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A Dance with the Dragon: The Vanished World of Peking's Foreign Colony

A Dance with the Dragon: The Vanished World of Peking's Foreign Colony
Julia Boyd

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With its fossil hunters and philosophers, diplomats, dropouts, writers and explorers, missionaries and refugees, Peking's foreign community in the early 20th century was as exotic as the city itself. Always a magnet for larger than life individuals, Peking attracted characters as diverse as Reginald Johnston (tutor to the last emperor), Bertrand Russell, Pierre Loti, Rabrindranath Tagore, Sven Hedin, Peter Fleming, Wallis Simpson and Cecil Lewis. The last great capital to remain untouched by the modern world, Peking both entranced and horrified its foreign residents. Ignoring the poverty outside their gates, they danced, played and squabbled among themselves, oblivious to the great political events that were to shape modern China unfolding around them. This is a dazzling portrait of an eclectic foreign community and of China itself.

Author Info

Julia Boyd is the author of 'Hannah Riddell, An Englishwoman in Japan' and 'The Excellent Doctor Blackwell'. She has travelled frequently to China.


'Boyd’s volume stands alone as a valuable history of our foreign predecessors, but also offers a healthy reminder of the responsibilities incumbent upon those who make China their home.’
Asian Review of Books

'...with its fresh insights into this historic non-meeting of minds, [A Dance With the Dragon]appears at an opportune moment.’
Literary Review

'It is as much a glimpse of a corner of the fashionable intellectual life of Europe and America in exile as it is a guide to the vanished world of Peking itself.'
Asian Affairs

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780760520
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 228
Width: 155
Illustrations: 2x8pp bw plates, 3 maps

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