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White Rajah: A Biography of Sir James Brooke

Nigel Barley

3 Reviews

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Biography: general, Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900

* A wonderful piece of swashbuckling historical biography which recalls the best and the worst of the British Imperial character.

Sir James Brooke was an extraordinary 'eminent' Victorian, whose life was the stuff of legend.His curious career began in 1841 when he was caught up in a war in Brunei which had started because a party of local Dayaks had refused to furl their umbrellas in the presence of the Sultan. Brooke was an opportunist who, with the Sultan's backing, made war on the Dayaks tribespeople and eventually found himself ruling over Sarawak - a kingdom the size of England - as a result. How he achieved it is a romantic, sometimes horrifying story. Brooke is someone that George Macdonald Fraser would scarcely dare to invent. Errol Flynn wanted to play him in a movie, seventy years after his death and his dynasty is remembered throughout South-East Asia.

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Praise for White Rajah: A Biography of Sir James Brooke

  • Fascinating reading - LITERARY REVIEW

  • As a brief, even-handed and witty introduction to this extraordinary man [WHITE RAJAH] is hard to beat - BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE

  • WHITE RAJAH is a unique biography of one of the most fascinating and influential men of the British Empire - GEOGRAPHICAL

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Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley is the author of six books, including THE INNOCENT ANTHROPOLOGIST and DANCING ON THE GRAVE. He is the curator of London's Museum of Mankind.

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