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A.R.C. Westlake, C.S.I., C.I.E., I.C.S.

Given by Mrs. Flora Westlake

Madras: 1912 – 1947

Two volumes of autobiography:

    1. ‘A Kaleidescope for Krishnan : Experiences of India’, by Alan Westlake, illus., 177pp. (1978)
      Assisted by Florence, his second wife, he tells the story of his life from humble origins to winning his way into the Indian Civil Service. The book contains varied accounts of his work. In India, chiefly in the Madras Presidency, to the history of the British in India, and sees the full panorama of the British Civil Service from Viceroy to humble clerk. The chapter headings which include ‘Rajahs’, ‘Missionaries’, ‘Servants’, ‘Memsahibs’, ‘Madras Notables’ and ‘Peoples of South India’, indicate the kaleidoscopic nature of the book. It shows a pattern of Indian experience made up of colourful and varied fragments.
    2. ‘It Wasn’t Really Disobedience’; growing up in England and in India. Letters of Di Turner 1894 to 1910 introduced by Flora Westlake (Alan Westlake’s second wife), illus., 100pp. (1981)
      A companion volume to Alan Westlake’s autobiography, contains the letters of Di Turner, his first wife, written between 1894 and 1910. The first, from the N.W.F.P. where her parents were stationed, were to her grandmother in Scotland and give a lively view of her childhood in a large family. The letters of 1901 – 1906, to her parents in India, were written while she was at school in England. Those of 1907 – 1910 were to a school friend written after her return to India where she was ‘learning to be a Memsahib’ under her mother’s tuition. References to her father’s work as an ‘Extra Political Assistant’ in the Political Department on the Frontier reveal a life in which parents and children face difficulty and danger as every day occurrences and meet them with courage and humour.