Sylvia of Sarawak: An Autobiography (1936) (1st ed)


Sylvia of Sarawak: An Autobiography (1936) (1st ed)


Title: Sylvia of Sarawak: An Autobiography

Author: H. H. The Ranee of Sarawak

Publisher: Hutchinson & Co., 1936. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, cloth. Good. Stamped to the title page, “With the Publisher’s Compliments”. Spine slightly cocked by binding tight. Slight foxing. Pages clean and unmarked. With black-and-white plates. 282pp excluding catalogue. App 9″x6″.

1 in stock

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About Sylvia Brett (Ranee of Sarawak) (from Wikipedia):

Sylvia Leonora, Lady Brooke, Ranee of Sarawak (born The Hon. Sylvia Leonora Brett, 25 February 1885 – 11 November 1971), was an English aristocrat who became the consort to Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, the last of the White Rajahs.

Brett married His Highness Rajah Vyner of Sarawak at St Peter’s Church, Cranbourne, Berkshire, just before her 26th birthday on 21 February 1911. They first met in 1909 when she joined an all-female choral orchestra, established by Vyner’s mother. She first visited Sarawak in 1912, where her husband (from 1917) ruled a 40,000-square-mile (100,000 km2) jungle kingdom on the northern side of Borneo with a population of 500,000, an ethnic mix of Chinese, Malays, and the headhunting Dayak. Brett was invested with the titles of Ranee of Sarawak on 24 May 1917 and Grand Master of The Most Illustrious Order of the Star of Sarawak on 1 August 1941. Rajah Vyner died in 1963.

She was known for having Machiavellian machinations, which agitated the British Colonial Office. Brett always had designs on her husband’s succession because her daughters, as women, were not able to become a ruler of Sarawak. “Her own brother described her as a “female Iago” because she was the family nuisance and great schemer.”