Syair Perang Siak

Syair Perang Siak

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The Syair Perang Siak is a Malay epic poem narrating, in a highly selective manner, major events in the power struggle within the royal house of Siak - a Malay kingdom on the central eastern coast of Sumatra - between 1717 and 1771. It gives central prominence to the eponymous battle that took place when the Dutch mounted a punitive expedition to Siak between April and June 1761 during the short-lived reign of Raja Ismail.

"Not only does the present volume enlarge an expanding group of Malay texts which have been published in critical editions, it also adds to our knowledge of Malay literature produced in the Sumatran coastal regions of the Minangkabau rantau. Goudie’s book…will contribute to out understanding of the relationship between Minangkabau and Malay literary traditions. Donald Goudie has made this text available in an attractive and well prepared edition. The subject of the syair is the royal dynasty of Siak founded by Raja Kecil who, in alliance with the Orang Laut, conquered Johor in 1718. The Syair describes the competition between these two brothers which manifested itself in Raja Kecil’s lifetime, continued after his death and was perpetuated by the descendants of each. Donald Goudie is to be congratulated on producing a book which makes this important text available to both specialist and general readers."

Jane Drakard

About the Author:

Donald Goudie was born in Queensland, Australia in 1935. He trained as a teacher in Newcastle, N.S.W. and since 1955 has spent his working life as a schoolmaster. He has served in that capacity for many years at St. Andrew's Cathedral School in Sydney. Mr. Goudie has been a frequent traveller in Indonesia and Malaysia, collects books on that area, and has a special interest in traditional Malay literature - a preoccupation he would like to find more time to indulge.

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