by The Royal Asiatic Society
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, China Branch, 2018 edition. Featuring articles and research on a wide range of topics related to China’s modern history and society.
by Frances Wood
Lord Macartney’s mission to open up China in 1792 failed, but it did give the Western world its first glimpse of the secretive Middle Kingdom, through the memoirs written by eight different members of the embassy. But the most lively and accessible of the books was that written by Aeneas Anderson, Lord Macartney’s valet. China scholar Frances Wood introduces Anderson’s account of the two-year adventure, which make clear that the valet was seeing far more of China than his master was. His descriptions of life in China and Manchuria in the late 18th century are a hugely valuable and very readable resource, and Frances Wood is as insightful as always.
“Essential reading for anyone interested in the foreign intervention in China at the end of its imperial era. The leading historian of China, Frances Wood has done a great service by producing a republication of the diary of the least prestigious member of the delegation, Aeneas Anderson.” — Prof David S G Goodman, Professor of China Studies, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and the University of Sydney.
by Les Bird
Les Bird joined the Hong Kong Marine Police in 1976, and saw the last years of the hard-working, hard-drinking colonial policemen handing out rough justice in the World of Suzie Wong. He was one of a handful of senior officers dealing with sensitive issues including refugees fleeing Vietnam and the smuggling of guns, drugs and people to or from Communist China in the leadup to the handover of the colony back to China in 1997.
Filled with gripping stories spanning twenty years, A Small Band of Men follows Bird and his mentor, “Diamond” Don Bishop, an eccentric officer whose volatile temper and larger-than-life personality was a major influence in Bird’s career. Supported by his second-in-command, Joe Poon, Bird gained the trust of his band of men to such an extent that they followed him into danger, even at the risk of their own lives.
“A major achievement, really funny, terrifying in places and very moving. Together with its colourful characters, I found myself wandering aimlessly in the Messes and on the vessels and in the girlie-bars of that wonderful era – so brilliantly recreated here. This is a damned good book.” — Bruce Venables, author of Time of the Dragons
By Isabella Bird
Chinese Pictures is a loving reproduction of the photograph collection first published by the intrepid traveller Isabella Bird in 1900. The images were all taken by Isabella on her long travels in China in the late 1890s, and provide a unique record of different aspects of China in that era, just before the Boxer Rebellion and its aftermath unleashed far-reaching changes.
“Isabella Bird was a master travel writer, but also an early fan of photography and these pictures are unique.” – Gareth Powell, writer and publisher.
by Graeme Sheppard
The brutal murder of 19-year-old Pamela Werner in the city of Peking one night in January 1937 shocked the world, but the police never found or named the murderer. A best-selling book, Midnight in Peking, declared the murderer to be an American dentist, but English policeman Graeme Sheppard, 30 years with the British police, decided that conclusion was flawed, and spent years investigating all aspects of the case and came up with an entirely different conclusion. So who did it? Who killed Pamela?
Born and raised in London, Graeme Sheppard is a retired police officer with thirty years’ service with the Metropolitan Police and in the Northeast of England. He received several commendations for crime detection, and his policing experience included a wide range of locations including London’s West End, rural villages and inner-city housing estates. His enthusiasm for history and eager eye for evidence has resulted in articles published in History Today. Other interests include paleoanthropology, physical fitness and playing the classical guitar. He now lives and writes in Hampshire, UK.