The Soul of a People

by H. Fielding Hall

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The Soul of a People was originally released in 1898. Written by Harold Fielding Hall, a British official sent to Burma (now Myanmar) to take part in the Burma Commission. Hall lived for many years in Burma, and wrote this account of the places, people and of Buddhism as he encountered it during his travels.

Through his understanding on Burmese Buddhism, he uses it to relate to other Burmese customs and laws, on everything from marriage, festivals, criminal justice, gender roles, and the high value placed on life in all forms found within nature. Hall writes as a liberal Christian seeking to learn more about Buddhism, and he endeavors to describe religious tenants, as well as folklore and other local beliefs and customs. This work gives a great glimpse of life in Burma during the late 1800s, while also illustrating the perils of colonialism.

This new edition is dedicated to Hera Tun Oo, energetic traveler and probing scholar.