Non-Fiction Books:

Harmattan, a Wind of Change

Life and Letters from Northern Nigeria at the End of Empire



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Harmattan, a Wind of Change
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The end of empire, a romantic story and the social life and culture of an elite British colony - these are the fascinating themes to emerge from this unique collection of letters and diary entries. It is an inside story of Northern Nigeria's independence and of a clash of cultures. Tim Johnston's background was rich in imperial tradition and, after Oxford, he joined the British Colonial Service in Northern Nigeria. Berrice was from a very different background - a broken home and work in a dress-shop at the age of 14. War service provided a powerful and romantic link: Tim became a war hero and decorated fighter pilot, Berrice served in the ATS and they married in 1942. Tim Johnston returned to Northern Nigeria after the war, served his apprenticeship as a District Officer and rose to be Deputy Governor - a vital role on the path to independence - with Berrice expected to assume the role of 'senior wife' in the social life of the colony. Carolyn Johnston has woven together a delightful and revealing series of letters and diary entries from her parents which show the social tensions of colonial life and illuminate Northern Nigeria on the brink of independence.

Author Biography

Carolyn Johnston is the daughter of Tim and Berrice Johnston and she spent much of her childhood in Northern Nigeria. She is an integral part of the story and has edited her parents' letters with skill and sensitivity. The collection is much more than a fond duty to parents - it is both a love story and a significant contribution to the documentation on the end of empire.
Release date Australia
March 30th, 2010
Edited by Carolyn Johnston
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
20 integrated bw illustrations
Radcliffe Press
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