No-one knows how old this map is. No doubt if I studied it carefully I may well be able to work out the dates as the pink shaded areas depict those lands falling under the rule of the British Crown (British Malaya, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada – among others). I do know that this map of the world was hanging in the school-house on our property in the 1930s (it now hangs in my study).
I can just imagine my two aunts and father sitting straight backed at their desks while a long-suffering governess did her best to in-still the three Rs, reading, writing and arithmetic into her unruly students. My father and his sisters had quite a few governesses in their time, and when I say a few, apparently the number well-exceeds 10.
Only one left due to the isolation!
But who could blame youngsters wanting to escape when only feet away the bush beckoned. Having been taught correspondence school by Mum I know full well what it’s like to be tempted to bolt from the room when no-ones looking. Not that the repercussions were always that great.
The map shows the trade routes at that time as well as the major country’s and what they traded during the period: for example we received silk goods from Italy, Japan and Switzerland, Hessian and chicory from India and furs from Russia. I look at some of our old archives and often wonder how marvellous it would be if they could talk.