Sunday, January 29, 2012

"White Rajah: A Dynastic Intrigue" by Cassandra Pybus

I recently discovered this book, and bought it online. It turned out to be one of the best descriptions of the period Sir Charles Brooke spent in Sarawak. It delved into his relations with his uncle Sir James Brooke, his wife Margaret de Windt (who preferred her childhood name Ghita) and Esca Brooke Daykin, the child Charles sired with a local woman Dayang Mastiah.

I found it a very well-researched work and a fascinating read, covering areas the official history books of our boyhood stayed away from.

The blurb on the back cover has this to say ... "This enthralling saga of conflict and betrayal among the famous White Rajahs of Sarawak explores the bizarre history of the Brooke family and the English dynasty they established in the topical jungles of Borneo .... Combining the flair of the novelist with meticulous research, prizewinning historian Cassandra Pybus has pieced together the hidden story of the White Rajahs to create three spellbinding narratives of adventure and passion; of personal anguish and political intrigue. Set against the wild beauty of Sarawak and the harsh but stunning terrain of Northern Canada, these three tales of power and loss are unforgettable."

Let me share a few pictures ...

Fig 1: Cover of "White Rajah" book

Fig 2: Opening pages

Fig 3: Published in 1996

Fig 4: The Contents pages

Fig 5: Photo of the young Esca Brooke Daykin

If you are keen to get a copy, this book is available on (which is where I got mine).

I think it would be most interesting to meet and have a chat with Ms Pybus one day ... 


  1. How much was this book, WJ?

  2. What were the most interesting or unexpected sections?

  3. It was about US$ 12, but the postage made it double the price :-(

  4. The sequel to this book is J.R.R Tolkein's Lord of the RIngs.

  5. The sequel to this is J.R.R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. Sarawak is that epic.