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Paperback 284 pp.
black and white line drawings and halftones, 140 mm x 216 mm



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Macao: Mysterious Decay and Romance

Edited by Don Pittis and Susan J. Henders

Osmond Tiffany arrived in Macao in 1849, a hundred and fifty years before its reversion to Chinese rule, while it still enjoyed a reputation as the wickedest city in the Far East. In the first explosion of European seafaring, Macao was once considered the richest city on earth. In more recent times, living in Hong Kong's shadow, it has eked out a living in less salubrious ways.

Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, called it paradise. W. H. Auden, seeing it against a background of encroaching war, found it frivolous. For Saint Francis Xavier it almost became a tomb. To the father of the Chinese republic, Sun Yat-sen, it was a den of iniquity.

This collection tells of gangsters, pirates, priests, gamblers, lovers, poets, and painters, who have been part of the Portuguese enclave. Macao was both central to the infamous opium and coolie trades and the heart of early attempts to convert China and Japan to Christianity. A magnet to saint and sinner, Europeans and Chinese have mingled and collided there for more than 450 years. Their stories -- some appearing in English for the first time - are told in fiction, poetry, travelogue, journalism, diary entries, and historical writing.

Readership : Visitors to China; armchair travellers; residents (especially foreign) of Macao; anyone who enjoys literary curiosities.

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Don Pittis is a BBC TV producer.

Writing History - William Kelleher Storey and Towser Jones

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