Letter of Isabella Bird Bishop to Henrietta Bird, 13 February 1879

Bird Bishop's letters to her sister could sometimes be extraordinarily long. This letter, written from the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, is a remarkable 116 pages long.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

Transcription Mark-up QA and corrections QA

Justice Wood. We understand
that her notes on the Residential
System are already in the hands
of the administration at Singa
pore”!!! The costume and colour
in Penang are wonderful. I
admired the groups in front
of the police court under the
feathery shade of tamarind
trees as much as anything
I have seen — Orientalism in
all its picturesqueness. This let
ter brings the series of “great” let
ters to an end. I must now try
to take rest having had none.
Mr Cecil Smiths promise of
“Government facilities” in the Ma
lay Peninsula was nobly ful-
filled, and the government
officials every where were
most attentive. I liked Pe
rak, specially Qualla Kangsa
and was generally interested
throughout. I fear that you
and the other readers of the
Malay letters will like them far
better than the Japan letters, though
they represented far more of pains
taking and “honest work. It is get
ting too dark to see.

Your frugiferous bat