Library


Historiography of The Pacific Region and The British Empire


Voyage Round the World
by William Dampier
London 1699

William Dampier was a pirate-explorer whose writings inspired a generation of excitement about the possibilities for discovery and exploration in the Pacific. He also wrote Voyages and Descriptions after being commissioned by the Admiralty to undertake his own voyages of discovery. Dampier inspired important writers like Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift which in turn created yet further interest in a romanticised vision of the Pacific as some kind of utopian idyll.

Amazon

A Chronological History of the Voyages and Discoveries of the South Seas
by James Burney
London 1816

The son of the musicologist Dr Charles Burney and brother of the novelist Fanny Burney, was a well-travelled sailor, best known for this monumental compilation of voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean. He sailed on Cook's second voyage between 1772 and 1774, and was also present on the ill-fated third voyage. He retired from the navy in 1784 and turned to writing works on exploration in 5 volumes.

Amazon

An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere
by John Hawkesworth
London 1773

John Hawkesworth compiled accounts of the most important mid-eighteenth century British voyages to the Pacific Region successively Performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour.

Amazon

The Life of Captain James Cook
by Andrew Kippis
London, 1788

Andrew Kippis was one of the first authors to appreciate the star value of Captain Cook as an early hero to Pacific exploration, scientific endeavour and overall imperial hero.

Amazon

The History of the Tahitian Mission, 1799 - 1830
by John Davies
Cambridge, 1961

Missions played a pivotal role in the transformation of much of Pacific Island culture and the Tahiti mission was the earliest. Its importance on Tahiti was crucial but it was also emulated and responded by other missions and denominations throughout the Pacific region.

Amazon

The New Hebrides and Christian Missions
by Robert Steel
London, 1880

The New Hebrides pitted Catholic and Protestant missionaries against one another as both competed for the souls of the islanders.

Amazon

The Pacific: Its Past and Future and the Policy of the Great Powers from the Eighteenth Century
by Guy Scholefield
London, 1919

New Zealander Guy Scholefield wrote the first scholarly overview of the imperial era in the Pacific area which included the islands and the 'rim' of imperial involvement in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It mostly concentrated on the voyages of exploration, the economic development of the region, the paternalist interest of missionaries and early administrators and the competitive tensions of the rival European powers.

Amazon

Exploration of the Pacific
by J. C. Beaglehole
London, 1934

Beaglehole offered one of the most comprehensive overviews of the exploration of the Pacific to date and placing it in a stylish narrative overview. He also edited The Journals of Captain James Cook on his voyages of discovery

Amazon

The Discoverers of the Fiji Islands
by G. C. Henderson
London, 1933

Henderson was one of the first historians of the Pacific region to home in on a specific example of imperialism and its consequences upon a particular group of islands; Fiji. He was the chair of History at Adelaide from 1902 to 1924 and his interest in the region represented growing Australian academic and strategic interest in the wider Pacific region. He delved further into the subject of Fiji with The Journal of Thomas Williams: Missionary in Fiji and Fiji and the Fijians

Amazon

The Making of Modern New Guinea
by S. W. Reed
Philadelphia, 1943

The American sociologist brought new techniques of ethnographic enquiry to build up a history of contact between Europeans and the native peoples of New Guinea and its impact up until the time of the Australian Mandate.

Amazon

British Possessions in Oceania
by Foreign Office
London, 1920

This early official document dedicated most of its pages to examining the economic conditions and outlook that the islands could look forward to under enlightened and benign British control. Little mention is made of the indigenous cultures or their wants or desires. Its account was steeped in the Social Darwinian language of the day explaining that Tonga 'was inhabited by a highly advanced native race who have accepted Christianity' whereas the Solomon Islanders were portrayed as 'naked savages scarcely beyond the head-hunting stage of development.'

Amazon

Samoa mo Samoa: The Emergence of the Independent State of Western Samoa
by J.W. Davidson
Melbourne, 1967

Davidson was one of the first post-war academics who put the experience of the islanders ahead of that of the colonisers. He focussed on the experience of the local indigenous people borrowing many techniques and methods from the anthropological discipline emerging.

