Troubador Voyages with my Grandfather

Released: 28/08/2020

ISBN: 9781838593926

eISBN: 9781838596064

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Voyages with my Grandfather


Voyages with my Grandfather tells the story of Robert Boyd, a leading Irish missionary of the first half of the 20th century. It draws on his influential books and previously unpublished memoirs and letters. 

Join William Hanna, as he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather around the world. Travel from Ireland in the 1880s via the United States to India. Learn how Annie Higginson sails to India to marry Boyd during the First World War, and how he meets Mahatma Gandhi. Enjoy Boyd’s letters to his children from Japan, Korea, and China in 1936, and his heart-warming return to India and its people. Share the author’s emotion as he visits Gujarat many years later to see where his mother was born, and Burma where his uncle was killed in the Second World War. 

Voyages with my Grandfather gives a glimpse into part of the former British Empire, from the eyes of a loyal but perceptive participant. In retracing his grandfather’s path, the author discovers lasting values that will inspire readers today. Humanity should live, Robert Boyd said, “not according to the selfish, sensual, materialistic principles of this world, but after the spirit of liberty, tolerance, kindness and brotherly love”. 

All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to charities working with the Rohingya people.

A two page interview appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on 18 November. Editor-at-large Gail Walker brought to life the author's childhood home, Windsor Manse and highlighted the similarities between the author's journey as a diplomat and his Grandfather's voyages as a missionary.

Voyages with my Grandfather was launched on 22 July with the endorsement of Alexander McCall Smith.

The e book is already available. The printed version will be available on 28 August.

Top review from Australia on 30 July 2020
G. J. Randal
A history for today and tomorrow

'Voyages with my Grandfather' is essentially and thoroughly a family story which offers a fascinating glimpse into missionary times in South Asia. William Hanna is an experienced writer whose voice comes through very clearly as he joins up time and space between generations. I enjoyed reading my way into this world. It is not a trip into nostalgia; nor is it a 21st century re-write of a moment in colonial history. The author has a clear post-colonial perspective and he writes this family history for today and tomorrow.

The Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph

This is a memoir in which in one generation remembers another. It is unsentimental and clear-eyed, but it is also very moving. Set in two very different worlds – an Irish and an Indian world – the author’s account of his grandfather’s life and his own retracing of that life provides us with a beautifully-written and fascinating account of a complex and colourful past.

by Alexander McCall Smith

William D. Hanna

William D. Hanna was born in Belfast and studied in Edinburgh, Limoges, and at the College of Europe in Bruges. He has been an Irish and European diplomat and has served as EU Ambassador in Tanzania, Uruguay, Bangladesh and Ghana. His Italian wife was born in Tanzania. They have three children and five grandchildren and live in Brussels.

William D. Hanna in Ahmedabad
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