part II, the age of Mir and Souda. 7. The Delhi school of Urdu poets: Part III, the age of Insha and Mushaffi. 8. The Lucknow school of Urdu poets: the age of Nasikh and Atish. 9. The court of Lucknow and its Urdu poets: the age of Wajid Ali Shah Akhtar. 10. Elegy and Elegy writers. 11. The stragglers—Nazir Akbarabadi and Nasir Dehlvi. 12. Court of Delhi and its poets: Part IV, the age of Ghalib and Zouq. 13. The courts of Rampur and Hyderabad: the age of Amir and Dagh. 14. The new movement in Urdu poetry: the age of Azad and Hali. 15. Urdu Prose: its birth and growth: part I, fort William College at Calcutta. 16. Urdu prose: Part II, the age of Ghalib and Sir Syed Ahmad. 17. Urdu Prose: Part III, the rise of Urdu Novel—the age of Sarshar and Sharar. 18. Urdu drama. 19. Progress and achievement, of the Urdu literature. Index.
"The object of this book is to trace in outline the development of Urdu literature from the earliest time to the present day with biographical sketches of writers and critical appreciations of their works with a description of the more important of them. An effort has been made to bring out the relationship between writer and writer and group and group and to trace the rise, growth and decline of schools and movements. Nor has the historical setting in which the poets and writers lived and worked been ignored. The book is not merely a storehouse of facts but stress has also been laid on ideas and tendencies that dominated the age. The main aim of the work has been to supply a textbook on the modern principles, criticism and an interpretation of Urdu literature to English reading public." (jacket)