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- DescriptionIn 1898 an Englishman walked into a homosexual brothel in Peking and began a journey that he claims took him all the way to the bedchamber of imperial China's last great ruler, the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi. The man was Edmund Backhouse, and his controversial memoirs, Decadence Mandchoue, were published for the first time by Earnshaw Books in 2011. This edition, renamed Manchu Decadence, is abridged and unexpurgated, meaning that it focuses on the most extraordinary and valuable elements of Backhouse's narrative. Backhouse's book provides a unique and shocking glimpse into the hidden world of China's imperial palace, with its rampant corruption, grand conspiracies and uninhibited sexuality. This book, written shortly before the author's death, lay for decades forgotten in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Shocking, lyrical and highly controversial, it is the masterwork of a linguistic genius, a tremendous literary achievement as well as a sensational account of the inner workings of the Manchu court.
- Author BiographySir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse (1873-1944), Baronet, arrived in Peking in 1898 and quickly became the city s most respected translator, working for both the British Foreign Service and correspondent of the London Times George Morrison. He was co-author, with J.O.P. Bland, on China under the Empress Dowager (1910) and Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (1914). Considered a brilliant linguist and Chinese scholar in his day, and the subject of great controversy in the time since, Backhouse s reputation was posthumously tarnished when it was discovered that much of his work was based upon forged documents and false pretenses. His precise role in the alleged deceptions remains one of the great puzzles of Chinese scholarship. Derek Sandhaus is a China scholar and the author of Tales of Old Hong Kong and Tales of Old Peking.
- Author(s)Edmund Backhouse
- PublisherEarnshaw Books Limited
- Date of Publication28/02/2017
- SubjectAutobiography: General
- Place of PublicationHong Kong
- Country of PublicationHong Kong
- ImprintEarnshaw Books Limited
- Weight476 g
- Width145 mm
- Height210 mm
- Spine28 mm
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