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They recreate the life and
times of Dr John Bishop King, an East India Company surgeon. His posting to
Penang gave him privileged access to its households, and his witty and at times
caustic observations of his patients, their families, his friends and enemies
provide a unique insight into Penang society in the mid-nineteenth century.
Interwoven with King's
writings are the private journals of his wife Joanna; his friend the Reverend
James Aberigh Mackay; the Recorder for Penang, Sir Benson Maxwell; and the
reminiscences of Annie Earl, then aged 15. Together these five writers provide
a multifaceted exposé of Penang and its people.