Tientsin in north-eastern China was known as 'The Ford of Heaven' as it gave travellers access to the Celestial City of Peking and the Emperor of Heaven eighty miles to the west. It was also a 'concession port' in the 1920s and 1930s, occupied by the foreign powers of Britain, France, Russia, America and Japan in the wake of the Opium War of 1860. This memoir evokes a childhood spent in this strange and exotic place. The world that Power evokes is a microcosm of the complexity and ferment that was China before the Second World War, yet seen through the fresh eyes of a sensitive child attuned to the people around him. This new edition of The Ford of Heaven (first published in 1984) contains a new foreword by Frances Wood, Curator of the British Library's Chinese Collection, as well as a postscript and inclusion of extensive additional material.
About the Author
Brian Power was born in Tientsin in 1918 before moving to Britain. He is the author of The Puppet Emperor (1986), the story of the last Chinese Emperor.
"An unusual and charming book. I warmly recommend it." Eric Newby
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