Notes on the Geography of Malawi: Blantyre: Photo 20
What did shoppers have to choose from in the early days? A frivolous part of the answer comes from Africa as I Have Known It, by Reginald Charles Fulke Maugham (1929). A career civil servant, Maugham wrote that he walked into a store here in 1894 and examined the Fancy Goods Department. He saw "quantities of cheap American cigarettes, some doubtful-looking bottles of perfumery, some hard, unpleasant-smelling toilet soap, a few cases of whisky and beer, and piles of packages of rather mildewed fly-blown stationery and patent medicines. It was all very discouraging. But Morton's, and Cross and Blackwell's many well-devised specialities were there in great and abundant variety: as I was subsequently to discover, without them, or without Huntley and Palmer's biscuits, life in new and resourceless countries would be but a poor and precarious thing" (p. 79).
Back to Malawi: Blantyre chapter
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