Fri 27th Oct, 2017
Book Launch To Feature The Early Days Of Bali
On December 10, 1829, Walter Henry Medhurst, a Jakarta-based missionary arrived in Buleleng on the north coast of Bali in order to spread the word of Christianity. His journal of the following two weeks resulted in the earliest published record of the history and culture of Bali.
In the light of today’s concerns about the potential of an eruption of Mount Agung, it is very interesting to read Medhurst’s observations of the effects of a tremendous volcanic eruption which occurred some eight years prior to his visit, probably the eruption of Mount Batur in 1821. He recorded the comments of the locals who described the shocks of earthquakes prior to the sound of an enormous explosion and the top of the mountain was precipitated into the sea, causing what today we would call a tsunami. The line of waste red ground which marked the course of the falling hill the natives imagine to be a snake, and the rise of the waves which flooded the houses was caused by a dragon coming up to meet him.
A summary of Medhurst’s journal has been printed as an addendum to a book which will be launched at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and the addendum will be given away to those who attend the book launch. The book is Mission to China: How an Englishman brought the West to the Orient by John Holliday, published by Amberley Publishing in England. The launch will take place at Sri Ratih Cottages, Jl Campuhan, Ubud on December 27 at 15.30. Attendance is free.
John Holliday, who lives in Australia, is the great great grandson of Walter Medhurst and he has spent five years researching the life of his ancestor through England, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. John will talk about the highlights of his book and of the fascinating experience of researching a biography.
According to the National Library of Singapore, the journal that this is based upon is the earliest published account of the history and culture of Bali. See http://www.nlb.gov.sg/biblioasia/2016/01/18/a-missionarys-guide-to-java-and-bali/#sthash.tNAsL9Tu.dpbs