London. Smith, Elder. 1859. Stock ID #157802
iv +  + 387pp. Full rather worn calf binding with the gilt armorial stamp of The Grange House School, Edinburgh on the upper board and a prize plate stating this volume was awarded to John Wood for 1st prize in Divinity in July 1860 on the front pastedown. Lower corner and fore edge of the first 65 pages creased. Some browning preliminary leaves and last blanks otherwise very clean. Divided into two parts this scarce travel account begins by describing the author's experiences in Tavoy, the old British name for the town of Dawei in southern Myanmar/Burma. Captain Briggs served as the Deputy Commissioner Tenasserim and Martaran Provinces, Charge of Province Tavoy and writes thoughtfully about his time in the region. He describes in some detail many aspects of local life, government, and law and order. He includes chapters on Education and Religion; Civil and Criminal Administration; National Festivals; Buffalo-Fighting and Wrestling; Religious Fetes. His final chapter "A Run After Dacoits" offers a rare eye-witness account of dealing with the marauders or dacoits in this part of Burma in these early days of British rule.
The second section describes Captain Briggs' experiences in the Middle East. These pages are also full of detail and make very stimulating reading. Captain Briggs made sure to mix as much as he could with the local people staying in their homes and talking to a wide variety of people, thus offers us an insightful mid-19th century traveller's account of Egypt, the Holy Land, Jordan, Lebanon, Smyrna, Rhodes and Cyprus.
This particular copy offers the additional interest of its early association with the prestigious Grange House School in Edinburgh which had only opened its doors three few years before this volume was awarded. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 157802).