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Fortune's Bazaar

On sale

6th June 2024

Price: £12.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472157133

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‘Vivid, atmospheric, packed with brilliant story-telling’ – Humphrey Hawksley, former BBC Beijing, Hong Kong and Asia Correspondent

‘[An] entertaining guide, rich in anecdote and understanding for an early globalised world that has gone’ – Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times


‘Illuminating’ – Thomas Dyja, New York Times Book Review


A timely, well-researched, and vibrant new history of Hong Kong that reveals the untold stories of the diverse peoples who have made it a multicultural world metropolis-and whose freedoms are endangered today.

Hong Kong has always been many cities to many people: a seaport, a gateway to an empire, a place where fortunes can be dramatically made or lost. A British Crown Colony for 155 years, Hong Kong is now ruled by the Chinese Communist Party who continues to threaten its democracy and put its rich legacy at risk. Here, renowned journalist Vaudine England delves into Hong Kong’s complex history and its people-diverse, multi-cultural, cosmopolitan-who have made this one-time fishing village into the world port city it is today.

Rather than a traditional history describing a town led by British Governors or a mere offshoot of a collapsing Chinese empire, Fortune’s Bazaar is the first thorough examination of the varied peoples who made Hong Kong. Many of Hong Kong’s most influential figures during its first century as a city were neither British nor Chinese – they were Malay or Indian, Jewish or Armenian, Parsi or Portuguese, Eurasian or Chindian – or simply, Hong Kongers. England describes those overlooked in history including the opium-traders who built synagogues or churches, ship-owners carrying gold-rush migrants, property tycoons, and more.

A story of empire, race, and sex, Fortune’s Bazaar combines deep archival research and oral history to present a vivid history of a special place-a unique city made by diverse people of the world, whose part in its creation has never been properly told until now.

Reviews

Adi Ignatius, former Wall Street Journal Bureau Chief in Beijing
At last: a lively and carefully researched page turner about the individuals and social forces that have made Hong Kong the dynamic (and quirky) place it is
Humphrey Hawksley, former BBC Beijing, Hong Kong and Asia Correspondent
Vivid, atmospheric, packed with brilliant story-telling, Vaudine England brings to life the boiling pot of race, culture and ambition that made Hong Kong one of the world's great cities. Within its compelling read, Fortune's Bazaar boldly explodes the myth that Hong Kong is 'just another Chinese city.' Not at all, England gives us the story of the visionary, deal-making, itinerant Eurasian elite who created this unique, international place that is Hong Kong
Richard Hornik, former TIME bureau chief in Beijing and Hong Kong
If you love Hong Kong and have lost her, as have I, Vaudine England's marvellous account of the "in-between people," who made it the remarkable place it was, will fill you with wonder, understanding and a sadness for a place - and an idea - that no longer exists
Ian Buruma
As a history of Hongkong, not just as a British colony, or an exotic Chinese enclave, but as a cosmopolitan city of many creeds and races, Asian and European, Vaudine England's book is unsurpassed. Her take on the so-called Eurasians, who have played such a large part in Hongkong's history, is fresh and essential to a better understanding of this unique place
Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books
To call a history 'rollicking' may indicate that it isn't serious, but Fortune's Bazaar is both. Vaudine England's well-written take on the historical record is likely to delight anyone who loves Hong Kong
Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal
In Fortune's Bazaar, Vaudine England examines [Hong Kongers], these 'in-between people,' as she calls them, and their often overlooked role in the development of Hong Kong into a cosmopolitan, world-class city. [With] impressive research, Fortune's Bazaar is less a straightforward narrative than a history told through the stories of Eurasians and other mixed-culture residents. The reader will be rewarded with an enhanced understanding of what it means to be a Hong Konger
Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times
A vivid, entertaining guide, rich in anecdote and understanding for an early globalised world that has gone
Thomas Dyja, New York Times Book Review
In Fortune's Bazaar, Vaudine England rejects a tale-of-two-cities approach to the history of Hong Kong's colonization and this is what makes it so illuminating... [Fortune's Bazaar] offers lively, confounding and sometimes even inspiring stories about Eurasians and others, show[ing] that cities are constructed not from zero-sum games and political theory, but from generations of human interactions that defy us-and-them formulas