Troubador Bewitched by Burma

Released: 01/10/2012

eISBN: 9781780887982

Format: eBook

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Bewitched by Burma

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Bewitched by Burma gives a rare insight into Myanmar’s remarkable past. Based on largely unpublished letters and diaries written during the first half of the twentieth century, it paints an intimate picture of everyday life in pre-independence Burma. Spanning fifty years from the days of the British Raj to the granting of full independence after the Japanese conflict, it tells a vivid and often humorous tale of the challenges of life in Burma faced by Anglican missionaries. Setting out on the five-week sea passage to Burma, these men and women left comfortable but boring lives in Edwardian Britain in search of adventure. Their task was to preach Christianity in a Buddhist land about which they knew little. Once there, they rapidly fell in love with the country, its rich culture and warm people, whom they grew to respect deeply. From descriptions of tea on the lawn with the Viceroy to daily struggles with insects, illness and climate, and adventures with bullock carts and early motor cars, their letters home contain fascinating vignettes of a long-extinct colonial way of life alongside a daily life in Burma which is largely unchanged today.

Author and narrator Anne starts the book with stories of the myths and legends lying behind the country’s past, and recounts many memories from her childhood in Burma. She also gives a key insight into its politics, history and geography, and reproduces a vivid first-hand account of the devastating trek from Burma to India to escape the Japanese occupation, written in the mid-1940s. Her husband shared her interest in Burma, having served there in the Indian army, and some of his memories are included.

As Aung San Suu Kyi takes her rightful seat in parliament and Myanmar re-emerges onto the world stage after many decades of exclusion, Bewitched by Burma gives a unique insight into the country’s complex past. The book will appeal equally to today’s travellers and business people, to families of servicemen who served there, and to those interested in the early life of the church - and even in the introduction of Girlguiding.

As the beautiful and exotic country of Burma (now Myanmar) opens its doors to the outside world, this book gives a rare insight into its remarkable past. Based on largely unpublished letters and dairies written from Burma during the first half of the twentieth century, it is a family story which provides an intimate picture of everyday life in pre-independence Burma.

Spanning fifty years from the days of the British Raj to the granting of full independence after the Japanese conflict, it tells a vivid and often humorous tale of the challenges of life in Buddhist Burma as lived by a handful of Anglican missionaries. These men and women left a comfortable but dull life in Edwardian Britain in quest of adventure. As they set out on the six week sea passage to Burma, their task was to preach Christianity in a Buddhist land about which they knew little. But once there, they rapidly fell in love with the country, its rich culture and warm people, whom they grew to respect deeply. From descriptions of tea on the lawn of the Governor’s residence to daily struggles with insects, illness and climate, and adventures with bullock carts and early motor cars, their letters home contain fascinating vignettes of a long-extinct colonial way of life alongside a daily life in Burma which is largely unchanged today.

The author was born in Burma and is the narrator throughout. She starts with stories of the myths and legends lying behind the country’s origins, and recounts many of her childhood memories. She also gives some insight into its politics, history and geography, and devotes a chapter to a first hand account of the devastating trek from Burma to India to escape the Japanese, written in the mid 1940s. Her husband shared her interest in Burma, having served there in the Indian army, and some of his memories are included.

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Anne Carter

Born in Burma in 1924, Anne now lives in Norfolk. War service and work as a Probation Officer, teacher and Guider has led to her fascination with history, and she has written widely about people and places. Bewitched by Burma all her life, she recently revisited the country after an absence of 70 years.

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