This book brings to life for the first time the remarkable story of James Taylor, 'father of the Ceylon tea enterprise' in the nineteenth century. Publicly celebrated in Sri Lanka for his efforts in transforming the country's economy and shaping the world's drinking habits, Taylor died in disgrace and remains unknown to the present day in his native Scotland. Using a unique archive of Taylor's letters written over a 40-year period, Angela McCarthy and Tom Devine provide an unusually detailed reconstruction of a British planter's life in Asia at the high noon of empire. As well as charting the development of Ceylon's key commodities in the nineteenth century, the book examines the dark side of planting life including violence and conflict, oppression and despair. A range of other fascinating themes are evocatively examined, including graphic depictions of the Indian Mutiny, 'race' and ethnicity, environmental transformation, cross-cultural contact, and emotional ties to home.
|Publisher:||Manchester University Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Angela McCarthy is Professor of Scottish and Irish History at the University of Otago
Sir Tom Devine is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh
Table of Contents
1. Before Ceylon
2. The rise and fall of 'King Coffee'
3. Transition to tea
4. Globalising Ceylon tea
5. A Scottish effect?
6. A planter's life
7. Cross-cultural contact
8. Times to home
9. Triumph and tears: last years and legacy
- List of Taylor letters
- Family tree of Taylor family
- Family tree of Taylor, Moir, and Stiven families