The following books may be of interest to visitors to the site.  Most books have an association with the Darjeeling area, and many of the authors attended Mount Hermon School (MHS).



Pat's India

by Patricia Booth (Eade)



About Pat

Patricia Booth (Eade) was a student of MHS from 1950 to 1960. She has recently travelled to Darjeeling (March 2018) and visited the school.  The contents of the the email she wrote is on our News Update page where she describes her visit to the school and Darjeeling which makes interesting reading.

About the book

How do we each define our own intimate culture?
How do we know where we belong?

Daughter of New Zealand Baptist missionaries, Patricia Booth was born in north-east India during World War Two, and attended school in Darjeeling until she was 16 years old.  In recording her childhood memories, she has pondered on the various cultural influences she experienced. How have they shaped her understanding of who she is and where she belongs as she enters old age?


"..... Pat's childhood experience is more multilayered, multicultural and multi-everything than I had imagined.  Her very textured experience was influenced by more factors than I could realise as a child.  India is different from New Zealand as you can get, and swinging between the two countries is a complicated manoeuvre. 

That makes this ook a fascinating and valuable addition to your bookshelf ....."

Rev Dr Susan Jones from the Foreword.


Links to the relevant pages of the website are http://pgpl.co.nz/print-books//pats-india-print-book/  & http://pgpl.co.nz/ebooks/pats-india-ebook/

For those in the USA, UK, India and Australia, the book is available on Amazon.com, Amazon India, Amazon UK and Amazon Australia in both print and eBook formats. Postage will be cheaper if people buy print copies from their nearest Amazon site.






INTO  OURSELVES - An Exploration into the Human Experience

by James Sinclair


James Sinclair's second book Into Ourselves is an exploration into the evolution of Man and the Human Experience.  It tackles everything from Creation Theory, The Big Bang, Heroes  Myths, and Legends, Wars and Conflicts, Our Many and Various Religions to the Achievements of the Human Race, as well as taking a look at where we've come from.  It also looks at Space Exploration and the possibilities for our future.  This small volume brings you interesting information in nice, bite-sized pieces that are easy to digest.  If you've ever wanted to know a little bit about everything, without having to  study hard, then this little gem will not disappoint.


Visit James' website for this and other books he has written and to view video-trailers.  You can also connect to the Amazon site from there if you wish to order.




Available in Paperback and Kindle editions.


OVER  OUR  HEADS: An Exploration into Life, the Universe and Everything

 by James Sinclair


James Sinclair was a student at MHS in the mid-1950s.  He developed an interest in astronomy at a young age.  His book, Over Our Heads, explains the very big and the very small in a way which people without a PhD in astrophysics or quantum physics can understand.  James takes us on a journey from the atom, through to the DNA from which we are formed, to the stars from which we came.  So, if you’ve ever looked at the stars and had trouble understanding how they are just like our Sun, then this book is for you.  A great and very easy read which is much needed these days when people forget to look upwards.


Visit James' website for this and other books he has written and to view video-trailers.  You can also connect to the Amazon site from there if you wish to order.






Available in PAPERBACK and KINDLE versions.




by Elizabeth Pritchard.


This little book, written by Elizabeth Pritchard and first published in 1967, is an interesting one, as it is modelled on Mount Hermon School, Darjeeling!  It’s a children’s book similar to Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” series, but set in a boys’ school called St. John’s.  This school is described as being “built on a promontory of a mountain just below Darjeeling with beautiful vistas of Kanchenjunga."  The book has phrases like: “Let’s go to Pliva’s [tearoom] and have ham sandwiches and ice cream.”  It even has someone called Sinclair in it!

   Previously it was thought that the author must have been an old MHS student but recent investigations have revealed that Elizabeth (Betty) Pritchard, born in 1906 and originally from Lancashire, spent 40 years in India as a missionary.  During this time she began to lose her hearing.  When her deafness badly affected her work she became most concerned about her future.  Her prayers were answered when she was browsing through a religious magazine and read about a competition to write a Christian novel.  The winning entry would be published not just in English but also in a number of Indian languages.

Betty’s novel won the competition and she felt encouraged to write several more.  The School in the Himalayas is her third and last novel.  Elizabeth F. Pritchard died in 2002.


