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Fifty Years in Madagascar by James Sibree

James Sibree [1836-1929], Fifty Years in MadagascarJames Sibree [1836-1929] began his missionary work with the London Missionary Society in Madagascar in 1863 as an architect. He later overtook theological training before returning to the country. Apart from a short time in south India, he served there until 1915. He wrote 16 books in English, including this one (his autobiography) on a wide range of subjects, many of which are still be reprinted even today. I plan to make available as many of these as possible.

My thanks to the Cambridge Centre of Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

James Sibree [1836-1929], Fifty Years in Madagascar. London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1924. Hbk. pp.359. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Preface
  1. Mostly Autobiographical
  2. Church Building Amid Difficulties
  3. Malagasy Idolatry and Religious Belief
  4. Church and Social Life in the Re-established Madagascar Mission
  5. Life as a Country Missionary
  6. Thirty Years’ Work as College Principal and Tutor
  7. A Missionary Exploratory Journey to the Sihanaka or Lake People
  8. Church Institutions and Observations Among the Malagasy
  9. Church System and Government; and Sects and Parties in the Malagasy Church
  10. Christian Life Among the Malagasyl Its Reality and Proofs
  11. The Bible and its Influence on Christianity in Madagascar
  12. Native Preachers, Preaching, and Sermons
  13. A Sunday in Antananarivo; and Some Strange Sundays in Madagascar
  14. Women in Madagascar; Her position ad Influence, Especially in Christiam Effort
  15. The French Conquest of Madagascar, and Its Effects Upon Missions and Christianity in the Island – Part I
  16. The French Conquest of Madagascar, etc. – Part II
  17. Protestant Missions in Madagascar Other Than That of the London Missionary Societyl L.M.S. Mission Staff; Industrial and Medical Mission Work
  18. My Experiences as a Missionary Deputation
  19. My Work in Madagascar in Books and Building; Centenary Celebrations; Hopes for the Future
  • Index


This is not my first book about Madagascar, but none of the dozen or so, large and small, which I have already written, take up exactly the points which form the chief subjects of the following pages, nor do any of the books written by some of my brother missionaries.

I believe, therefore, that the facts here given will be considered interesting, and as throwing light, not only on Christian and Church life among the Malagasy people, but also as a slight contribution to a wider history of missionary effort as a whole during the past fifty or sixty years.

The year 1920 was the hundredth anniversary of the commencement of Christian work in the great African island; and its history during the past century is another proof that the Gospel is still “the power of God unto salvation” wherever it is faithfully proclaimed. [Continue reading]

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