However, the Warlike party did not get its way entirely. Another group of British merchants known in Canton as the ‘Pacific party’ opposed the war. In Britain, the anti-war movement gave the conflict its infamous name, the ‘Opium War’, which has stuck ever since. Using materials housed in the National Archives, UK, the First Historical Archives of China, the National Palace Museum, the British Library, SOAS Library, and Cambridge University Library, this meticulously researched and lucid volume is a new history of the cause of the First Opium War.
—John Y. Wong, emeritus professor, University of Sydney; author of Deadly Dreams: Opium and the Arrow War (1856–1860) in China
‘War is often not just the clash of arms, but the conflict of different ways of knowing and seeing. Song-Chuan Chen’s powerful new book examines the way in which British colonial knowledge of China was constructed. In doing so, he provides important new insights into empire, power, and violence during the era of the Opium War.’
—Rana Mitter, professor, University of Oxford; author of China’s War with Japan, 1937–45: The Struggle for Survival