Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore
Kwa Ching Guan, Derek Heng, Peter Borschberg, Tan Tai Yong
Assessments of Singapore’s history invariably revolve around Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in 1819. Before this date – we were told – “nothing very much appears to have happened in Singapore”. Pre-1819 Singapore was a sleepy, historically insignificant fishing village, little more than the “occasional resort of pirates”.
This ambitious book, co-written by four of Singapore’s foremost historians, offers an assertive re-evaluation of that view and instead firmly situates Singapore’s starting point to seven hundred years ago. Drawing from the latest archaeological discoveries and an extensive range of archival, textual and cartographical records, the authors cast a singular historical trajectory for Singapore over the past seven centuries and animate its history like never before.
Written in a compelling and accessible manner, and richly illustrated with more than 200 artefacts, photographs, maps, artwork and ephemera, Seven Hundred Years is a highly original work that widens the historical lens and provides a vital new perspective to the story of Singapore.