Publisher: Sooriya Publishers
Third Batch 2000
“Novels about Ceylon, or even with a Cingalese background, are far and few between. Yet there are few lands which present such an intriguing atmosphere against which to exercise the novelist’s imagination. SAVAGE SANCTUARY by R.L.Spittel is a story dealing with the Veddas, the aborigines of Ceylon, a race now almost extinct. Mr.Spittel made a personal investigation in the jungle retreats where the remnants of the Veddas still live their strange lives, and here he heard at first hand the dramatic tale of the life and adventures of Tissahamy, the Vedda Outlaw.
It is a fascinating drama, with the Ceylon jungle for it’ s moving stage. Mr. Spittel has made a profound study of the Veddas from an anthropological viewpoint, but is book is far more than that. It is also a powerful and moving record of the fight between the virile representative of a dying race, who typifies all that is best and worst in that race, and the resources of civilization.
“We watch Tissahamy from his youth, going his way, working his will, heedless of reprimands, disregarding the law, taking what he wanted where he found it, ruthless alike in love and war, matching his wits against the wild animals of the forest and against the power of the law as represented by armed police. He is never caught, although his family is scattered and some of them killed in the mad hunt which follows a series of murders by himself and his eldest son. Though his cruelty to his wife is horrible, yet he is a loyal father to his children, and one cannot help a sneaking sympathy for a savage who in many ways has the instincts of a Robin Hood.
There is wealth of material dealing with the habits and character of the Veddas and the jungle background is magnificently painted. The scraper – board illustrations by Cooke illumine the pages, and are by no means the least interesting feature of the book.”
– Montreal Daily Star (Review on American Edition – 1942)
#SavageSanctury #RLSpittle #EnglishBooks #HistryofSriLanka