Charles Ralph Boxer

Portrait of Charles Ralph  Boxer

C.R. Boxer (8 March 1904, Isle of Wight-27 Apr. 2000, St. Albans, GB), legendary Far East researcher and scholar, was the chief of British Military Intelligence services in Hong Kong during WWII.

His interest in Dutch and Portuguese maritime expeditions during the XV and XVI centuries led him to the discovery of an unpublished chapter in the monumental chronicle "Decada da Asia", from Portuguese author Diogo do Couto: the description of Angkor Wat by a Franciscan priest in 1551, one of the oldest and most developed Western documents related to Angkor.

Professor at King's College, London, granted honorary doctorates in Lisbon, Utrecht and Taiwan, C.R. Boxer was banned from entering Portugal by dictator Salazar after publishing his Race Relations in Portuguese Colonial Empire 1415-1825 in 1963. Later on, however, he was granted the highest Portuguese distinction, the Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique.

Boxer has compiled the famous "Boxer Codex", one of the richest collections of written sources on the Ancient Far East. He is also known for his affair with American journalist Hillary Hahn (1905-1997), whom he married in 1945. A prolific contributor to The New Yorker, Hillary Hahn published some 50 travel and history books, including Raffles of Singapore.

See the C.R. Boxer's bibliography compiled by S. George West in 1984 (Portuguese Studies, vol 17, 2001).