Rudolf leaves his comfortable origins in Delft by ship for Java to help run the family's estates there. He moves from plantation to plantation, attempting to understand the ways of the local people, their version of Islam and their relationship to their land. On a visit to the capital, Jakarta, he falls in love with a teenage girl, Jenny.
Hella S. Haasse was born in 1918 in Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school. She started publishing in 1945 and many of her books have gained classic status in the Netherlands. Haasse has received several prestigious literary awards, among them the Dutch Literature Prize in 2004, and her work has been translated into many languages. The Tea Lords is the first work of hers translated into English for 15 years. www.hellahaassemuseum.nl