Man of action, naval officer, able administrator, skilled diplomat - James Stirling's distinguished and multi-faceted career carried him to the four corners of the nineteenth-century world. This ambitious biography, seven years in the making, breaks new ground in documenting fully Stirling's path from birth into one of Scotland's oldest families, through to founder and Governor of the Swan River Colony and, ultimately, to Admiral and British naval chief in East Asia. Drawing on fresh archival material, author Pamela Statham Drew has fashioned an intricate tapestry of engrossing detail, set against a post-Napoleonic backdrop of colonial opportunism, wars, British naval superiority and shifting political alliances. Stirling's place in history has hitherto been questioned and over-simplified, particularly regarding his contentious West Australian land grants. This absorbing biography seeks to redress this bias while, at the same time, revealing much about the human face and foibles of the man remembered today as the founder of the State of Western Australia.
Publication Date: 6/1/2003