In October 1839, Britain entered the first Opium War with China. Its brutality notwithstanding, the conflict was also threaded with tragicomedy: with Victorian hypocrisy, bueraucratic fumblings, military missteps, political opportunism and collaboration. Yet over the past hundred and seventy years, this strange tale of misunderstanding, incompetence and compromise has beome the founding episode of modern Chinese nationalism. 


Written by Julia Lovell

The Opium War - Drugs, Dreams and the making of China