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This is the story of Gladys Aylward (1902-1970) who was a Protestant missionary to China. She always had an ambition to go overseas as a missionary, and studied with great determination in order to be fitted for the role, only to be turned down by the China Inland Mission because her academic background was inadequate. Her determination was such that, in 1930, she spent her life savings on a passage to Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, China, where she founded 'The Inn of the Eight Happinesses' in a remote and backward area.

For a time she served as an assistant to the Chinese government as a "foot inspector" by touring the countryside to enforce the new law against footbinding young Chinese girls. She met with much success in a field that had produced much resistance, including sometimes violence against the inspectors. In 1938, the region was invaded by Japanese troops, and Aylward led ninety-four children to safety over the mountains. She remained in China after World War II, later moving back to England.

She later tried to return to China, but was denied re-entry by the Communist Chinese government, and settled in Taiwan in 1953. In 1958, the story was made into the Hollywood film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. When Newsweek magazine reviewed the Hollywood movie, and summarized the plot, a reader, supposing the story to be fiction, wrote in to say, 'In order for a movie to be good, the story should be believable!'"

Alan Burgess author, Evans Brothers publishers, 1st ed, 1957, 220pp, h/c, no dj, b/w photos.

Non-descript exterior – interior in reasonable condition.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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