Paul French

Latest from Paul French

Review | China’s Good War: Rana Mitter explores how national – and nationalist – narratives shape history

Director of the China Centre at Oxford University Rana Mitter explores the way that China’s World War II narrative has changed over time.

5 Sep 2020 - 6:05AM

Director of the China Centre at Oxford University Rana Mitter explores the way that China’s World War II narrative has changed over time.

China’s Good War: Rana Mitter explores how national – and nationalist – narratives shape history
Forget 2020. For Hong Kong, 1937 was the year from hell

How an autumn of crises in the 1930s left Hong Kong battered and bruised but not broken.

9 Aug 2020 - 10:41AM

How an autumn of crises in the 1930s left Hong Kong battered and bruised but not broken.

Forget 2020. For Hong Kong, 1937 was the year from hell
Review | The Last Kings of Shanghai is a history of the Sassoons and Kadoories, two powerful Jewish families who helped shape China

Author Jonathan Kaufman vividly recounts the rise, and the missteps, of the phenomenally successful Sassoon and Kadoorie dynasties, who followed the British from India to Shanghai and Hong Kong.

16 Jul 2020 - 10:05AM

Author Jonathan Kaufman vividly recounts the rise, and the missteps, of the phenomenally successful Sassoon and Kadoorie dynasties, who followed the British from India to Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The Last Kings of Shanghai is a history of the Sassoons and Kadoories, two powerful Jewish families who helped shape China
Review | The story of Swire, British ‘hong’ in Hong Kong: a tale of empire, enterprise and family feuds

Robert Bickers’ history of the global company built by John Swire, China Bound: John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816-1980, is not your average corporate compendium.

28 Mar 2020 - 6:17PM

Robert Bickers’ history of the global company built by John Swire, China Bound: John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816-1980, is not your average corporate compendium.

The story of Swire, British ‘hong’ in Hong Kong: a tale of empire, enterprise and family feuds
China’s plight under Japanese occupation – how artist Martha Sawyers drew America’s attention to it

Martha Sawyers eschewed pre-war tropes of other Western artists depicting Chinese people as weak and backward.

2 Sep 2020 - 1:48PM

Martha Sawyers eschewed pre-war tropes of other Western artists depicting Chinese people as weak and backward.

China’s plight under Japanese occupation – how artist Martha Sawyers drew America’s attention to it
Did Japan really offer Portugal US$100 million for Macau in 1935?

The Portuguese colony’s potential as a hub for transpacific flights came to light in the 1930s – as did a mystery bid to buy it outright.

8 Feb 2020 - 2:32PM

The Portuguese colony’s potential as a hub for transpacific flights came to light in the 1930s – as did a mystery bid to buy it outright.

Did Japan really offer Portugal US$100 million for Macau in 1935?
Christmas in Peking’s foreign colony: ice skating and overindulgence but no turkey

While the local population was busy preparing for Lunar New Year, the community in the city’s Legation Quarter feted the festive period in style.

14 Dec 2019 - 6:34AM

While the local population was busy preparing for Lunar New Year, the community in the city’s Legation Quarter feted the festive period in style.

Christmas in Peking’s foreign colony: ice skating and overindulgence but no turkey
American hunter who hastened demise of the South China tiger, and how Mao’s assault on nature finished it off

William Lord Smith and trophy hunters like him pushed the big cat towards extinction in China and Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century; he wrote a self-regarding memoir that glorified in the slaughter.

9 Nov 2019 - 4:21PM

William Lord Smith and trophy hunters like him pushed the big cat towards extinction in China and Southeast Asia in the first half of the 20th century; he wrote a self-regarding memoir that glorified in the slaughter.

American hunter who hastened demise of the South China tiger, and how Mao’s assault on nature finished it off
Review | Beijing Payback: Daniel Nieh paints a picture-perfect portrait of the Chinese capital’s gritty underbelly

Murder mystery turned revenge tragedy moves from the comfy confines of California to the gritty city.

15 Aug 2019 - 8:34PM

Murder mystery turned revenge tragedy moves from the comfy confines of California to the gritty city.

Beijing Payback: Daniel Nieh paints a picture-perfect portrait of the Chinese capital’s gritty underbelly
Review | Stalin’s superspy in China and Japan: champagne Communist Richard Sorge seen in a new light in An Impeccable Spy

Despite more than 100 books about him, Soviet secret agent Richard Sorge has remained an enigma. In new biography An Impeccable Spy, Owen Matthew sheds fresh light on a dedicated Bolshevik who loved wine, women and song.

14 Jun 2019 - 2:27AM

Despite more than 100 books about him, Soviet secret agent Richard Sorge has remained an enigma. In new biography An Impeccable Spy, Owen Matthew sheds fresh light on a dedicated Bolshevik who loved wine, women and song.

Stalin’s superspy in China and Japan: champagne Communist Richard Sorge seen in a new light in An Impeccable Spy
The last king of Xinjiang: how Bertram Sheldrake went from condiment heir to Muslim monarch

Bertram Sheldrake converted to Islam at the age of 15 and spent much of his fortune promoting the religion in Britain. His efforts brought him an invitation from leaders of a newly proclaimed Muslim nation in China’s far west.

4 Mar 2019 - 6:23PM

Bertram Sheldrake converted to Islam at the age of 15 and spent much of his fortune promoting the religion in Britain. His efforts brought him an invitation from leaders of a newly proclaimed Muslim nation in China’s far west.

The last king of Xinjiang: how Bertram Sheldrake went from condiment heir to Muslim monarch
How Chinese bandits’ kidnapping of a blond British bride and her pet dogs became a global news story

During the 41-day ordeal the 19-year-old Muriel ‘Tinko’ Pawley suffered ‘beastly boredom’, threatened to haunt her captors and demanded lipstick. Evelyn Waugh, fascinated by her fate, wrote a short story based on the incident.

10 Jan 2019 - 3:54PM

During the 41-day ordeal the 19-year-old Muriel ‘Tinko’ Pawley suffered ‘beastly boredom’, threatened to haunt her captors and demanded lipstick. Evelyn Waugh, fascinated by her fate, wrote a short story based on the incident.

How Chinese bandits’ kidnapping of a blond British bride and her pet dogs became a global news story
What authors from Kipling to Hemingway and Auden made of Hong Kong, good and bad

‘Asia’s world city’ long attracted some of the globe’s most celebrated writers, from Rudyard Kipling and Noël Coward to Ernest Hemingway and Ian Fleming. Author Paul French recalls what they said, good and bad, about Hong Kong.

12 Nov 2018 - 10:27AM

‘Asia’s world city’ long attracted some of the globe’s most celebrated writers, from Rudyard Kipling and Noël Coward to Ernest Hemingway and Ian Fleming. Author Paul French recalls what they said, good and bad, about Hong Kong.

What authors from Kipling to Hemingway and Auden made of Hong Kong, good and bad
Broken in the Badlands

The murder and mutilation of a pretty young blond woman in 1937 Peking left a long-forgotten paper trail, recently uncovered by author Paul French, that reveals the sad, sorry tale of mysterious gun for hire Pinfold.

23 Nov 2013 - 11:18PM

The murder and mutilation of a pretty young blond woman in 1937 Peking left a long-forgotten paper trail, recently uncovered by author Paul French, that reveals the sad, sorry tale of mysterious gun for hire Pinfold.

Broken in the Badlands
In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India