Ranjee G Shahani

Other names: 

Ranjee Gurdassing Shahani

Ranjee Gurdasing Shahani

Hassan Ali


80 Eaton Terrace, Solane Square,
London, SW1W 8TY
United Kingdom
51° 29' 34.8792" N, 0° 9' 14.3964" W
Horniton House,
Flood Street,
London, SW3 5TB
United Kingdom
51° 29' 10.3056" N, 0° 9' 55.2168" W
Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1904
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Jan 1968
Precise date of death unknown: 
Location of death: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

mid 1920s - 1936, 1941


21 Cromwell Road, South Kensington (in 1928)

Honiton House, Flood Street, Chelsea, London (1932-1936)

Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, France (1938-39)

80 Eaton Terrace, Sloane Square, London (1941)

54 Onslow Gardens, SW7, London (1948)


Ranjee Shahani was born in 1904 and travelled to Britain some time in the mid-1920s. He had a D.Litt from Paris and his first wife, Suzanne, was from Normandy, France. His second wife was Leticia V. Ramos from the Philippines.

In 1928, Shahani was writing a thesis on Shakespeare and asked advice from Edward Garnett. His book Shakespeare through Eastern Eyes was published in 1932. Shahani became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1933, although this lapsed in 1934. In 1934, he wrote to Rabindranath Tagore that he wished to put together a selection of Thomas Sturge Moore's poems. In this, Shahani mentioned that he had talked to "AE" and William Rothenstein, and thus appeared to have various connections with the British literary establishment. Shahani was also a member of the India Society and spoke regularly at their meetings.

Shahani lived in France with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law from 1938, but then returned to England in 1941 due to the war. In the 1940s, he wrote a series of articles called 'Some British I admire' for The Asiatic Review, which included Laurence Binyon, Charles Lamb and E. M. Forster. He died in 1968, and at time of his death was Professor of English Literature at Seton Hall University, near New York.


Clifford Bax, Launcelot Cranmer-Byng, Isobel Cripps and Richard Stafford Cripps, Benedetto Croce, Havelock Ellis, E. M. Forster, Edward Garnett, Eric Gill, John Glasworthy, Emile Legouis, Sylvain Levi, Thomas Sturge Moore, John Middleton Murray, Eric Partridge, S. Radhakrishnan, Romain Rolland, William Rothenstein, George Russell (AE), Rabindranath Tagore, Edward Thompson, Leonard Woolf, Francis Yeats-Brown, Francis Younghusband, Yusuf Ali.

Involved in events: 

Attended World Congress of Faiths, University College, London, July 1936. Other speakers at the Congress include S. Radhakrishnan, Yusuf Ali, and Dr S. N. DasGupta

Lectured on 'The Influence of India on Western Culture' to India Society, presided by E. M. Forster, 4 Dec. 1942

Published works: 

Towards the Stars: being an appreciation of 'Phoenix and the Turtle', introduction by Edward Garnett and appreciation by André Marouis (1930)

Shakespeare through Eastern Eyes, introduction by J. Middleton Murray and appreciation by Emile Legouis (London: H. Joseph, 1932)

The Changeling (London: H. Joseph, 1933) [written under the pseudonym Hassan Ali]

The Coming of Karuna, with appreciation by Havelock Ellis (London: John Murray, 1934) 

A New Pilgrim's Progress (London: World Congress of Faiths pamphlet, 1938)

Indian Pilgrimage (London: Michael Joseph, 1939)

A White Man in Search of God (London: Lester & Welbeck, 1943)

The Amazing English (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1948)

The Indian Way (Bombay: Hind Kitabs Ltd, 1951)

Mr Gandhi (New York, 1961)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Various articles for Indian Art and Letters

Various articles for Asiatic Review

Contributed to The Sufi: A Journal of Mysticism

Various stories for Saint Detective Magazine (1960)

Spectator (16 August 1940)

Reviews of Sri Aurobindo's Collected Poems and Plays and Mulk Raj Anand's The Sword and the Sickle Times Literary Supplement, 1942

'The Asiatic Element in Swinburne', The Poetry Review 33.4 (July - August 1942)

'The Phoenix and the Turtle', Notes and Queries CXCI (1946)


G. Wilson Knight, The Criterion (Towards the Stars)

Malcolm Muggeridge, Daily Telegraph, 25 April 1939 (Indian Pilgrimage)

H. G. Wells refers to Shakespeare Through Eastern Eyes in Wells, H. G., Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (London: Penguin, 1943)

Archive source: 

Paper read to East India Association, 'Literary Interpreters of India: A Selective Study',(9 November 1943), Maynard Papers, Mss EUR F224/74, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Letter to E. M. Forster, Mary Lago Archive, University of Missouri; EMF/18/453/3, King's College Archive, Cambridge

Correspondence with Edward Garnett, Garnett Collection, McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University

Letter to William Rothenstein, Rothenstein Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard

Letters to Leonard Woolf, Leonard Woolf Archive, University of Sussex, Brighton

Letter to Rabindranath Tagore, Thomas Sturge Moore Correspondence, Visva Bharati Archives, Santiniketan