Margarette Lincoln

Muddying the Waters

Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire


William Collins 489pp £25 order from our bookshop

In the late 18th century, Thomas Forrest, a British sea captain and trader with decades of experience in the Indian Ocean, Malaysia and Indonesia, published accounts of some of his voyages to raise awareness of their economic potential. He incorporated Malay navigational information in his charts, but the crucial contribution he received from indigenous intermediaries was barely recognised, even as the new knowledge structures he helped to build were being used to consolidate British colonial bases in Asia. This process was replicated in many forms, so that local voices, whether supportive of, protesting against or proposing creative accommodation with the British Empire, as it stretched across the Pacific and Southeast Asia, were erased as time went on.

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