In two short years, Singapore will be commemorating our colonisation by the British Empire. One of the two men responsible for turning our sleepy island into a free port and regional trading hub are ever present in our daily lives, that man being Sir Stamford Raffles.
Roads, a statue, a school, an MRT station and even a beer bears the name of the man many believe to have planted the Union Jack on our soil.
Our history textbooks paint a glorious picture of Raffles, yet not much is taught to us about Farquhar. Aside from the giggles every time his name was mentioned in class, what else do you remember about him?
Nadia H. Wright’s new book looks to shed a lot more light on the man, the legend, Lieutenant Colonel William Farquhar. The man thought to have gone native, wallowing in opium when that couldn’t be much further from the truth.
There’s no better time for Singaporeans to be told that all we know of Raffles could have been more myth than legend. Nadia recounts stories and memos that breathe betrayal, a literary work that reads more like a sea-faring political drama.
The book is filled with beautiful pictures of lesser known artefacts and art from our history, as well as detailed accounts of what transpired in the early 19th century.
Justice for Farquhar.
Price: $28 from Kinokuniya