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Married To Melanesia - Muriel Jones

The Travel Book Club, 1976, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine. Leans.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Drawings; Maps;

From the cover: “We were married after three years at opposite ends of the world… We then, too rapidly for comfort, made off in a snowstorm for the South Seas… All this we imprudently did in our late forties. Thus Muriel Jones introduces her account of how she came to start her married life in the Solomon Islands, whose impact was traumatic, perhaps just because we were not in our first youth or innocent of other tropical experience.

St Peter’s College was the only thing at Siota; there was no store and the only post office on the island was so difficult of access that I never visited it… we ourselves did most of the postal business quite informally at our end of the island. It is not surprising that even high-ranking visitors tended to arrive looking like ship-wrecked sailors. If one was ill enough to see a doctor one was, on the whole, too ill to be subjected to several hours of sun or rain in an open boat and a probable night en route. There is, too, the account of the old lady whose family, on her death, wanted to bury her in a coffin instead of the customary mat. Poor old lady; at the end of all these exertions, the coffin with her in it stood in church for the funeral, uneasily supported on two rickety small tables from our sitting room, mutely exhorting us to STOW AWAY FROM BOILERS.

Muriel Jones tells the unusual story of her five Melanesian years, of the impact of Christianity on a pagan people, of her husband’s college and its move to another island, of the students, the islands and their animals and exotic vegetation, of the islanders (nine tenths of whom live in communities ranging from twenty to two hundred people) and of their changing way of life. Her story takes one about as far as it is possible to go from an urban civilisation and in telling it she reveals the resources of her own character.”


Jacket designed by Trevor Ridley. Illustrated by Ken Watkinson. Size: 8¾" x 5½". Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 159 pages.
£7.50