Catalogue


Décadence Mandchoue : the China memoirs of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse /
edited and introduced by Derek Sandhaus.
imprint
Hong Kong : Earnshaw Books, 2011.
description
xxx, 297 p. : ports., facsims. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9789881944511, 9881944511
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Hong Kong : Earnshaw Books, 2011.
isbn
9789881944511
9881944511
standard identifier
3801390
abstract
"In 1898 a young Englishman walked into a homosexual brothel in Peking and began a journey that, as he claims, took him all the way to the bedchamber of imperial China's last great ruler, the Empress Dowager. Published now for the first time, the controversial memoir of sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse provides a unique and shocking glimpse into the hidden world of China's imperial palace with its rampant corruption, grand conspiracies and uninhibited sexuality."--Publisher's description.
language note
Text in English with some Chinese characters.
catalogue key
7825617
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A] remarkable account . . . " -- South China Morning Post(April 3, 2011)
"Derek Sandhaus has done a fantastic work in editing this text . . . . For readers interested in literature (notably travel literature) on the one hand and sexuality on the other, its value is obvious and indisputable." --Vincent Goosaert, adjunct professor of religious and cultural studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
"Fascinating. A unique witness to history . . . sensational and salacious." -- Asia Sentinel(April 5, 2011)
"Few in [Sir Edmund Backhouse's] time wrote so brazenly . . . about surging homosexual desire and its unbridled practice in such an exotic setting. This edition makes available to readers, for the first time, a little gem of English erotic literature from the pen of a very queer Englishman abroad." --Robert Aldrich, professor of European history, University of Sydney
"In retrospect, the cultural transgressiveness of Sir Edmund seems to me much more worthy of appreciation than his sexual unconventionality." --T. H. Barrett, professor of East Asian history, University of London
"In retrospect, the cultural transgressiveness of Sir Edmund seems to me much more worthy of appreciation than his sexual unconventionality." --T.H. Barrett, professor of East Asian History, University of London
"One of the most outrageous, colourful and hilarious memoirs ever written." --Frank Dikotter, chair of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and author, Mao's Great Famine
"One of the most outrageous, colourful and hilarious memoirs ever written." --Frank Dikotter, chair of humanities, University of Hong Kong, and author, Mao's Great Famine
"Outrageous . . . Backhouse's memoirs remain historically highly controversial." -- Daily Telegraph(April 1, 2011)
"Though Backhouse's credibility must certainly be challenged, does this mean that we discard all of Décadence Mandchoue automatically? His reputation as a source of Peking information has not been seriously challenged and even if he was relaying gossip, this was gossip that was taken seriously." -Frances Wood, Chinese curator, British Library
"Though Backhouse's credibility must certainly be challenged, does this mean that we discard all of Decadence Mandchoue automatically? His reputation as a source of Peking information has not been seriously challenged and even if he was relaying gossip, this was gossip that was taken seriously." --Frances Wood, Chinese curator, British Library
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Summaries
Main Description
In 1898 a young 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. Published now for the first time, the controversial memoirs of Sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse provide a unique and shocking glimpse into the hidden world of China's imperial palace, with its rampant corruption, grand conspiracies, and uninhibited sexuality. Backhouse was made notorious by Hugh Trevor-Roper's 1976 bestseller Hermit of Peking, which accused Backhouse of fraudulence and forgery. This work, written shortly before the author's death in 1943, lay for decades forgotten and unpublished in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, dismissed by Trevor-Roper as nothing more than "a pornographic novelette." But Decadence Mandchoueis much more than that. Alternately shocking and lyrical, it is the masterwork of a linguistic genius--a tremendous literary achievement and a sensational account of the inner workings of the Manchu dynasty in the years before its collapse in 1911. If true, Backhouse's chronicle completely reshapes contemporary historians' understanding of the era and provides an account of the Empress Dowager and her inner circle that can only be described as intimate.
Table of Contents
Edmund Backhouse in His Mid-Forties
Introduction By the Editorp. ix
Notes on the Editionp. xxvi
Acknowledgmentsp. xxxix
Décadence Mandchoue
Dedicationp. xxxiii
Foreword to the Readerp. xxxv
Introductory Mottoesp. xxxvii
Peking Interludep. 1
The Beginning of a Timep. 20
His Excellency Junglup. 41
Summer Palace Nocturnep. 59
Eunuch Diversionsp. 75
The Hammam and the Intrusionp. 95
Under the Mulberry Bushp. 112
The Vampire Princep. 125
The Fire from Heavenp. 135
Le Cabinet Secret de la Viep. 148
A Hair-Breadth Escapep. 158
The Mantle of Cagliostrop. 168
The Letter and the Judgmentp. 181
The Demon-Ridden Eunuchp. 196
The White Cloud Templep. 214
Her Last Autumn Picnicp. 223
Their Mortal Hourp. 240
The Desecrated Mausoleap. 256
A Retrospect of Diviner Hoursp. 262
Appendix
Postscriptp. 277
Specimens of the Original Manuscriptsp. 294
The Author in the Early Nineteen-Fortiesp. 296
The Author on His Deathbedp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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