It can safely be said that the Irish politician James Emerson Tennent, a friend of Dickens, was a fan of Sri Lanka.

The 'Scene of loveliness and grandeur', that greeted the traveler whichever way he approached the island, was 'unsurpassed, if it be rivalled, by any land in the universe', he wrote in a book that captured his experience as Ceylon's colonial secretary in 1867.

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