Amazon

Of Islands and Men: Studies in Pacific History
by H.E. Maude
Melbourne, 1968

A student of J.W. Davidson's, Maude was ananthropologically trained historian who combined the two disciplines to produce remarkable cultural histories. He particularly specialised in incorporating oral tradition into the world view of the islanders. eg, he wrote about the Tahitian desire to join in with the pork trade with Europeans as a positive decision on their part.

Amazon

They Came for Sandalwood: A Study of the Sandalwood Trade in the South West Pacific
by Dorothy Shineberg
Carlton, 1967

Much like Maude, Shineberg focussed on the extent of control and desire to trade by islanders who wished to take control of the new economic opportunities that offered themselves in the nineteenth century. This particular study focussed on the important Sandalwood trade which was often exported on to China.

Amazon

Messengers of Grace: Evangelical Missionaries in the South Seas, 1797 - 1860
by Niel Gunson
Melbourne, 1978

Gunson was one of the first historians of the missionary field in the Pacific to acknowledge and appreciate the impact that indigenous conceptions of the sacred had on the forms of Christianity that eventually emerged in the Pacific. He was illustrating the elements of compromise that both sides had to make in forming new religious norms.

Amazon

Samoa, 1830 - 1900
by R.P. Gilson
Melbourne, 1970

Gilson incorporated anthropoligical methods into his nineteenth century history of Samoa and went into phenomemal detail.

Amazon

The Charter of the Land: Custom and Colonisation in Fiji
by Peter France
Melbourne, 1969

Peter France examined just how far Britain and the Fiji ruling elite had constructed their own interpretation of history to diminish the role of imported labour and highlight the bases of indigenous land tenure.

Amazon

Fiji's Indian Migrants: A History to the End of Indenture in 1920
by K.L. Gillion
Melbourne, 1962

K.L. Gillion was one of the first historians to specifically examine the impact of the immigrant communities on Pacific Islands like Fiji and especially the economic labour migrants from the sub-continent. This was followed up by The Fiji Indians: : Challenge To European Dominance 1920-1946.

Amazon

Church and State in Tonga
by Sione Latukefu
Canberra, 1974

Sione Latukefu was one of the first indigenous writers to give a perspective on imperial themes as they related to the Pacific. However, he was criticised locally for still being too Eurocentric in his writing.

Amazon

Girmitiyas: The Origins of the Fiji Indians
by Brij Lal
Canberra, 1983

Brij Lal was one of the first of the immigrant worker community to write a history from their own perspective.

Amazon

Britain in the Pacific Islands
by W.P. Morrell
Canberra, 1983

W.P. Morrell was one of the first of the 'periphery' historians who centered his account from the perspective of the islands themselves and not as an imperial add-on.

Amazon

The Pacific since Magellan
by O.H.K. Spate
Canberra, 1979 - 88

O.H.K. Spate illustrated that the allure of the explorers and the decades of discovery were still very much in vogue with his enormous three volume overview of Pacific Exploration. He also helped complete J.W. Davidson's biography on the trader/explorer Peter Dillon as Peter Dillon of Vanikoro: Chevalier of the Southern Seas

Amazon

European Vision and the South Pacific
by Bernard Smith
London, 1960

Art historian Bernard Smith pioneered an enquiry into the reciprocal impact of the Pacific on European Art and ideas.

Amazon

A Dream of Islands: Voyages of Self-Discovery in the South Seas
by Gavan Daws
New York, 1980

Gavan Daws examined the allure of the Pacific for various writers and artists in a narcissistic attempt at discovering self-discovery in a tropical paradise.

Amazon

Britain in Fiji, 1858 - 1880
by J.D. Legge
London, 1958

J.D. Legge returned to the idea of examining imperial policy upon the single colony of Fiji. Legge went on to examine Australain colonial policy in Australian Colonial Policy: A Survey of Native Administration and European Development in Papua

Amazon

The Imperial Frontier in the Tropics 1865 - 75: A Study of British Colonial Policy in West Africa, Malaya & the South Pacific.
by W. David McIntyre
London, 1967

McIntyre took to conducting a comparative description of imperial policy and implementation in the Pacific with that taking in place in West Africa and in Malaya to see what common trends or regional differences were taking place within the Empire.

