CHINESE IN BRITAIN: A History of Visitors and SettlersBARCLAY PRICE Book Number: 88076 Product format: Hardback
More than 400,000 Chinese people live in Britain today, with substantial numbers also attending British universities as well as visiting the country on business and as tourists. But, prior to this book, there has been no comprehensive history of the Chinese communities who came to this country over the last 300 years, from the first recorded visitor in 1687. Discover how Chinatown was described as a centre of opioids and gambling with tours that included staged fights where queues were shouted in Mandarin at the start of the 20th century, despite the area being a peaceful place, and learn how Cheng Tien-hsi, Chinese ambassador to Britain, tried to persuade British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, in 1949 to maintain de facto relations with the Nationalist Government of Taiwan as one of his final actions in the role after seeing the British recognition of the People's Republic of China was close. The book includes biographies of notable individuals who chose to settle in Britain, from John Hochee who arrived in Britain in 1819 and was employed by John Elphinstone as 'a secretary' but acted more as a foreman, managing the letting of other small farms that Elphinstone bought called Milkhouse Farm and Hooper Far, to Sun Yat-sen who was one of the last significant Chinese visitors to Britain before 1900 and a key figure in bringing an end to China's dynastic rule by travelling the world and sharing ideas of revolutionary change, paving the way for him to become 'the founding father of the Republic of China'. Fung Shaw opened The Nanking restaurant in London's Denmark Street after failing to get into politics, offering his back room to Sajjad Zaheer, a young Indian Marxist, in 1934 for a meeting of young Indian students and writers who would go on to form the anti-imperialist Indian Progressive Writers' Association. This history shares brilliant images, from artwork depicting Chinese figures who visited Britain such as Wang Y Tong by Joshua Reynolds in 1776 and the cover of The Mystery of Dr Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer published in 1913, to photographs of Chinese actors in Somerset Maugham's play East of Suez in 1922, the cast of Miss Wang's Diary recording at the BBC in 1960 and Chinese and British table tennis teams meeting Prime Minister Edward Heath at 10 Downing Street in 1971. This is an important and eloquent history of the experience of Chinese visitors and residents in Britain across three centuries. Black and white and colour images, 290pp.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £8.50
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