RAFFLES by Maurice Collis

RAFFLES

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Thomas Stafford Raffles founded Singapore after negotiating treaty-tight rights for the East India Company during one week in 1819. Even in his own time the significance of this event's primary role in the expansion of the British Empire was overlooked just as Raffles' other achievements tended to be ignored. In addition to his genius as a colonial administrator. Raffles was a serious student of the Far East at a time when there were very few and the exploratory expeditions he led produced a mass of new geographic and botanical information. He was outspokenly opposed to the slave brade while some officials in Church and State continued to defend it. He died on the eve of his forty-fifth birthday. His country didn't respond with any honors and his widow was deprived of her due in a financial wrangle with the East India Co. Collis has written a brief, clear, chronological account of the man's career. It's easier, faster reading than Hahn's Raffles (1946) but offers less of a sense of the man, which that book achieved with gossipy side details and speculation on the personalities of Raffles' milieu.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1967
Publisher: John Day