Amazon

Fragments of Empire: A History of the Western Pacific High Commission, 1877 - 1914.
by Deryck Scarr
Canberra, 1967

Deryck Scarr looked at the institutional framework initiated by the British to allow them to take formal control over such a vast expanse of islands in the Pacific Ocean before the outbreak of World War One. He also wrote a biography entitled The Majesty of Colour: A Life of Sir John Bates Thurston

Amazon

Hubert Murray: The Australian Pro-Consul
by Francis West
Melbourne, 1968

Examining the role of the individual in defining the imperial experience, Francis West examined the life of Hubert Murray who played such a crucial role in the administration of Papua New Guinea.

Amazon

New Zealand Aspirations in the Pacific in the Nineteenth Century
by Angus Ross
Oxford, 1964

Angus Ross began the process of examining the motives of New Zealand's colonisers in spreading their influence and activity throughout the region.

Amazon

Australian Imperialism in the Pacific: The Expansionist Era, 1820-1920
by Roger C. Thompson
Carlton, 1980

Roger C. Thompson examined the motives of Australia's colonisers in spreading their influence and activity throughout the Pacific region.

Amazon

The Australians in German New Guinea
by C.D. Rowley
Carlton, 1958

C.D. Rowley focussed on the Australian military takeover of German New Guinea and its rule from 1914 to 1921 in what was effectively Australia's first formal colony. He also wrote a pessimistic and highly focussed investigation into the impact of imperialism entitled: The New Guinea Villager

Amazon

Trade, Tactics and Territory: Britain in the Pacific, 1783 - 1823
by Margaret Steven
Melbourne, 1983

Margaret Steven wrote an economic history of examining the rationale for Britain's interest in the region and its economic consequences.

Amazon

Labour in the South Pacific
Ed by Clive Moore, Doug Munro and Jacqui Leckie
Townsville, 1991

Jacqueline Leckie wrote an overview of the Labour issues bequeathed by imperial role in her 'The Long, Slow Haul: Issues in 20th Century Pacific Labour Historiography'

Amazon

Law and State in Papua New Guinea
by Peter Fitzpatrick
Sydney, 1980

Peter Fitzpatrick provided an effective, legal overview of the workings of colonialism in Papua New Guinea and the basis that it provided for the post-colonial era.

Amazon

The Fatal Impact: A Account of the Invasion of the South Pacific, 1767 - 1840
by Alan Moorehead
London, 1966

Alan Moorehead wrote an overarching description of the impact of the West upon native populations and islands who were unaware of the larger world. It mentions the romantic allure that the islands had for Europeans who were keen to paint their own visions of what the island cultures should be.

Amazon

The Blackbirders: The Recruiting of South Seas Labour for Queensland, 1863 - 1907
by Edward Docker
Sydney, 1970

Edward Docker examines the extant and impact of the Blackbirders on the economies and cultures of the Pacific Islands and their destination in Australia.

Amazon

Pacific Protest: The Maasina Rule Movement, Soloman Islands, 1944 - 1952
Ed by Hugh Laracy
Suva, 1983

This is a collection of essays and writings detailing one of the most sustained anti-colonial resistance movements of the Pacific region in the aftermath of the turmoil created by the Second World War.

Amazon

Kiribati: Aspects of History
by Alaima Talu
Suva, 1979

This book represented islanders claiming what was important or redundant in their history from their own perspective. It highlighted examples of indignities of recent colonial and post-colonial relations and their own desires for meaningful integration and development within their own cultural context.

Amazon

Ancient Tahitian Society
by Douglas Oliver
Canberra, 1974

Although primarily an anthropoligical study, Oliver's account of the meeting of Tahitian society with Europeans was told in great detail from the perspective of the islanders themselves rather from the point of view of the Europeans.

Amazon

Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands
by Marshall Sahlins
Ann Arbor, 1981

Marshall Sahlins came to dominate Pacific historical anthropology after writing this in depth analysis of the Hawaiian Islands and how the native people responded and interacted with the European arrivees. His approach was emulated by many others who applied his approach to other island communities.