This book was first published in 1961 by Pickering and Inglis Ltd.  It was reprinted in 1967.

Some second-hand copies are still available from Amazon at the following link:


Some interesting correspondence about the origins of this book has taken place on the Hermonites website at:








by Edmund Jonah.


Edmund Jonah was a student at MHS and an ex-North Pointer in the mid-1940s.  Yeshua! is an imaginative but credible recreation of the life of Jesus from a new and unique perspective, placing him in the political context of that turbulent time when Messiahs sprouted like wildflowers in spring.  This extraordinary, no-holds-barred tale of action, bloo
d, sex, and tears holds many surprises, with provocative insights into the character and destiny of this popular preacher, whose idée fixe leads to his crucifixion.



What they say about "YESHUA"

“(Edmund Jonah has written) a lively, engaging, imaginative novel that sets out a gripping life of Jesus. The turbulence of the times, the characters, and village life of 2000 years ago are detailed, fascinating and fully convincing.” (First Prize, historical genre)

UKAuthors Judge’s report

“Edmund Jonah, a self-taught historian and a Jew himself, obviously knows the Gospels, the history of that era and the physical region well. The story itself is gripping, with action, heartbreak, setbacks, conflict and resolution to keep the reader interested. A noble job.”

                                                               Writer's Digest Report

“This is beautiful writing. The syntax is so alluring, almost poetic, that it leads the eye and the senses forward all the time. You can't bear to stop reading because of the inner pleasure the words are giving you. You want to go on reading because you need to know what happens next. It is a gift born story-tellers have.”

Sheila Belshaw – Author - S. Africa

“Edmund Jonah has created a masterpiece. Jonah, an (Indian-born) -Israeli, who knows his topic in breathtaking detail, blends his own spellbinding writing with scriptural writings into a thoroughly believable narrative. Effectively woven into the story is the political and violent tension between the Jews and the Romans, in the midst of which this man comes to vibrant, thrilling life. ‘YESHUA!’ is historical fiction at its best.”              

Andrew O'Hara, Jimston Journal


“Yeshua’s greatest strength is that it makes the reader think about the foundation stone of his moral and  spiritual culture and accept that it has no real supernatural basis; that the Messiah was not what Western culture understands. It is a quietly corrosive attack that alarms the Westerner somewhere deep inside. This quality will one day make it an important book.”

Conor Corderoy, Author, U.K.


  Published by Om Books International of New Delhi and can be obtained from their website www.ombooksinternational.com for the present only in India and the Indian sub-continent..





 by Jimmy Pyke


Jimmy Pyke is an Anglo-Indian whose distinguished legal career in London covered more than 45 years.  He has written several law books, and The Tea Planter’s Son is his debut novel at the age of seventy.  Jimmy is an ex-North Pointer and was a student there in the 1950s.  He is also a firm supporter of OMHSA and has attended several of our annual reunions in London.

   In Jimmy’s novel a young Englishman rejects a diplomatic career in 1939 and leaves England to become a tea planter in Darjeeling.   He marries an illiterate tea picker of Nepali origin and they have a son.

   The story of the son’s journey through life is then covered – the prejudices he faces as an Anglo-Indian in both India and England, the events in other countries that affect him, and the women in his life.


This book is available in Kindle, paperback and hard cover editions from:





 by Nina Harkness



Nina Harkness was a student at Mount Hermon from 1961 to 1972, and her mother Bluebell Morris was a teacher at the school from 1955 to 1972.  Nina has been an OMHSA member for many years.  Her novel A Sahib’s Daughter is set in Darjeeling and the Dooars.

   The story begins in England in 1946.  Charles Clarke is suffering from a broken heart and travels to India to become a tea planter.  He is captivated by life in the plantations and falls in love with a local beauty.

   Samira and Mark grow up in post-Raj India where ‘mixed marriages’ are still frowned upon and British Sahibs rarely marry Indian women.  But it’s Samira’s heart that is broken following her rejection by an Indian family.



It is available on Kindle and as a paperback edition at:





 by Sarah Besky



Sarah Besky is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology with the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.  She spent time in Darjeeling researching the tea industry for her book.  She even learnt some Nepalese so she could chat with the tea pickers.

