A Macao Narrative
ISBN : 978-962-209-077-4
160 pages, 5.125″ x 7.75″
Macao, 40 miles west of Hong Kong, became a place of Portuguese residence between 1555–57. In this short, lively and affectionate book, Austin Coates explains how and why the Portuguese came to the Far East, and how they peacefully settled in Macao with tacit Chinese goodwill. Macao’s golden age, from 1557 to the disastrous collapse of 1641, is vividly reconstructed. There follows the cuckoo-in-the-nest situation of the late eighteenth century when the British in Macao were a law unto themselves, until the foundation of Hong Kong and the opening of Shanghai gave wider scope for their energies. Portugal’s subsequent struggle to obtain full sovereignty in Macao, and the extraordinary outcome in 1975, brings this account to a close. Special tribute is paid to the risks Macao gallantly undertook in harbouring Hong Kong’s starving and destitute during World War II.
“Easy and enjoyable to read, A Macao Narrative was not conceived for academic purposes, but rather for an intelligent reader who might wish to learn the most important aspects of Macao’s history. A first-time reader might well be carried away by the easy flow of the prose, the witty remarks, the elegance of the author’s style. The ease with which Austin Coates recounted even the most dramatic events, as if holding a lively conversation, demonstrates that his narrative is, in fact, an exceptional history of the city.” —From the Foreword by César Guillén Nuñez