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Hermit of Peking
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The arrival of an unpublished memoir offering up a scandalous version of the hitherto blameless public life of the revered oriental scholar, Sir Edmund Backhouse, sets Hugh Trevor-Roper on the trail of an outrageous confidence trickster. One of the great detective stories of our age, told with a pace and an infectious delight in the process of historical research, “The Hermit of Peking” would have made an outrageously imaginative work of fiction but for the fact that it is all true. Trevor-Roper unearths scholars with bizarre sexual fantasies, eunuchs, rare manuscripts and a malicious dowager Queen, and sets them all against the backdrop of a decadent and intrigue-ridden Imperial Court.
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