   In this nuanced ethnography Sarah narrates the lives of tea workers in Darjeeling.  She explores how notions of fairness, value, and justice have shifted with the rise of fair-trade practices and postcolonial separatist politics in the region.  This is the first book to explore how fair-trade operates in the context of large-scale plantations.



Sarah Besky’s book is available at:

http://www.ucpress.edu/ book.php?isbn=9780520277397





THE  DARJEELING  PIONEERS - The Stolke/Wernicke Story

by Fred Pinn.



The noted Darjeeling historian Fred Pinn writes about three generations of one of the great tea planting families of Darjeeling.  Their fascinating story covers the period from the 1840s through to the end of the British Empire in India.

   The family was founded by Johann and Sophie Wernicke who went to India in 1841 as missionaries for the Moravian Church in Germany.  After a serious disagreement with their church they gave up missionary work, but stayed on in Darjeeling and gradually became involved in the fledgling tea industry.

   Their children carried on the tradition as owners and managers of some of the most important tea estates in the area.  This well-researched book provides a rare insight into Darjeeling’s tea industry, and will be essential reading for all those who have an interest in the region, its history, and the development of its most famous crop.

   The appendix contains a reprint of a scarce memoir on the history of Darjeeling tea planting by Lt. Col. L. Hannagan, himself a plantation manager in the 1920s.


Published in 2003.

ISBN: 1-904289-0

The book is available at Pagoda Tree Press, 4, Malvern Buildings, Bath BA1 6JX, Somerset, England.


The book is also available by emailing Hugh Rayner at:






The Autobiography of Rinchen Dolma Tarang



Rinchen Dolma Taring was a boarder at Queen’s Hill School – the forerunner to MHS – from 1922-24, and was known there as Mary Tsarong.  In her autobiography she describes how she was born in 1910 into one of the oldest families in Tibet, and grew up in the close-knit world of Lhasa nobility, in a Buddhist society virtually untouched by the West.

 After attending primary school in Lhasa, Rinchen Dolma leapt at the chance to continue her education beyond Tibet.  She was the first Tibetan girl to go to an English school in India, and describes her “Schooldays in Darjeeling” in Chapter 5. 

   When she returned home for good she married Dasang Dadul Tsarong, one-time Commander-in-Chief of the Tibetan army.  They had one daughter, who was also sent to Mount Hermon.  Rinchen Dolma’s second husband was Jigme Taring, a prince of the Sikkimese royal family.

Rinchen Dolma’s story covers the crucial 50 years up to 1959 when the freedom, pleasures and tragedies, customs and traditions of Tibetan life were destroyed.  She recounts her painful separation from family and friends when the Chinese invaded in 1959.  The Tibetans rose up against them, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee.  Rinchen Dolma joined those escaping across the Himalayas in terrible conditions.

  In the second edition of her book she has written a new chapter describing her dedicated work amongst Tibetan refugees – both young and old – in exile in India, and of her later reunion with many members of her family.

 Rinchen Dolma tells her story very movingly.  She conveys throughout the humour, kindness, resilience, and great faith so characteristic of her people.



The book is available at Amazon, using the following link:


 See also “Daughter of Tibet” by clicking on the tab at the foot of this page.  Discussion on the subject can also be found on the Hermonite's Link at:






the Autobiography of  Namgyal Lhamo Taklha



Namgyal Lhamo Taklha was born in Lhasa in the Water-Horse Year of 1942, the child of two ancient Tibetan families – Tsarong and Ragashar.  Her paternal grandfather was the first husband of Rinchen Dolma, author of Daughter of Tibet, and her maternal grandmother was the sister of Rinchen Dolma’s second husband.  Namgyal Lhamo’s father was a boarder at St. Joseph’s School in Darjeeling, where his Tibetan name was anglicised to George Tsarong.  Rinchen Dolma was George’s aunty and Namgyal Lhamo’s great-aunt. 

   After attending primary school in Lhasa, Namgyal Lhamo was sent to Mount Hermon for a Western education.  She began in 1951 and went there with her siblings.  “I became a minority student in a modern, sophisticated and international society.  I saw my first car, ate my first hot dog, wore my first knee-length skirt and attended my first Sunday School class.  At Mt. Hermon I studied English, Western literature, world history, geography, biology, maths and the Bible.”

