“Raffles and The Golden Opportunity” by Victoria Glendinning


It was such an honour I met a remarkable writer, Victoria Glendinning (23 April 1937) in Jakarta, at the launch of her book, “Raffles and The Golden Opportunity”.  Who is Raffles?

As Indonesian people may also relate his name to “bunga bangkai – corpse flower” where was found by Raffles and Arnold in the Indonesian rain forest.

Raffles had a significant influence on Indonesia.

And I think this book is worth it, In Rupiah costs,  IDR 239.000,-

 

Here is the synopsis of the book…

In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles, without authority from London, raised the British flag on a small jungle covered island and founded a settlement that would become the city state of Singapore. It was the most significant moment in the life of a man who defies definition: an English adventurer, disobedient employee of the East India Company, utopian imperialist, linguist, zoologist, civil servant and troublesome visionary.

From his beginnings as an obscure young man with few advantages, he carved out an extraordinary career in South East Asia, rising to become Governor of Java. A great heart lodged in a physically frail body, he inspired both devotion and hatred among those he met and his life in the Tropics was overshadowed by personal tragedy and tropical disease. He returned to England a ‘sorry carcase’ of a convalescent, and died in disgrace and pursued for debt by his former employers, the East India Company.

 

Acclaimed biographer Victoria Glendinning charts a unique life filled with adventure and shot through with sadness. But if Raffles’ own end was tragic, the mark he left on the world is indelible. Even today, Raffles’ fame remains undimmed and, as he hoped,Singapore has become his own lasting monument.

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