Oxford University Press, June 1996. Trade Paperback. Used - Very Good. Item #163398
Capturing the many diverse images and perceptions of Java recorded over the last 600 years, this entertaining volume brings together accounts of this enchanting tropical island by thirty-five Western travellers, most of them English or American. Their writings span the years from the earliest European contacts with the island, beginning with the 1330 impressions of Friar Odoric, to Richard Crithfield's account of his return to Java in 1985. Through their eyes we see the island transformed from a distant realm of wealth and danger into an orderly and prosperous Dutch colony and then, in the twentieth century, into the center-piece of the Indonesian nation. Over the years, the "Java" that armchair travellers of the English-speaking world came to know was largely shaped by witnesses like Thomas Stamford Raffles, Alfred Russel Wallace, Elizah Ruhamah Scidmore, S.J. Perelman, Frank and Helen Schreider, V.S. Naipaul, and many others.
With informative introductions that set each passage in context, these tales have much to tell us about the West itself and about its evolving relationship with this populous South-East Asian center of civilization and power, and it with its people.