B OO K R E V I E W: A B I O G R A P H Y O F R A F F L E S Philip Courtenay – TAASA Review September 2013


This article was originally found in the September 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 3, Page 25).

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Raffles and the Golden Opportunity Victoria Glendinning Profile Books, 2012 RRP AUS$45; hardcover, 349pp In an early paragraph of the introduction to her recent biography of Sir Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), Raffles and the Golden Opportunity, Victoria Glendinning states that the book seeks to demythologise him without diminishing him, adding that he was not a genius but, like all ambitious visionaries, he had a streak of genius.

Raffles is the subject of a substantial body of literature, which commenced with his own The History of Java in two volumes published in London by Black, Parbury & Allen and John Murray in 1817.

Glendinning’s contribution is the most recent addition to this literature...