Item No: #362444 Burma and the Burmans; or, "The Best Unopened Market in the World" Archibald Ross Colquhoun.
Burma and the Burmans; or, "The Best Unopened Market in the World"

Scarce Book Advocating Regime Change in Burma

Burma and the Burmans; or, "The Best Unopened Market in the World"

Notes: Scottish-South African explorer Archibald Colquhoun "traversed through the unknown lands of western China and scampered along the jungle-covered middle stretches of the Mekong River. When he returned to London he lectured widely and wrote... Burma and the Burmans... He had one message: All that stood in the way of a revival of British commerce and industry, all that kept the working people of Birmingham and Leeds from a better future, was the despotic king of Burma. Remove the king, and Burma would become Britain's best friend. And from Burma, the riches of China, and all that meant for British commerce and industry, would be there for the asking."—Thant Myint-U, The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma, p. 8.

Myint-U credits Colquhoun, at least in part, with influencing the decision of Randolph Churchill (father of Winston), the Secretary of State for India, to invade and annex Burma (now Myanmar) to the Indian Raj, in late 1885.

A scarce book, with no appearances in the auction records in more than a century (although other Colquhoun books make regular stops in the salesrooms). The book has no printed date, but I suspect that it appeared on the printed wrappers, which like the rest of the book were of rather poor-quality paper that tends to chip.

The folding map mounted opposite the title page is titled "Map of Indo-China." It shows Independent Burma, Independent Shan States, Siam, and the Malay Peninsula.

xii, 58, 10 ad pages. Map

Edition + Condition: First edition. I have identified three variants based on the ads at the back. 1) Single leaf of ads, beginning with Across Chryse. 2) 8 pages of ads, headlined Field & Tuer's List, beginning with The Chinese Painted by Themselves; 3) this copy, with Field & Tuer's list, followed by the single leaf. While I can't say which of the first two variants is the first, this one is probably second. Either the single leaf was added to a copy that already had 8 pages of ads or the eight-page section was inserted in front of an ad leaf that was already present. In any case, all the ads are inserted. The last page of text is on the last leaf of a gathering of 8 leaves.

This copy is rebound in quarter-leather and uncovered (raw) boards. The map is fine; the text block is very good to near fine.

Publication: London: Field and Tuer and Simpkin, Marshall & Co., [1885].

Item No: #362444

Price: $500