Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess

Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess

Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess

Twilight over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess


"Just married and returning to live in her new husband's native land, a young Austrian woman arrived with her Burmese husband by passenger ship in Rangoon in 1953. They were met at dockside by hundreds of well-wishers displaying colorful banners, playing music on homemade instruments, and carrying giant bouquets of flowers. She was puzzled by this unusual welcome until her embarrassed husband explained that he was something more than a recently graduated mining engineer - he was the Prince of Hsipaw, the ruler of an autonomous state in Burma's Shan mountains. And these people were his subjects!" "She immersed herself in the Shan lifestyle, eagerly learning the language, the culture, and the history of the Shan hill people. The Princess of Hsipaw fell in love with this remote, exotic land and its warm and friendly people. She worked at her husband's side to bring change and modernization to their primitive country. Her efforts to improve the education and health care of the country, and her husband's commitment to improve the economic well-being of the people made them one of the most popular ruling couples in Southeast Asia. Then the violent military coup of 1962 shattered the idyllic existence of the previous ten years. Her life irrevocably changed. Inge Sargent tells a story of a life most of us can only dream about. She vividly describes the social, religious, and political events she experienced. She details the day-to-day living as a "reluctant ruler" and her role as her husband's equal - a role that perplexed the males in Hsipaw and created awe in the females. And then she describes the military events that threatened her life and that of her children. Twilight over Burma is a story of a great happiness destroyed by evil, of one woman's determination and bravery against a ruthless military regime, and of the truth behind the overthrow of one of Burma's most popular local leaders." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


On a sunny summer afternoon in June 1966, a small Volkswagen Beetle made its way toward Schloss Laudon, a baroque castle operated privately as a luxury hotel in the 15th Bezirk, or district, of Austria's capital, Vienna. the iron gates to the estate were closely guarded by the Austrian police, who let the vehicle pass, since it carried official diplomatic identification from the Royal Thai Embassy in Vienna.

The Beetle chugged along the gravel road through the neatly trimmed garden that surrounded the castle and came to a halt right outside the building. a young European woman, her hair tied in a bun in Southeast Asian fashion, got out of the car and climbed the marble steps to the castle's main entrance. Two Eurasian girls, ten and seven years old, clutched her hands. They boldly entered the castle's round entry hall, which was furnished as an elegant lobby with rococo furniture and dark wooden panels.

The hotel guests, all of whom were Asians, stared in round-eyed wonder at the intruders. Still holding her two daughters by the hand, the lady quickly surveyed the hotel guests, sported her target, and approached a woman in the party whom she addressed in fluent Burmese. "I want to see the general."

The Burmese lady glanced up a flight of stairs leading to a balcony on the second floor. the European lady's eyes followed hers, and she saw a tall Asian man on the balcony, hurriedly turning behind the balustrade and disappearing through one of the doors, which he resolutely shut behind him.

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