In 1821, thirty years after its founding, the London Missionary Society deputized George Bennet and Daniel Tyerman to visit and report on stations as far-flung as Johannesburg, Tahiti, and Canton. For many of the missionaries abroad, it would be their first contact from home in years. Tyerman and Bennet encountered storms, pirates, and tigers and negotiated relationships with powerful kings and the sailors and slave traders who were their countrymen but whose actions they often deplored. They battled intractable opposition and exulted in successful conversions. In 1829, Bennet finally returned home; Tyerman never made it. A remarkable account of faith and bravery, On the Missionary Trail is a unique addition to the literature of the missionary encounter. "As fascinating today for its insight into early nineteenth-century missionary activity as it is for the overview it offers us of a world on the brink of enormous change . . . Meticulous and thoughtful, sparky with incident and detail." -- Edward Marriott, London Evening Standard; "Enthralling . . . [Tyerman and Bennet] share a pipe with the young king of Oahu and his five wives; help to draft a constitution with the King of Tahiti; narrowly avoid a lynching by ungrateful Maoris; attend a sumptuous merchant's wedding in Canton; and unwrap a corpse on the Ganges. . . . [Their] homespun sense of wonder and remarkable fortitude . . . survives intact." -- The Observer (London).
About Tom Hiney
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Published October 30, 2000
by Atlantic Monthly Pr.
History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel.