PRATT, Ambrose. Magical Malaya. Melbourne, Robertson & Mullens Ltd. .
8vo. Original red cloth, gilt, map endpapers; pp. 278, plates after photographs in sepia, spine a little faded, foxing with a little offsetting to endpapers, as usual, occasional only light spotting internally; otherwise a very good copy of a scarce title.
First edition. Ambrose Goddard Hesketh Pratt (1874–1944) was an Australian businessman, successful journalist, author of adventure and horror novels as well as being fascinated by the Far East. 'From childhood, when he was tended by a Chinese amah, Pratt had a strong affection for the Orient. He pressed for government recognition of China and, in his play Point in Time, performed by the Gregan McMahon Players in 1941, attempted to interpret contemporary Chinese thought to an Australian audience. A mystic, he felt an affinity with Buddhism. From the 1920s he had business interests in Malaya and Siam (Thailand), eventually becoming director of twelve tin-dredging companies' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). This is a very well-written first-hand travelogue of his visit of Malaysia, with notes on the mining industry, Buddhism, the court and daily life in the country.