I have written before about Professor Robert Bickers's excellent book The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 (Allen Lane, 2011). In it Robert tells the epic story of opium wars, conquest and rebellion in the last years of the Qing imperial dynasty and the European colonial 'scramble' for China.
Robert's lecture for us moves on to the First World War. Nearly 200 Britons, resident in China in 1914, died in service during the war. Hundreds more joined the colours. Robert, who is Professor of History at the University of Bristol, will explore the experience at home in Shanghai, and on active service, of the Shanghai British community. He will show how difficult it proved cleanly to break apart the pragmatic alliances forged by the British and Germans in China.
Our visits to the archives and library of Downside Abbey have been enjoyed greatly by those members who have attended. A third visit will take place on Thursday 5 November. Please contact me if you are interested in joining it.
Mike Short (01225 812945)