Amazon

Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts: Representing the Chambri in the World System
by Deborah B. Gewertz
New Haven, 1983

Deborah B. Gewertz criticised ethnographers who had ignored or minimised the impact of the colonial experience on native societies. She reasserted the complex interaction of opportunities and exploitation by the islands being brought into the world economic system. She also wrote Sepik River Societies: A Historical Ethnography of the Chambri and their Neighbours and Articulating Change in the Last Unknown

Amazon

Tradition and Christianity: The Colonial Transformation of a Soloman Islands Society
by Ben Burt
Chur, 1994

Ben Burt was another historian who analysed the complex interaction of Europeans on traditional society and how they influenced one another. In this book, he examined how missionaries attempted to change Soloman Island society but having to compromise and incorporate island traditions and customs in a complex washback effect.

Amazon

Clio in Oceania: Toward a Historical Anthropology
Ed by Aletta Biersack
Washington, 1991

This collection of essays also refocussed attention from the natives to the colonisers and how they interreacted with one another.

Amazon

White Women in Fiji, 1835 1930: The Ruin of Empire
by Claudia Knapman
Sydney, 1986

Claudia Knapman began a more recent re-evaluation of the role of women in the colonial sphere and how their impact upon the cultures and how they negotiated the complex inter-relationship of racism and sexism.

Amazon

Family and Gender in the Pacific: Domestic Contradictions and the Colonial Impact
Ed by Margaret Jolly and Martha Macintyre
Cambridge, 1989

This book continued the examination of the feminine experience but opened it up to the native point of view and how families had to change and adapt to the changes brought about by colonial control or European arrival.

Amazon

Mr Bligh's Bad Language: Passion, Power and Theatre on the Bounty
by Greg Dening
Cambridge, 1992

Greg Dening examined the complex differences in society and aspirations of the colonisers themselves with his detailed look at the crew and antics of the Bounty before and after its famous Mutiny. It provided an interesting case study into a newly created Pacific Island culture by the mutineers and their Tahitian ladies. He also wrote Islands and beaches: Discourse on a silent land: Marquesas 1774 - 1780, Beach Crossings: Voyaging Across Times, Cultures and Self and Performances with similar themes.

Amazon

Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacific
by Nicholas Thomas
Cambridge, 1991

Nicholas Thomas takes up three issues central to anthropology: the cultural and political dynamics of colonial encounters, the nature of Western and non-Western transactions (such as the gift and the commodity), and the significance of material objects in social life. Along the way, he raises doubts about any simple "us / them" dichotomy between Westerners and Pacific Islanders, challenging the preoccupation of anthropology with cultural difference by stressing the shared history of colonial entanglement. He also wrote Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel and Government

Amazon

Not the Way it Really Was: Constructing the Tolai Past
by Klaus Neumann
Honolulu, 1992

Klaus Neumann wrote an innovative account of the Tolai of New Britain in which he juxtaposed local stories and colonial accounts to show the constructed, contested nature of histories and the plurality and contingency of past realities.

Amazon

Imperial Benevolence: Making British Authority in the Pacific Islands
by Jane Samson
Honolulu, 1998

Jane Samson has somewhat come full circle with a more sympathetic evaluation of the imperial presence and institutions created and bequeathed by the British. It explores the impulses behind British calls for the protection and "improvement" of islanders. This is much along the lines of the very first books on imperialism in the Pacific and shows that after decades of critical analysis, some historians believe it is time to reevaluate the positive side of imperial contact and that it wasn't all motivated by exploitation.

Amazon

The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders
by Donald Denoon
Cambridge, 2004

This history presents an authoritative and comprehensive overview of the experiences of Pacific islanders from their first settlement of the islands to the present day. It addresses the question of insularity and explores islanders' experiences thematically, covering such topics as early settlement, contact with Europeans, colonialism, politics, commerce, tradition, ideology, and the role of women. It incorporates material on the Maori, the Irianese in western New Guinea, the settled immigrant communities in Fiji, New Caledonia and the Hawaiian monarchy and follows migrants to New Zealand, Australia and North America.

Amazon

Imperfect Machinery?: Missions, Imperial Authority, and the Pacific Labour Trade, c.1875-1901
by Mahito Takeuchi
2009

This book emphasises the importance of the peripheral actors in formulating policy. The book stresses how British missions and humanitarians continued to push a reluctant British government to regulate the traffic, and how the Western Pacific High Commissioners and the naval officers attempted to introduce measures to control the traffic. It is an example of the periphery actors formulating actions and taking control of the destiny of these remote outposts of empire.

Amazon


History of the Pacific Region in The British Empire


Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon




Share