Raffles coverRaffles and the British Invasion of Java is an award-winning new narrative history book by author and travel writer, Tim Hannigan. It tells the story of the strange years between 1811 and 1816 when Britain ousted Holland from Java and gained control of the nascent Dutch East Indies.
At the head of the Interregnum was a young Thomas Stamford Raffles, best remembered today as the “founder of Singapore”.

The British Interregnum was a period of furious controversies, bitter in-fighting, and dramatic changes in the balance of power between Javanese and Europeans, and it helped set the tone for the coming colonial century, in Indonesia and beyond.
Raffles meanwhile, usually portrayed as a “liberal”, visionary and hero, presided over all manner of thoroughly illiberal actions in Java…

Over the coming months posts will appear on this blog telling various stories from the British Interregnum and the wider historic context in Java and Indonesia – the sidelights and footnotes that could not find space in the published book, but that are far too interesting to leave out altogether!

For more about the published book, see www.rafflesandjava.com.


“… a vivid portrait… a gripping narrative…” – The Straits Times.

“An excellent, authoritative account of the brief period of British rule, and the role of Raffles, in the early 19th century …” – Lonely Planet Indonesia.

“… spellbinding … packed with a wealth of background …” – Jakarta Expat.

“… necessary reading in the troubled times we live in …” – Farish A. Noor, New Straits Times.

“… Hannigan’s … clear enthusiasm for his subject matter is infectious. His relish for the project of history itself … is equally as captivating…” – Hello Bali!.

“… sheds new light on the man, his exalted place in history, and the dark side of British colonialism … in a vivid, cinematic writing style…” – Tom Benner, The Straits Times.

“A controversial reassessment of the mythical Raffles that seeks to question most of our comfortable assumptions about the “founder of Singapore …” – Nigel Barley


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