Malay Sketches (Frank Swettenham)

Malay Sketches (Frank Swettenham)

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Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham was an important figure in Southeast Asia at the turn of the century. First posted to Singapore in 1871, his prompt mastery of colloquial Malay served him well throughout his career. In 1896, he became the first Resident General of the Federated Malay States, followed by his appointment as Governor and Commander in Chief of the Straits Settlements. Drawing on twenty-five years experience in Malaya, Swettenhem presents a series of sketches of the lush landscape of Malaya, and observations of the lives, customs, beliefs and superstitions of the locals.

From the preface to the first edition:

This is not a book of travels, nor is it, in even the smallest sense, the record of a traveller's experiences in a foreign land. It is a series of sketches of Malay scenery and Malay character drawn by one who has spent the best part of his life in the scenes and amongst the people described.

These pages contain no statistics, no history, no geography, no science, real or spurious, no politics, no moralising, no prophecy, only an attempt to awaken an interest in an almost undescribed but deeply interesting people, the dwellers in one of the most beautiful and least known countries in the East.

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