BOXER, Charles Ralph. Sandown, Isle of Wight 8.4.1904 — St.Albans, Hertfordshire 27.4.2000. British Historian of Early Colonial Asia. Son of Colonel Hugh Edward Richard B. and Jane Patterson. Grew up in Dorset. Educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst. In 1923-47 served in Lincolnshire Regiment, first in Northern Ireland. He interested early in Japan and eastern history and was in 1930-33 in exchange in Japan (qualified there as official interpreter). After a time in London, in 1936-41 in Hong Kong, now worked as a spy advancing to Major, travelled widely in East and South-East Asia. When Japanese took Hong Kong he became a prisoner of war, until 1945. In 1946-47 member of British Far Eastern Commission in Japan. Resigned in 1947 to become Camões Professor of Portuguese at King’s College. In 1951-53 Professor of the History of the Far East at S.O.A.S., the returned to King’s. Retired from London University in 1967 and went as visiting Professor to Indiana University. In 1969-72 Professor of the History of European Overseas Expansion at Yale. First married with Ursula Norah Anstice Tulloch, then in 1945 with Emily Hahn, an American journalist, two daughters with the second wife. Six hon. doctorates (Utrecht, Lisbon, Bahia, Liverpool, Hong Kong and Peradeniya) and other honours (Fellow of British Academy 1957).
Boxer’s main field of interest was the early Portuguese and Dutch intrusion in China and Japan, but also in Indonesia and Brazil and often he also included the same period of India in his studies. His style was anecdotal and he consequently avoided theoreticizing.
Publications: A number of books and articles (altogether over 350 publications), especially on Far Eastern history, e.g. The Christian Century in Japan. 15+397 p. 139 pl. L. 1951.
– The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600–1800. 26+326 p. L. 1965; The Portuguese Seaborne Empire 1415–1825. 26+456 p. 1969.
– Reviews and articles on South Asian history; Portuguese India in the mid-17th Century. 57 p. O.U.P. 1980; Portuguese Conquest and Commerce in Southern Asia, 1500–1750. 312 p. 9 fig. Collected Studies Series 208. L. 1985.
Sources: *Bibliography, Portuguese Studies 17, 2001, 247-276; Wikipedia.
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