Hardbound, it was published Longman. The pages were smooth. The book had changed many hands. Grandpa’s younger sisters had read it and so had my dad’s elder brother. My curiosity of how they wrote about regions and people then made me read it here and there. It was a simpler world then on the map. Large unified regions were marked as British Empire, Chinese Empire, Japanese Empire, Persia and Africa. Europe looked different, Middle east and Africa were totally unrecognizable. India looked different with Madras presidency, Bombay Presidency, Calcutta Presidency, Gwalior, Travancore Cochin etc. So much had happened in the last 100 years.
Somewhere between the pages, it was written that the Zulus of south Africa were war like earlier and now( around 1911 when the book was edited) had become law abiding peaceful people( Does that mean some bad leadership allowed the tribe to lose its identity to British occupation?). And that the British had difficulty to control slave trade( human trafficking) done by Arabs off the coast of Africa(Can you believe that?). Another important factor while describing a country was the fact whether it had trains. Maybe trains were the symbol then that modern age had arrived in that country.
The written word, a textbook can so mould a person’s thinking. No wonder governments try to frame minds through these. What are the text books of future going to look like? How will be the world after another 100 years?