Raffles (Ebook)

And the Golden Opportunity

Victoria Glendinning

The authoritative biography of the 'Father of Singapore'

By the time of his death, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) was the founder of Singapore and Governor of Java, having left school in his early teens to become a clerk for the British East India Company. Charismatic and daring, Raffles forged an extraordinary path for himself in South East Asia - refusing to be satisfied with the trading posts available to the British, he defied Dutch governors and wrangled with warring local rulers to establish what is now a world city.

An ardent linguist and zoologist, Raffles spoke fluent Malay and found time to write The History of Java, as well as naming several species of flora and fauna he discovered on his travels. He founded London Zoo and promoted the study of Malay alongside European languages in Southeast Asia.

Raffles remains a controversial figure - a utopian imperialist, disobedient employee and knight of the realm who died deeply in debt, predeceased by all but one of his children. He built racial segregation into his urban planning, but was also a staunch abolitionist. Renowned biographer Victoria Glendinning charts Raffles' prodigious rise in this new edition, specially updated for the bicentenary of the foundation of Singapore in 1819. His life was short, complicated and shot through with tragedy, but Raffles' fame lives on.

Publication date: 01/11/2012

£9.99

ISBN: 9781847658241

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B009R7PYRQ

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir, History & Classics

Raffles (Paperback)

And the Golden Opportunity

Victoria Glendinning

The first biography in decades of the 'Father of Singapore'

Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) was the charismatic and persuasive founder of Singapore and Governor of Java. An English adventurer, disobedient employee of the East India Company, utopian imperialist, linguist, zoologist and civil servant, he carved an extraordinary (though brief) life for himself in South East Asia. The tropical, disease-ridden settings of his story are as dramatic as his own trajectory - an obscure young man with no advantages other than talent and obsessive drive, who changed history by establishing - without authority - on the wretchedly unpromising island of Singapore a settlement which has become a world city.

After a turbulent time in the East Indies, Raffles returned to the UK and turned to his other great interests - botany and zoology. He founded London Zoo in 1826, the year of his death.

Raffles remains a controversial figure, and in the first biography for over forty years, Victoria Glendinning charts his prodigious rise within the social and historical contexts of his world. His domestic and personal life was vivid and shot through with tragedy. His own end was sad, but his fame immortal.

Publication date: 01/08/2013

£10.99

ISBN: 9781846686047

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir, History & Classics

Raffles (Paperback)

And the Golden Opportunity

Victoria Glendinning

The authoritative biography of the 'Father of Singapore'

By the time of his death, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) was the founder of Singapore and Governor of Java, having left school in his early teens to become a clerk for the British East India Company. Charismatic and daring, Raffles forged an extraordinary path for himself in South East Asia - refusing to be satisfied with the trading posts available to the British, he defied Dutch governors and wrangled with warring local rulers to establish what is now a world city.

An ardent linguist and zoologist, Raffles spoke fluent Malay and found time to write The History of Java, as well as naming several species of flora and fauna he discovered on his travels. He founded London Zoo and promoted the study of Malay alongside European languages in Southeast Asia.

Raffles remains a controversial figure - a utopian imperialist, disobedient employee and knight of the realm who died deeply in debt, predeceased by all but one of his children. He built racial segregation into his urban planning, but was also a staunch abolitionist. Renowned biographer Victoria Glendinning charts Raffles' prodigious rise in this new edition, specially updated for the bicentenary of the foundation of Singapore in 1819. His life was short, complicated and shot through with tragedy, but Raffles' fame lives on.

Publication date: 27/09/2018

£10.99

ISBN: 9781788160902

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Biography & Memoir, History & Classics

Reviews for Raffles

''Spirited, fluent and immaculately researched ... Glendinning's book, with its breezy prose and brisk judgments, makes a splendid tribute to a great British character ''

 Sunday Times

''Marvellously readable, personally illuminating and highly entertaining''

 Guardian

''A judicious and utterly compelling account of the man who would change the map of South East Asia''

 John Keay

Victoria Glendinning

Victoria Glendinning

Victoria Glendinning is a prizewinning biographer, the author of lives of Elizabeth Bowen, Vita Sackville-West, Edith Sitwell, Trollope and Leonard Woolf. She has also written three novels, The Grown-Ups, Electricity andFlight. She is a Vice-President of English PEN, Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a CBE in 1998. Born in Yorkshire, she now lives in Dorset. She is currently working on a novel about nuns.