A personal message from the author:

My great, great grandfather was the inspiration for this book. Without him, none of this would have been possible. He worked as a British merchant trader in Taiwan in the late 1800's and kept a journal of his experiences which my family kept. I then spent seven years researching the period and writing this book, including time spent in the Alishan mountains with a tea farmer who was most helpful in providing me with a local Taiwanese perspective of this turbulent time.

— Chris Lines

Taipei, 1895. James Burnaby, a down-on-his-luck, ex-barrow boy from the East End of London is trying to make a living as a tea trader in the far-off land of Formosa (Taiwan).

He is faced with numerous challenges, however, chief among them navigating the tricky waters of the alien world around him and the well-heeled British trading elite who view his sudden arrival on the island ten years ago with immense suspicion.

Just as it seems his fortunes are going to take a turn for the better, the new life he has created for himself is thrown into chaos as the Sino-Japanese War threatens to land directly on his doorstep.

Unsure if he should stay on the island or seek refuge in the British colony of Hong Kong, the line between Burnaby's troubled past and present begins to blur ever more in this humourous and touching tale of redemption, struggle for acceptance and clash of civilisations.


Read online The Barbarian Who Stayed For Tea by Chris Lines

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