Friday, 13 July 2018

Bookish Déjà-Vu: The Tea Lords by Hella S. Haasse

Up to this day it means a lot of hard work to run a farm and without doubt it’s even harder to start one from scratch proving right the ancient wisdom from the Holy Bible that reads: “Thou shalt earn thy bread in the sweat of thy brow!” Certainly, the achievements of technology facilitate the lives of modern farmers, but agriculture has become an industry with the same negative aspects as any other. Much of today’s “sweat” will therefore come from worries rather than physical strain. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the protagonist of the documentary-historical novel The Tea Lords by Hella S. Haasse, which I chose as a bookish déjà vu, had to work hard with his own hands to turn an almost virgin plot of land on the Dutch East Indian island of Java into a thriving tea plantation that can support a growing family.
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