North of Singapore – Carveth Wells (1940)


North of Singapore – Carveth Wells (1940)


Title: North of Singapore
Author: Carveth Wells
Publisher: Robert McBride and Company,New York, 1940. 2nd printing.
Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Good. Dust jacket has some small tears. Slight tanning and foxing to book. Sticker to half title page. Profusely illustrated with black-and-white photographs. 271pp., app 9″x6″.

SKU: wells-singapore Categories: , , ,


This book contains 2 end maps, and 80 black and white photographs of Asia.

About the book:

The book is a very interesting account of Asia, spanning parts of Japan, China, Malaya, Ceylon and India. What makes this travel account more interesting than most is that it was written in the late 30s (1939 to be specific), when Japan had already occupied parts of China and when the threat of war was looming in the region. Also, the book is filled with interesting images of people, cities, fruits and animals of the region. The book is currently out of print. A riveting account that leads one to finish reading the book in a single sitting.

From jacket flap:

For 23 years Carveth Wells wanted to re-visit the tropical land he described with such rare entertainment in “Six Years in the Malay Jungle”. Recently his wish was gratified, and this is the gay-spirited saga of the trip to the “Topsy Turvy Land” where for six years as a young engineer he fought the jungle and helped build a railroad.

Landing in a Japan that is far stranger and more contradictory than before, Mr. Wells sees the Sunrise Kingdom in war time. After a quick glimpse at the cities he journeys to the mountain home of the hairy Ainu, those extraordinary primitive tribes whose origin is shrouded in mystery. He goes pearl fishing with cormorants, stays at remote Japanese inns, learns how goldfish are raised through mass production, and encounters a typhoon. Pushing across the Sea of Japan he lands in Korea and sees many puzzling things about the Hermit Kingdom. After going to Manchuria and southward through China, where his adventures are amusing as well as strange, he sets out for Singapore by the way of the Philippine Islands.

Reaching his goal at last, he finds that Malaya is as paradoxical as ever, despite the changes of two decades. There are new railroads, but the same primitive customs – and flying foxes, edible birds’ nests, fish that climb trees and fight on land, savages that dwell in trees and ride in motor boats. He captures a mouse deer, again gets intimately acquainted with elephants and tells curious things about their private lives, and photographs everything in sight. He pays a visit to the famous Theodore Hubback, the jungle man, who is a veritable storehouse of thrilling stories of the life of the wild.

About Carveth Wells:

Carveth Wells is a rather unknown travel writer and explorer, although his books were popular and it seems he was quite a famous explorer in his time. Prior to writing North of Singapore, he published Six Years in the Malay Jungle, a popular travel book known for its wit and humour.