On 6 February 1819, Stamford Raffles, William Farquhar, Temenggong Abdul Rahman and Sultan Hussein signed a treaty that granted the British East India Company the right to establish a trading settlement on the sparsely populated island of Singapore.
Forbidden Hill (Singapore Saga, Vol. 1) is a meticulously researched and vividly imagined historical narrative that brings to life the stories of the early European, Malay, Chinese and Indian pioneers – the administrators, merchants, policemen, boatmen, coolies, concubines, slaves and secret society soldiers – whose vision and intrigues drive the rapid expansion of the port city in the early decades of the nineteenth century. While Raffles and Farquhar clash over the administration of the settlement, theScottish merchant adventurer Ronnie Simpson and Englishwoman Sarah Hemmings find love and redemption as they battle an American duelist and Illanun pirates. As the ghosts of the rajahs of the ancient city of Singapura fade into the shadows of Forbidden Hill, the new settlers forge their linked destinies in the ‘emporium of the Eastern seas’.
‘Brimming with memorable characters, this colourful reimagining of the early history of Singapore restores William Farquhar – long eclipsed by Raffles – to his rightful position at the forefront of the founding of the colonial settlement, and brings the intrigues, personality clashes and violence of the era vividly to life.’
Tim Hannigan, author of Raffles and the British Invasion of Java
About the author
John D. Greenwood was born in Elgin, Scotland, and educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford. He is currently a professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he specializes in the history of psychology. He is the author of six books and numerous academic papers. He was a lecturer in the department of philosophy at the National University of Singapore from 1983-1986, when he first fell in love with Singapore, her people and her history. He returned as senior visiting scholar in 1999-2000 and as visiting professor in 2008-2009. He considers NUS to be his second academic home. He also returns regularly to Singapore to visit old friends and old haunts, and considers a trip to Pulau Ubin followed by chilli or pepper crab at in the evening at Changi Village to be a perfect day. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, USA.