Charles Wurtzburg was connected with shipping in the Far East for more than 30 years. In 1920, during a sojourn in Singapore, his attention was attracted by the personality and attainments of
Sir Stamford Raffles, and he found himself embarked on an interest that was to engross him for the rest of his life. Until his death in 1952 he collected material on Raffles, intending to devote the time of his retirement to embodying it in a definitive biography. But there was always just a little more to discover, a little more to read, and he called a halt to research and began to write the book only a short time before he died. It was thus left to friends and associates to see that the results of his devoted labour should be organized and put into print.
Fortunately this has been admirably done through the agency of the Glen Line Limited. The volume is beautifully produced, with an excellent index and illustrations. Most parts of Raffles’ life that
were only sketchily known or remained puzzling have been explained by Mr. Wurtzburg, and the period of colonial history in which he acted becomes clearly lit. The book is valuable not only as a
portrait of a great man insufficiently appreciated by his country it will be a useful reference for any historian interested in Indonesian background. The 15-page bibliography includes what must surely be every published and unpublished work extant that impinges on Mr. Wurtzburg’s subject. A good deal of the new material, he once said, came from the unpublished Diary of Captain
Travers, who met Raffles early in his career and remained his friend. Such small part of the Diary that has already been printed was censored by Raffles’s second wife Sophia, after her customary
fashion, and all reference to the first wife Olivia was removed.
– from a review in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 87, Issue 3-4, October 1955