Talk:Agnes Newton Keith

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I know that this article needs cited references, but this sentence needs to be explained: '...after waiting three days for the licence to mature.' What license? Hopefully, someone who knows more about this topic will clean this up. SailorAlphaCentauri 16:04, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I assume that this just means that they had to wait for the expiration of the marriage license's waiting period (presumably three days in this instance), but I'm hesitant to edit the article to say that without confirmation. It also isn't clear to me why the waiting period was important enough to mention. Is the author trying to say that as soon as they saw each other they got married immediately, waiting only the legal minimum amount of time? John M Baker 17:26, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


Agnes Newton Keith's daughter, if born in the early fifties, would have four children by the age of 14 according to the information in Children of Allah. Agnes talks about visiting their daughter and her four children on trips back to Vancouver. The book was published in 1965. The math doesn't work. I am wondering if perhaps Harry was married previously and the daughter referred to was from a prior marriage? She never mentions her in the vignettes of her writing...

--Galyn 21:10, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Changed text to remove dating ambiguity. Funny, I was wondering whether she was perhaps adopted ... Please feel free to add any pertinent info you have: it's the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. Jasper33 23:01, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

We have recently visited Agnes Keith House in Sandakan and were also intriqued by Jean Keith. On one information board, her birth date had been blanked out and on another it remained as 1927. She was shown as being the daughter of both Agnes and Harry but if they had not met between 1924 and 1934 and this birth date is correct, that cannot be the case. Adding to this, the birth date of 1927 tallies with her graduation date, which is clearly shown on the timeline in the exhibition (sorry, I can't remember what the date was but we calculated she was late teens as I recall). We wondered if either the above two hypotheses would be correct i.e. Harry's daughter by a previous relationship or adopted. It seems unusual that she is not mentioned in Agnes's book Three Came Home and yet was prominant in the exhibition at the house. (talk) 08:31, 18 January 2009 (UTC) Jill L 18 Jan 2009

I have a 2005 article on Agnes Keith called "Spare Ribs and Gravy", but don't know where it was published. It is by Lloyd Jones, who was a missionary in Sarawak in the late sixties and early seventies. In it he says:
"One mystey remains - that of Jean. A pleasant well-liked lady, she looks nothing like Agnes. A bit of research has shown that she was born in Sandakan in 1930; the first white child, Jean claims, to be born there, but the birth was not registered. My mother had three miscarriages before me, Jean recalls her mother saying. British civil servants in Sandakan often sent their children abroad, some at a very young age. Jean was sent to Hong Kong, then to England, then to Duncan BC to be with Harry's parents. Agnes had her first trip to Borneo in 1934 then Jean would have to be born to someone else although it has been established that she was Harry's daughter. Speculation is that the mother could have been a servant or an ulu girl, perhaps Murut or maybe a nursing sister. In any case, the mystery remains sealed by the lips of Jean herself who still claims Agnes is her mother."
Even if not her biological mother, Agnes was undoubtedly a mother to Jean throughout her life, and refers to her as her daughter in her writing. It was common for unmarried colonial officers to take local mistresses; Agnes' semi-autobiographical novel Beloved Exiles deals with a young bride coming out to Borneo to find her husband already has a child by a local woman. Jasper33 (talk) 11:52, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Found this web site: Oak Bay Chronicles =, this women has written this:

"Harry returned to North America in 1934 with his daughter and her amah (nursemaid).

List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival SS Asia Passengers Sailing from Hong Kong, China. April 1, 1934 Arriving at Port of San Pedro, California (in Transit to Vancouver, B.C.), May 2, 1934 Keith, Henry George, age 35; place of birth New Plymouth, New Zealand; last permanent residence Sandakan, North Borneo Keith, Jean Alison, age 6 yr 6 mo; place of birth Sandakan, N Borneo; last permanent residence Hong Kong Tsang Yin Kwan, female, age 26 yr 2 mo, calling or occupation Amah, place of birth Fan Yi, China; last permanent residence Hong Kong

California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957." the site is quite interesting.

Book and film[edit]

I strongly feel that the book deserves a separate article from the film. each can have a plot summary, which of course will be slightly different. i dont like when an article on a film based on a notable book contains all the material which more properly belongs in the books article. they are two separately notable things, as is Ms. Keith.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 20:48, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

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