FLIGHT READ­ING

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

‘‘THIS is really the story of a young girl who went from the sub­urbs of Perth to live in palaces in In­dia dur­ing the last days of the Bri­tish Raj,’’ writes June Porter, one-time lady-in-wait­ing to Lady Rutherford, wife of the gov­er­nor of the state of Bi­har and, from 1968 to 1971, lady may­oress of Ade­laide. With her hus­band, Tom, who was sec­onded to work for the gov­er­nor of Ben­gal, June ar­rived in In­dia in 1944 and en­tered a seem­ingly make-be­lieve world of snake charm­ers and holy cows, elephant rides and pukka pic­nics. Her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy deals with many episodes in a richly var­ied life, but it’s the In­dia chap­ters that most in­trigue, and there’s a gallery of pic­tures from the era, in­clud­ing a por­trait of the (dev­as­tat­ingly hand­some) Ma­haraja of Cooch Be­har and grainy snaps of (an alarm­ingly suc­cess­ful) tiger shoot.

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