I have now managed to publish the first part of the complete Jātaka Stories series, the Introduction, which covers the life of the Bodhisatta, including his first aspiration to Buddhahood, his determination to fulfil the perfections, his many lives and meetings with all the Buddhas from that time until his rebirth in his last life; his struggle to attain Awakening, and his his establishment of the Sangha and the first monasteries.
The translation was made by the early pioneer of Buddhist studies, T.W. Rhys Davids based on the first edition of the Pāḷi text, which was edited by V. Fausböll. I have somewhat edited the text and given it a thorough proofreading, details of which are described in the Preface. Besides translating the text Rhys Davids made a number of seminal studies of the text, and especially how it has travelled to the west and been adopted into western folk stories. These remain of great relevance and interest today.
He also looks at the relation of the text to other Indian collections in his Introduction, and what we can know about its history and development. Rhys Davids had intended to make a complete translation of the Jātakas, but he never completed it, and that was accomplished under the supervision of E W Cowell in six volumes, and that will be the next work I will publish.
The cover shows the ascetic Sumedha in three poses: flying through the air, offering flowers, and worshipping at the feet of Dīpaṅkara Buddha, and is from a Gandhāran frieze of the 2nd century CE.