Set in the days of the Empire, with the British ruling in Burma, "Burmese Days" describes both indigenous corruption and Imperial bigotry, when 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally only a 'subject' people, an inferior people with black faces'. Against the prevailing orthodoxy, Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Dr Veraswami, a black enthusiast for Empire. The doctor needs help. U Po Kyin, Sub-divisional Magistrate of Kyauktada, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is European patronage: membership of the hitherto all-white Club. While Flory prevaricates, beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen arrives in Upper Burma from Paris. At last, after years of 'solitary hell', romance and marriage appear to offer Flory an escape from the 'lie' of the 'pukka sahib pose'.
Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in India in 1903. He was educated at Eton, served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, and worked in Britain as a private tutor, schoolteacher, bookshop assistant and journalist. In 1936, Orwell went to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and was wounded. In 1938 he was admitted into a sanatorium and from then on was never fully fit. George Orwell died in London in 1950. Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American journalist who was born and raised in Asia, studied the Burmese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and covers Asia in her journalism from her base in Bangkok. She has been visiting Burma for close to ten years.