Scarr, Deryck 1939-

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Scarr, Deryck 1939-

(Deryck Antony Scarr)

PERSONAL: Born September 7, 1939, in Newbury, Berkshire, England; son of Denis Wilfred (a civil servant) and Alberta Keturah Scarr. Education: University of Exeter, B.A., 1961; Australian National University, Ph.D., 1965.

ADDRESSES: Home—Macquarie, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Australian National University, Canberra, research fellow, 1964-68, fellow, 1968-71, senior fellow in Pacific history, 1971-97. University of Adelaide, visiting senior lecturer, 1980, 1989. Member of editorial board, Journal of Pacific History, 1966—.


Fragments of Empire: A History of the Western Pacific High Commission, 1877-1914, Australian National University Press (Canberra, Australia), 1967.

(Editor and author of introduction) William E. Giles, A Cruize in a Queensland Labour Vessel to the South Seas, Australian National University Press (Canberra, Australia), 1968.

(Editor, with James W. Davidson, and contributor) Pacific Islands Portraits, Australian National University Press (Canberra, Australia), 1970.

The Majesty of Colour: A Life of Sir John Bates Thurston, Australian National University Press (Canberra, Australia), Volume 1: I, the Very Bayonet, 1973, Volume 2: Viceroy of the Pacific, 1980.

(Editor) More Pacific Islands Portraits, Australian National University Press (Canberra, Australia), 1979.

Ratu Sukuna: Soldier, Statesman, Man of Two Worlds, Macmillan (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 1980.

Fiji, the Three-Legged Stool: Selected Writings of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna, Macmillan (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England), 1982.

Fiji: A Short History, Brigham Young University—Hawaii Campus (Laie, HI), 1984.

Fiji—The Politics of Illusion: The Military Coups in Fiji, University of New South Wales Press (Kensington, New South Wales, Australia), 1988.

The History of the Pacific Islands: Kingdoms of the Reefs, Macmillan of Australia (South Melbourne, Australia), 1990.

Slaving and Slavery in the Indian Ocean, St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with Niel Gunson and Jennifer Terrell) Echoes of Pacific War, Target Oceania (Canberra, Australia), 1998.

Seychelles since 1770: History of a Slave and Post-Slavery Society, Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ), 1999.

A History of the Pacific Islands: Passages through Tropical Time, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, HI), 2001.

Contributor to history journals. Journal of Pacific History, coeditor and review editor, 1966-85, editor, 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: Deryck Scarr once told CA: “I write because it is both my profession and my passion to do so—a form of vicarious living, admittedly. Since, at one level, life can be in a manner so lived, it may as well be in places which, in another age, I might have chosen for their vigor, color, ethnic diversity, seafaring cultures, and good or at least warm climate, such as the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

“These I came to imaginatively in the beginning as a child, through Ballantyne and Stevenson; then largely by chance, professionally, as a graduate student working on large and largely untouched archival resources in Fiji and elsewhere in preference to remaining in Britain on a study of sixteenth-century Plymouth; and then, in the case of Seychelles, by invitation. In these places I can enjoy, travel apart, the processes of research and of writing while being surrounded by worlds different but not totally estranged from those with which I am concerned in the mind.

“When the matter is as newly discovered as it is immediate and compelling, as has generally been the case in my career—good; when by chance it may elucidate some current question or bear upon some myth being concocted for political purposes—not too bad, either. The chase is always the spur, and the accurate, evocative conveying to paper is the great pain and pleasure.”



American Historical Review, October, 1985, K.R. Howe, review of Fiji: A Short History, p. 1000.

Times Literary Supplement, April 27, 1984, Michael Richards, review of Ratu Sukuna: Soldier, Statesman, Man of Two Worlds and Fiji, the Three-Legged Stool: Selected Writings of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.*