Episode 12 - Historians and Hong Kong: A most colonial ‘Colonial’

Over around a century and a half Hong Kong’s story has been told by professional and amateur historians. A few names became scores following the explosion in Hong Kong studies after the 1970s. Today there are as many and more netizens and bloggers. We don’t often know much detail about any of the handful of colonialist pioneers of the 1890-1960 period. They’re just authors’ names. Most of them are interesting though, and knowing about them helps one ‘read’ the histories they wrote. One of them, who wrote under the byline of ‘Colonial’ in the 1930s SCMP, and often seen as a sort of early begetter of the late 20th century Hong Kong Studies movement, illustrates the point well. Vincent Jarrett’s life is revelatory of the complex cultural reality and extended geographical links that have always been a signal feature of Hong Kong.