Gunboat Justice

Douglas Clark

Foreign gunboats forced China, Japan and Korea to open to the outside world in the mid-19th century. The treaties signed included rules forbidding local courts from trying foreigners; or, “extraterritoriality”. Britain and the United States established consular courts in all three countries and, as trade grew, the British Supreme Court for China and Japan and the United States Court for China

Manchu Decadence

The China Memoirs of Edmund Backhouse, abridged and unexpurgated

In 1898 a young Englishman walked into a homosexual brothel in Peking and began a journey that he claims took him all the way to the bedchamber of imperial China's last great ruler, the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi

Under Thunderous Skies

Miodrag Kojadinović

A girl in Shanghai in high-heels holds a doomed rabbit at the bequest of a client in Germany. The consul of the Austro Hungarian empire in  Canton talks with his mistress about their future of their son. A Chinese man cleans up the fingerprints around his English boyfriend’s body in an apartment in Macao. These unusual and intriguing stories of interactions between Chinese and non Chinese are the work of Author Miodrag Kojadinović, born in Serbia and for eight years a teacher of English in a remote corner of China.

China and the Chinese

Herbert Allen Giles

Herbert Giles was one of the most prominent Sinologists of the late 19th century and early 20th century and this book was in its era one of the best-selling and most authoritative books on the topic. Originally published in 1902, Giles’commentary, based on six lectures delivered at Columbia University in New York, still have a value for anyone trying to figure out the conundrum that is China.

Sixty-four Chance Pieces

A Cycle of Stories from the I Ching - The Book of Changes

The Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes, is one of the oldest and strangest of all books, a masterpiece of world literature, a divination manual and a magnet for the deranged and the obsessive. In Sixty-Four Chance Pieces, novelist and philosopher Will Buckingham puts the I Ching to work, using it to weave together sixty-four stories of chance and change, each flowing from one of the I Ching’s 64 hexagrams.

Tea on the Great Wall

An American Girl in War-Torn China. By Patricia Luce Chapman

“Shirley Temple” in Wonderland meets Chinese opium addicts, Nazis, and Japanese bayonets. China in the 1930s and a young American girl is an eye-witness as the world falls apart. Patricia Luce Chapman’s memoir is full of the color and feel of living as a foreigner in a Chinese world, the encroachment of the Japanese, the takeover by the Nazis of the German school in Shanghai which she attended. This book more than any other brings to life the era and the link through to today.

A True Friend to China

The Friends Ambulance Unit ‘China Convoy’, 1945-1951. By Andrew Hicks

China in the late 1940s was another world, an ancient society still in the grips of feudalism, desperately poor and in need of modernisation. There are many formal histories of those pivotal and turbulent times but Jack Jones is among the few foreigners to have written contemporary accounts of day-to-day life there. Together with his fellow members of the Friends Ambulance Unit ‘China Convoy’, his long struggle to bring medical supplies and services to the poorest regions of China is vividly evoked in this book.

Willow Pattern Walkabout

By Kirwan Ward and Paul Rigby. With a New Foreword by Graham Earnshaw

Unexpectedly in 1958, an irreverent British journalist and Australian cartoonist duo were granted visas to visit Communist China at its most closed and inscrutable. They went, the saw, and they produced one of the great classics of China books, Willow Pattern Walkabout, a unique and sadly forgotten book, now resurrected.

Two Years in the Forbidden City

By Princess Der Ling. With a New Foreword by Graham Earnshaw

For two years, Der Ling was the favorite lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager Cixi in the imperial palace in Beijing. This book provides a unique and surprisingly intimate portrait of the Dragon Lady, who ruled China for 47 years, and brought the country to the brink of destruction.

Hong Kong Policeman

Law, life and death on the streets of Hong Kong. An English police inspector tells it as it was. By Chris Emmett

Hong Kong in 1970 was the fastest expanding city in the world, a city that lived on three levels - the expatriates, nearly always British who lived in almost complete isolation; the vast mass of Chinese residents struggling to get by and improve their lot; and finally the criminal and corrupt underside which not only fought among itself but also affected the life of everyone else in the Crown Colony through fear and corruption. Fighting to hold this in check – and by and large succeeding – were the Hong Kong police force. At the officer level, many were British.

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed