1897 - 1990s
George Orwell's favourite bookshop in Rangoon
room United Kingdom
“Oh the joy of those Rangoon trips. The visit to Smart & Mookderdum's bookshop for the new novels out from England..." ~ George Orwell
The old Smart & Mookderdum bookshop on Sule Pagoda Road was a really special place - the city's preeminent English-language bookshop and a favourite of writer George Orwell as well as several generations of Burmese statesmen including General Aung San, U Thant, and U Nu.
Smart & Mookerdum was first established in 1897 and later had a shop in the Sofaer Building (at the corner of Merchant and Phayre roads). It moved at one point to Barr Street before finding its final home on Sule Pagoda Road shop pictured here, near the corner of Montgomery Street. The shop was nationalized in the 1960s and went downhill soon afterwards. The building itself was destroyed in the 1990s and the area where it once stood is now the Sule Shangri-la Hotel.
Photo credit: The Smart & Mookerdum Collection