- Taschenbuch: 232 Seiten
- Verlag: AuthorHouse (5. Mai 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1410710696
- ISBN-13: 978-1410710697
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 1,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 91.468 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
When Britain Ruled the Philippines 1762-1764: The Story of the 18th Century British (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Mai 2003
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Shirley Fish is an American Freelance Writer and Researcher working in Asia for the past 23 years. She has lived in Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and is currently in Manila, Philippines. Over the years she has been a magazine editor and correspondent with various Asian publications. She has a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Southern California.
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Shirley Fish has written an admirable book on this period in Philippines history. Indeed, she has probably tried to write too much and because of that the book starts strongly with the immediate background and preparations to the venture but then meanders through a historical background that goes back to the early days of the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines. As an example, there is a section that comprehensively details the Spanish defences throughout the Philippines that while informative it does not seem to add much to the narrative because the British were limited to Manila in their conquest and so never sought to fully test those defenses.
The section on the actual invasion was good. With the Philippines being without a governor at the time of attack the Bishop became the de facto war leader for the defences. While he had numbers on his side he did not have the discipline of the British. A telling incident that Shirley Fish related was the fate of the Bishop's son. He was captured by the British when the Spanish vessel that he was travelling on was seized by the Royal Navy ships patrolling off Manila. The Bishop asked for the return of his adult age son on humanitarian grounds and the British commanders honoured his request. A truce was agreed and a British officer landed with the Spaniard to accompany him to Manila. However, this was not Europe and the Western practices of professional European Armies were not understood by the hastily assembled Filipino militia that the Bishop had as defenders. Both the Spaniards and British looked on in horror as the two men were slaughtered on the beach by the local militia. While the Bishop agreed to take action against the militia for the violation of the truce it did bring home the issue of a culture clash between Europeans and the local Filipinos.
Despite the title of the book the invasion coverage was the highlight of the book with the almost two year long occupation being covered quickly and in an almost haphazard way. The tensions between the military and the East India Company appointed adminstrator received much coverage but it went backwards and forwards often with different parts of the story coming out at different times in an apparently unstructured way instead of a straight narrative. This was not due to thematic lines it was just that the facts emerged in different places without an indication as to why it was structured that way. This tension also became the focus of the text on the occupation despite the newly arrived Spanish Governor maintaining a guerrilla type force in the districts outside of Manila. There was no real discussion about what he was doing. There was a brief mention of a sepoy mutiny and that the descendants of the troops that deserted still lived in that area until today but the causes and consequences were not fully explored.
Two further criticisms of the book were the lack of an index and the limited footnoting. The absence of an index meant that when the author introduced people or events it was very hard to track back to that mention when their names appeared again much later in the book. It was frustrating to be given only a surname later in the book and not being able to remember the position of that person and not being able to look up an index to go back to find out what their role was in that period. While the author footnoted all direct quotes she did not footnote all the facts and figures that she included. I suspect that this book was not aimed at the academic community but rather at those with a general interest in the Philippines and so it may have been a marketing decision to leave out footnotes in the text. Again, it was frustrating when the author made a reference to an interesting fact in the book and there was no indication of where to go to find out more about that issue.
The author did have a good writing style and when she was on story she could relate the events very well. You do not not need to have a background in the Seven Years War or in the history of the Philippines to read this book. It is a good read and it will provide a good starting point for others to build on should they wish to write about the occupation or other facets of the story.
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