Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hawaiʻi historian David Forbes brought Queen Liliʻuokalani to life through her journal entries

Catherine Cruz
David Forbes in 2020

Respected Hawaiʻi historian and author David Forbes died at the end of January, Honolulu Civil Beat’s Denby Fawcett wrote in a column Tuesday. He was 80, just about to turn 81.

Right before the pandemic, The Conversation sat with Forbes as he combed through boxes of photos for one of the many books he was writing. He had just published "The Diaries of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, 1885-1900."

About 125 years later, the diaries provide a slice of life as a royal. The entries range from the mundane to the mood of the politics during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Speaking to The Conversation, Forbes detailed the significance of “roast pig” on the menu and more.

The book was distributed by the University of Hawaiʻi Press. This interview aired on The Conversation on Feb. 8, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
Related Stories