by Capt. C.J.F.S. Forbes
In 1879, Nature: The International Journal of Science, offered this review of this work:
“This book is offered as the result of thirteen years’ experience derived from close intercourse, both officially and privately, with the people of Burma during that period. Such works are frequently contributed by the pro-consuls of the British empire, and afford, apart from their scientific value, good material to judge of the men and methods of our colonial government…It is, however, seldom that we see combined with the administrative capacities of our governors and commissioners a thorough knowledge of the ethnology, biology, and physical characteristics of the regions over which they preside. When such a man appears, and further possesses the quality of observation, his work marks an epoch, and English rule receives a new significance. It is in no adverse spirit that we say thus early that Capt. Forbes’ work will not rank in this category, and we desire rather to commend it for what it does possess than to criticize it for the information which it does not supply.”
Captain Forbes, without the aid of any diagrams or other visual aids, spends a great deal of explaining economic systems, history, religion and other things he encounters in deep detail. While the work offers a lot of interesting insight on the region during the late 1800s, it is still flawed with some prejudices and misunderstandings that were commonly believed at the time.