Lion City Narratives: Singapore Through Western Eyes
By Victor R. Savage ()
Lion City Narratives: Singapore Through Western Eyes fulfils four aims. First, it is a study of subjective Western impressions of Singapore's 145 years (1819–1963) of colonial history. The study is not meant to be an in-depth historical analysis of Singapore, but rather to give the reader an impressionistic account of how Western residents viewed Singapore over the decades. Second, this study could be seen as a short biography of Singapore's evolution as a city. The chapters on the imageability of Singapore and its urban morphology provide a holistic perspective of Singapore's urban dynamics. Third, this book provides a cultural insight into Singapore's population, both White residents and transient visitors, as well as the locals or Asians. Fourth, it opens a window into Singapore's development at a time when the West was at its cultural zenith and when Great Britain was the principal superpower of the 19th century. Hence Singapore carried twin colonial legacies — it was the archetype trading emporium between East and West, and it became, for the British, the major point d'appui for defence. Finally, the Singapore colonial narrative is set in a broader academic discourse that allows the reader to see a wider picture of Singapore's colonial development.
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