Jump to
Home About the Collection Contact Donations Search
Front Cover
The Great Red Island: A Biography of Madagascar
See all 4 images below
Search Madagascar Library

Advanced Search
Author: Arthur Stratton.
Language: English
No. of Pages: xii + 368
Dimensions: 157mm x 225mm x 30mm

Item Identification Code (UID#): 129
Shelving Location: History
Estimated Value: £12.00
Purchase Date: 28 September 2002
Purchased From: Log In to view this
Price Paid: Log In to view this

The Great Red Island

A Biography of Madagascar

MacMillan & Co. Ltd. (1965). (First Published 1964)
Hardcover Book with Dust Jacket

Text from the Front Flap

A biography of Madagascar, this extraordinary book weaves back and forth between past and present, between personal experience and historical event, between reflection and vivid description. Whether describing the business ethics of the present-day Chinese community, recalling the re-introduction of trial by ordeal in 1836 by Queen Ranavalona the Terrible, or giving a brilliant picture of French colonialism in the 19th Century, Arthur Stratton makes the world of Madagascar and the Malagasy his reader’s oyster.

In The Great Red Island we shift from a battle long ago to the author’s personal encounter with a plantation owner; from reflections on French civilisation to exact and glowing descriptions of sea-shells, island birds and Malagasy wood-carvings. It is a book which is entirely individual, often irreverent, always deeply interested and interesting, in which the personality of the author comes across as vividly as the people and places about which he is writing.

"Madagascar is a bizarre and fascinating place. Arthur Stratton has written exceedingly well about it… The Great Red Island is stoutly opinionated, pleasant, discursive, a personally conducted safari into new literary territory. It resembles Alan Moorhead's The While Nile and The Blue Nile just enough so that those who enjoyed those books should also enjoy The Great Red Island." - Orville Prescott (New York Times)

About the Author (from the Back Flap)

Arthur Stratton was born in New England in 1911. His father was of English descent - "family impeccably Church and Army" - and his mother "as American as can be, which means English, Scottish, French and New York State Dutch." He was educated at Bowdoin College in Maine and at Columbia University. On the outbreak of war he was already in France and volunteered as an ambulance driver; he was later badly wounded at Bir Hakim while serving with the Free French brigade in the Eighth Army. He twice received the Croix-de-Guerre, and was the first foreign volunteer to be decorated.

Since the war Mr. Stratton has taught in America and in Turkey, has travelled widely and has published a novel and a travel book about India. He is at present living in Athens.


  • Contents
  • Antalaha: In Vanilla I: The Bean
  • Antalaha: In Vanilla II: The French
  • Antalaha: In Vanilla III: The Chinese and the Indians
  • Antalaha: In Vanilla IV: The Créoles
  • Diego-Suarez
  • The Pleasures of Discovery: Nosy-Bé
  • Majunga
  • Tananarive
  • Gallieni; The Queen’s Bath; Bastille Day
  • More Pleasures of Discovery
  • Antsirabé
  • Fianarantsoa
  • The Rebellion of 1947
  • The Rebellion of 1947: Three Malagasy Martyrs
  • Politics
  • People and Places
  • The Concession
  • Two Germans
  • Fort Dauphin
  • The Cactus
  • The Thorny South
  • Out of the Taboo Forest; Onto the Plateau of Learning
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Condition of Item

Fine. Dust jacket very good. Protected by transparent plastic cover (non-adhesive).

Refer to the glossary for definitions of terms used to describe the condition of items.


Browse 100s More Titles in our Madagascar Book Store

Photographs of the Item (Total: 4)

 Click image to see larger:
Front Cover: The Great Red Island: A Biography o... Back Cover: The Great Red Island: A Biography o... Front Flap: The Great Red Island: A Biography o... Back Flap: The Great Red Island: A Biography o...  
Front Cover Back Cover Front Flap Back Flap  
© 2006–2024 Daniel Austin
Home | About the Collection | Contact | Donations | Search