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The Orchid Seekers in Borneo

By: Ashmore Russan(Author), Frederick Boyle(Author), Alfred Hartley(Illustrator)

397 pages, 8 b/w illustrations

Natural History Publications Borneo

Paperback | Sep 2006 | #210417 | ISBN: 9838121185
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £15.99 $21/€18 approx

About this book

A fantastic tale of adventure, bravado and a liberal dose of colonial grandiose in search of the fabled 'blue orchid'. The Orchid Seekers in Borneo is a collaboration between an a writer, Ashmore Rusan, and an explorer, Frederick Boyle, who had indeed traveled to countries where orchids grow and was himself a successful grower of these spectacular blooms. First published in 1893, The Orchid Seekers in Borneo captures life in Sarawak then under the rule of the Brooke family. Factual events that took place during that time and the distinctiveness of the various native people and their lifestyle in Sarawak are interwoven into an elaborate journey by a German orchid collector and his entourage into the wilds of Borneo.

An attempt by the author to inject authenticity to the German ancestry of the main character through an exaggerated accent is almost comical as is the imperious manner of the English characters accompanying Mr Hertz on his quest. That aside, The Orchid Seekers in Borneo does give an interesting account of almost all the important aspects of native life at that time, the orchids and other plants that held the western world in awe and an insight into the traditions of the native people of Sarawak that both terrified and fascinated the developed world. Will the orchid seekers find their elusive blue orchid in the end? The answer is almost irrelevant as the The Orchid Seekers in Borneo pulls you along its weaving tale that takes on the whole gamut of experience, adventure, history and culture.


Chapter I A Palace of Enchantment 1
Chapter II Great Preparations 15
Chapter III The Amok 24
Chapter IV A Brush With Pirates 35
Chapter V At The Town of the Cat 48
Chapter VI A Scratch Expedition 62
Chapter VII A Start in Earnest 79
Chapter VIII What Is an Orchid? 87
Chapter IX Harry Overhears an Interesting Conversation 96
Chapter X A Dyak Feast 111
Chapter XI A Very Strange Adventure 123
Chapter XII An Interrupted Lecture 137
Chapter XIII The Ophiophagus 150
Chapter XIV An Orchid Giant 162
Chapter XV A Pakatan Family 175
Chapter XVI A Haunted Jungle 188
Chapter XVII The Lodge Of The T'ien-Ti Hue 206
Chapter XVIII A Night Attack 216
Chapter XIX In The Lion's Den 229
Chapter XX Wo-Sing's Story 239
Chapter XXI In the Valley of Bidi 252
Chapter XXII A Surprise in the Cave 267
Chapter XXIII Meta Finds a Prize, and Loses One 280
Chapter XXIV A Head-Feast at Sirambau 291
Chapter XXV Too Late 305
Chapter XXVI Incidents of the Night 316
Chapter XXVII The Recapture of Kuching 329
Chapter XXVIII The Fight at Tanah Leda 342
Chapter XXIX The Surprise in the Phosphoric Forest 355
Chapter XXX The Heroism of the Maidens 370
Chapter XXXI The Inevitable 384

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