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This is an auction for TALES FROM THE SOUTH CHINA SEAS by Charles Allen. review:

"TALES FROM THE SOUTH CHINA SEAS chronicles the adventures of the last generation of British men and women who went East to seek their fortunes. Drawn into the colonial territories scattered around the South China Sea, they found themselves in an exotic, intoxicating world. It was a land of rickshaws and shanghai jars, sampans and Straits Steamers, set against a background of palm-fringed beaches and tropical rain-forests. But it was also a world of conflicting beliefs and many races, where the overlapping of widely differing moral standards and viewpoints created a heady and dangerous atmosphere."

"FIVE STARS!! This a moving, interesting collection of oral histories, mostly from Malaya and Borneo, plus one (and, sadly, only one) fascinating account of operating a steamer on the Yangtze River in pre-war China (despite the title, this book has no other accounts of China and none of Hong Kong or Macao). Many of the accounts come from rubber plantation managers in Malaya and district officers deep in the wilds of Borneo. Lots of wonderful detail of colonial life, right up to the end. Includes some accounts of the Malayan Emergency - frightening tales of being in a plantation house surrounded by jungle, waiting for Chinese communists to come and kill you!"

"FIVE STARS! This is a lovely book in which Charles Allen gives us access to those people who actually lived and worked in the British Empire. As others have said, extremely evocative and romantic, showing how young British officials, fresh out of university, were thrown in at the deep end to administer the far-flung reaches of the empire."

More very favourable reviews on

Paperback 1991.

319 pages + photographs.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

Payment within seven days, please.
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  • NZ Post$4.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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