15 August 2011

Book Review: The Two Thousand Isles: A Short Account of the People, History and Customs of the Maldive Archipelago, by T. W. Hockly (1935), ***

Old Friday mosque in Malè, perhaps early XX century

A short account of the people, history and customs of the Maldive Archipelago, written in 1935.  T.W. Hockly spent many weeks in the Maldives in 1935 and his book is an interesting account of his time there. He tells about life in the islands, and especially in the capital Male' where he actually spent his time. His account is interspersed with historical and political commentary, much of which is useful to put his experience in context.

Most of the time he writes a captivating prose, though it can get a bit dry toward the end of the book. This is an interesting read for those who may go the the islands today as it will allow a deeper understanding of the country's cultural and social background that can be gained in a resort or a diving boat!

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