   Namgyal Lhamo left Mount Hermon in 1961 after completing her senior Cambridge exams.  The education she received helped her to cope with the changes wrought upon Tibet after the Chinese invasion of 1959.  She was a translator and interpreter at the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi and married one of his older brothers, Lobsang Samten.



This book is available in Paperback from Amazon at:






by Hazel Innes Craig



Hazel Innes Craig was a student at MHS from 1940-43.  Her book, Under the Old School Topee, tells the story of the British schools which were built in India in the latter half of the 19th century, first in the plains and later in the hills.  They provided an English public school education for children from very mixed backgrounds of race, religion and economic circumstances, and they came from all corners of the subcontinent.

   The account is enlivened with many reminiscences of erstwhile pupils and teachers, diligently collected over a period of eight years by the author.  While she attended MHS her twin brother was at a neighbouring boys’ school.  So much inside knowledge, therefore!

   These educational establishments, with their strong English public school ethos, were a notable feature of Anglo-Indian life pre-independence.  Surprisingly, they continue largely unchanged to this day – a significant legacy.

   Hazel’s book was first published by BACSA in 1990.  This 1996 reprint, published by the author, contains information on ten more schools, plus the reminiscences of ex-students.  It also includes up-to-date footnotes, two informative appendices, and a list of “useful addresses”.


Hazel and her brother Geoff died within four months of each other – Geoff in 2014 and Hazel in early February, 2015.


Note: Used copies of this book may be available from Amazon at the following link:








by Kitty Katzell



Kitty Katzell was a student at MHS from 1926-1934.  In those years she was known as Mildred Engberg.  Lila is the biography of her mother who took Kitty with her to Darjeeling to make a dream come true – to live and work in India.

  Lila was born and raised in Iowa in the early twentieth century.  Her childhood became rather ‘Cinderella-like’ when she found herself living with a cruel stepmother.  Lila’s dream was to be a missionary in India but, when she finally got there, she became a teacher instead, at Mount Hermon.  She ended her nine-year career at the school in the position of principal.

   Lila’s finest hour came after the earthquake of January 15th, 1934.  Mount Hermon was closed for the winter break when the quake hit and Lila and her daughter were in Calcutta.  Both wings of the school were extensively damaged and Lila had just six weeks to raise funds and arrange a rebuild.  Few believed she would succeed.  However, Lila did everything she could, and Mount Hermon opened for business two months exactly from the date of the quake. 

   Not everyone was pleased.  Some of the people on the mission board were quite jealous of Lila’s accomplishment, and when her four year contract as headmistress expired, the building committee and others refused to renew it.  Lila and her daughter left India and returned to the USA.   In 1971 Lila Engberg received a PhD from Cornell University.



Kitty Katzell’s book was published in 2006 by iUniverse, 2021 Pine Lane Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512.

ISBN for paperback:

 – 13:978-0-595-38973-5


It is also available at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle editions for those wishing to order a copy.


See also "A HEADMISTRESS' STORY and GROWING UP IN INDIA by clicking on the tabs below




THE  IRON  SHERPA - Volumes 1 & 2

by Terry Martin.



These  beautifully presented book, lavishly illustrated, contains almost everything you'll need to know about Darjeeling and the DHR.  Many old MHS students will remember the journey down from Darjeeling to Siliguri on the "Toy Train."  Well, this book has a very descriptive account of this journey, including words from the Mount Hermon "Going Home Day" song and "Riding Roads of Sunshine" - "Ghoom, Sonada, Kurseong, all are left behind ....."

The success of his first book on the DHR "Halfway to Heaven" has inspired Terry Martin to continue with his research, and it has led him to a wealth of fascinating stories and recollections from those who lived and worked on the railway. He has also traced a huge amount of long-forgotten archival material, all of which has been underpinned by extensive fieldwork on the long-defunct branches of the railway that crossed the cauterising plains to Kishenganj and burrowed deep into the capricious Teesta Valley.

This book is a "must buy" for every lover of Darjeeling and the "Toy Train."  Click on the link below to take you to the web page with a full review and details of how to order.  You may also find a video clip, complete with sound, of the train chugging round a bend belching  volumes of soot, smoke and steam!



Sadly since Terry Martin died in 2010  Volume 2 is now out of print but Volume 1 may be available by contacting The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society by email only at  sales@dhrs.org



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