Bewitched by Burma
by Anne Carter
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Spanning fifty years from the days of the British Raj to the granting of full independence after the Japanese conflict, Bewitched by Burma 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.
- Troubador Publishing Ltd, September 2012
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