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Item #: OP3660-257
THE ASSAM REVIEW: THE MAGAZINE FOR ASSAM, AND THE TEA AREAS [INDIA] 1937. VOL. XVII Nos 1-6 (March to August) Leather bound Near Fine
By Assam Review, Calcutta, India
Price: $19.99

List Price: $75.00
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Calcutta, India, 1937. 340 pages, 100s of photos, advertisements. Six issues of this Colonial era magazine printed for Tea Planters and other members of the British establishment in the closing days of the Indian Raj. The magazines are 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, with heavy covers in color, and high quality glossy paper stock that has aged without flaws. The magazines are bound together very solidly, with a leather spine and leather corners. The boards are covered in brown cloth. There is almost no wear to the edges, and is clearly Near Fine or even Fine condition. The bound book weighs a hefty four pounds.

These magazines give a now quaint view of a world that has passed, of a privilege, of comfort and servants, private schools, cars and cricket, polo and "home leave" to Britain. There is no hint of the calamity about to engulf the world, even India which had starvation during WW2. The advertisements are terrific, Dunlop advertises rubber tyres for Bullock Carts. There is excitement that the King could fly from London to  Brussels!  When the King was on Safari in South Africa, Imperial Airways made it possible for him to receive the London newspapers within eleven days of publication!

RELEVANCE FOR MOUNTAINEERS

The relevance for climbers is that this posh British life is the society that all Pre-War, and even most Post-War Himalayan climbers experienced and depended on for comfort and support, as they passed through Calcutta or Bombay on their way to the Himalaya or Karakoram. All British climbers, and many American and European climbers, came from the privileged class in their own country, so they naturally slipped into this upper class way of life with porters and servants, being called Sahib and Memsahib, being waited on hand and foot, being served tea in bed, as they spent what seemed to the locals as huge sums of money, and risked their lives, and those of their servants, while attempting to ''conquer the useless.''

As this bound collection of six magazines is large and heavy, extra postage will be required for Priority Mail or International Mail.

It was in the Assam region of India that the native Camellia sinensis assamica, cousin of the Camellia sinensis plants found throughout China, was discovered. This local cultivar was first commercially grown in Assam and offered for sale at the London auction in 1839. It brought a high price because of its rarity, but it took 20 years for English-owned companies to show a profit and to transplant their agricultural model to other areas of India such as Darjeeling and Nilgiri. Once the steam power and industrialization of the late 19th century entered the vast tea gardens of this former British colony, an incredible tea-making environment was created that moved the focus of the English tea empire away from China.

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