BURMA--WILLIAMS, J.H. ("ELEPHANT BILL")
Autograph manuscript notes on Shikar (Big Game Hunting) in Upper Burma
in 18 sections under headings including "My second Wild Tusker", "Cat Tribes and Habits", "Fish Poaching at Night in U. Burma", "Ghee or Barking Deer", ink and pencil, with pencil sketches of animals including elephants, bison, tigers, and deer, c.98 pages, plus blanks, early 1920s, lined foolscap notebook (label of the Indo-Burma Commercial Corporation, Rangoon), rebacked retaining original covers
[with:] scrapbook containing photographs, fragments of memoir (typed and autograph), notes for lectures, drawings, and ephemera, altogether 26 items, laid down in a later album with a matching binding
[also with:] Elephant Bill. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1950, first edition, dust-jacket, inscribed; Susan Williams. The Footprints of Elephant Bill. William Kimber, 1962; both 8vo
James Howard William (1897-1958) worked in Burma with elephants for over 20 years, and became famous as "Elephant Bill" for his crucial assistance to the XIVth British Army in Burma during World War II. He published a number of books in the last decade of his life, but - as these notes reveal - had been writing since his first years in Burma. Some of the incidents described in this early manuscript relate to his work overseeing working elephants in Burma's teak forests, such as tracking and shooting rogue elephants. Others, such as his account of a family of panthers killed by a tiger, come from his close observation and knowledge of the natural world around him, whilst others are anecdotes of hunting for sport.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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