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An account of her family and growing up in colonial Burma by the author of Quiet Skies on Salween.


Ellen Thorp’s affectionate portrait of her parents sets them in the context of their families – administrators and soldiers in colonial India on her mother’s side, Anglican vicars on her father’s. Her paternal grandfather, a high church ritualist vicar of considerable eccentricity, is particularly vividly portrayed.

The story moves on to their life together in Burma in the small town in the Shan States where they brought up their children and where the author experienced an idyllic childhood. The microcosm of the family story reveals to us much of Burma’s history and customs, and the warmth of its people.

Returning to England, Ellen and her siblings revelled in the modernity of Britain in the 1920s, while her parents faced the challenge of a small pension, no servants and a chilly climate. The book ends with the family dispersing as the children go their separate ways to start new families and stories of their own.

Candlelight in Burma

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