April 27, 2023

S3-E10 - Lord of Formosa - Part Two: Coyett VS. Koxinga

S3-E10 - Lord of Formosa - Part Two: Coyett VS. Koxinga

Joyce Bergvelt's book Lord of Formosa is a novel, but she's an author who has extensively studied the Dutch colonial period and the main characters involved. Lord of Formosa, therefore, might be closer to a history book than fiction. Listen to John speak with Joyce as they discuss the complicated, brash, and violent personality of Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功) and hear the details of how this pirate-warlord Ming loyalist clashed with Frederick Coyett, the Dutch governor of Formosa (who was actually Swedish).

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge
RadioPublic podcast player badge
PocketCasts podcast player badge

Cover left: An illustration of the Dutch (the VOC), leaving Fort Zeelandia in 1662 after a nine-month siege by Ming Dynasty loyalist Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功) via Wikimedia Commons. Right: The cover of Joyce Bergvelt's book, Lord of Formosa (which is now available in Chinese).

Below: An illustration showing the key moments in Koxinga's life, from the Zheng Chenggong Memorial Museum, located at his birthplace in Hirado, Japan. 

Below: A map shows the areas of China Koxinga's forces were active in as they tried to keep alive the dream of overthrowing the Qing and restoring the Ming Dynasty. Eventually, Koxinga was forced off the Chinese mainland and set up headquarters in Taiwan. Koxinga died a year after defeating the Dutch. In 1683, the Qing succeeded in defeating the heirs of Koxinga and took Taiwan into the Qing Empire. (All images below via Wikimedia Commons)

Below: A bust of Frederick Coyett, the last governor of Formosa under the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) at the Old Castle in Anping, Tainan. Coyett was a Swedish employee of the VOC, but the Dutch imprisoned him for three years and Coyett was then tried for high treason for his failure to hold Taiwan. Coyett was pardoned and exiled to the most eastern of the Banda Islands, and finally released in 1674. He died in Amsterdam in 1687, somewhere near the age of 70.