A Summer of Anniversaries

In the heady early months of the Opium War (1840-1842), British Admiral George Elliot had captured the Qing forts at Humen. Later, on January 15, 1841, George’s cousin, Charles, who

The Electric Camel

Workers who support society are both hated and loved. Do they help or get in the way? One thing’s for sure, society needs these hardworking individuals. They disrupt traffic as

Forever Repeating the Past

Thousands of years of making one mistake after another and we’ll probably continue that way ad infinitum. Isn’t it nice when we learn from history? The year was 1882. Populist

The Religion of Opiates

He arrived in Guangdong carrying Bibles on a ship that was seeking new markets for the opium trade. He remained a man of God, they say. Who can tell? Karl

The Great Chinese Tea Theft

Imagine Indiana Jones, but if Indy had been a gardener, rather than an eminent archaeologist. Meet Robert Fortune, the man the British East India Company hired to steal tea from

The Pirate Queen of the China Seas

It’s often said that behind every great man is a great woman, but what happens when the woman is cunning, lethal and blood thirsty? Well, the great man disappears and

Re-repeating History’s Mistakes

Far too often, humans are reminded of historic parallels to current crises that could have been avoided. War is repetitive, but is it necessary? The past may just be the

PRD’s Most Famous Sun Turns 150

It’s not every day that we celebrate the birth of a critical leader who created the basis for a new country. not long ago, China was reeling, waiting for a

Remembering The Arrow

October marks the 160th anniversary of the Arrow Incident which decisively led to the Second Opium War and the sacking of Guangzhou. The Arrow was a lorcha, a ship with

From Guangdong to Yale

What began as a grinding start to life, led to an incredible rush of experience. Indeed, we all hope for heroics and adventure. The sooner we stop dreaming to live,