Stephen Simmons: Maymyo Days: Forgotten Lives of a Burma Hill Station
June 29 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm BST
The title of the book is Maymyo Days, but it is really the sub title, Forgotten Lives of a Burma Hill Station which best describes what the book is really all about – I have written about some, as is the case with most of us ordinary, ‘normal’ people, who lived in the Shan Hills, ordinary people but people who did some extraordinary things. Some turned out to be gifted, a few were courageous, others tragic, whose lives I first stumbled upon around 20 years ago in Rangoon: amongst others, Henry Morshead, a Royal Engineer who got to within a shout of the summit of Everest with George Mallory (Morshead later murdered in Maymyo), Princesses Ma Lat and Yadana Nat Mai – Shan Princesses who lead risky and fascinating lives, General Po Yay – a Karen who won an MC in Burma during the war, ‘Elephant Bill’ of the Bombay Burma Trading Corporation, Charlotte Wheeler Cuffe who painted orchids and rhododendron in Burma and who turned out to be a quite superb, ‘amateur’ artist (her art is jealously guarded by Glasnevin Botanical Gardens in Dublin).
Whilst the book is not a current affairs book, rather a series of mini biographies of extraordinary people I do nevertheless update on the (terrible) state of things in Burma now.
The talk lasts for 40 minutes and I include 32 slides. The book, published by Narisa Chakrabongse’s River Books in Bangkok, is heavily illustrated.