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The Colonial Library of Dignified Irreverence

The Colonial Library Of Dignified Irreverence is devoted to the lighter sides of past–and occasionally current–life East of Suez. The series is of questionable literary merit. Various sizes. These travelling companions are well dressed, bound as they are in imperial khaki, solid enough to withstand the roughest Himalayan trek or most strenuous journey on a cruise liner in the Pacific. Hardcover (HC) with gold stamped cover, gilt edges, bookmark and shiraza. Bound to amuse. Limited editions.

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Ballads of Burma
by “Oolay” Illustrated by T. Martin Jones
1912, 1999. xvi, 116 pp., 37 ill., 18.5 x 12.5 cm., hardbound.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-32-5 $30.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-32-7


A collection of thirty-seven poems (described as ‘ditties’) on 19th century colonial life in Burma, and originally published in the Rangoon Gazette and the Burma Critic. Some reflect the author’s views of the ‘unjust treatment of Burma at the hands of the Indian Government’.
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Curry and Rice On Forty Plates
or The Ingredients of Social Life at “Our Station” in India.
by George Francklin Atkinson
1911 (Fifth Edition), 1998. xii, 160 pp., 40 col. pl., Crown 4vo, 25 x 19 cm., hardbound.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-51-1 $40.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-51-8


A light-hearted account of life in India with 40 delightful vignettes, including ‘Our Colonel’, ‘Our Padre’, ‘Our Magistrate’s wife’, ‘Our Racecourse’, ‘Our Bazar’, ‘Our Agriculturists’, and ‘Our Nuwab’. Each is accompanied by a watercolour illustration.

What varied opinions we constantly hear
Of our rich Oriental possessions;
What a jumble of notions, distorted and queer,

From an Englishman’s “Indian Impressions!”
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An English Girl’s First Impression of Burmah
by Beth Ellis
1896, 1997. 240 pp., 1 col. pl., Crown 8vo, 18.5 x 12.5 cm., hardbound.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-55-4 $35.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-55-6


A spontaneous and irrepressibly humourous view of life in Burma a century ago. Devoid of all statistics and political observations, yet ‘to those happy ones who love laughter, it will be welcome as gold’.

…One of the funniest travel accounts ever written…
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Horace in Burma
by J. M. Symns
1910, 1997. 96 pp., Crown 8vo, 18 x 12.5 cm., hardbound.

ISBN 974-8299-59-7 $25.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-59-4


A collection of thirty-one short poems originally published in the Rangoon Gazette for an Anglo-Burmese/Anglo-Indian readership. Described by the author as a ‘literary sampan’. Many evoke an Englishman’s nostalgia for his home country.
Uxori Meæ
The world may deem their metre vile,
Their language rough,
To your bright eyes they brought a smile
It is enough
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Sketches in Indian Ink
by John Smith Jnr.
1880, 2000. 315 pp., 18 x 13 cm., hardcover.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-96-1 $25.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-96-9


Satirical sketches of Anglo-Indian society and some of its foibles. In the words of the author: ‘These pictures are intended … for people in England who may wish to know how Indian exile acts upon English men and women.’
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Songs of a Desert Optimist
Poems of Burma
by J. M. Symns
1894, 1998. 86 pp. Demy 16, 14.5 x 11 cm., hardbound.

ISBN-10: 974-8299-98-8 $25.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8299-98-3


Thirty-nine poems published originally in Punch and the Rangoon Gazette, including groups of poems on Burma, Simla and ‘Songs of the Services’.

Out of the gloom of grit and grey
Out of the fog and the cold
Ye shall pass to a land where the peacocks play
In a garden of green and gold;
Where big blue butterflies haunt the glades
And the snow-white egret dreams,
And rubies are found by nut-brown maids
Wading in orange streams…
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Twenty-One Days in India
Being the Tour of Sir Ali Baba, K.C.B
by George Abereigh-Mackay
1896, 1998. 252 pp., 13 ill., 14.5 x 12 cm., hardbound

ISBN-10: 974-8304-09-4 $30.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-8304-09-0


A tongue-in-cheek series of sketches of nineteenth-century colonial life in India, originally published in Vanity Fair, and so popular that it ran to six editions. Delightfully irreverent.