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Book Title: Twilight In The Forbidden City|
The author of the book: Reginald Fleming Johnston
Edition: Oxford University Press
Date of issue: January 28th 1988
ISBN 13: 9780192821058
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.86 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.2
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From 1919 to 1924, Reginald F. Johnston, a British colonial official, scholar, writer and great admirer of Chinese culture, served as tutor and adviser to the last emperor of China. The emperor P'u-i had abdicated his throne in 1912. However, in order to ensure a rapid and peaceful transfer of authority, he was allowed to retain his title and was permitted to remain in residence in the Forbidden City in Peking, which he did until the winter of 1924. This book, first published in 1934, is Johnston's account of that period, during which he was uniquely placed to observe the twilight years of the Ch'ing dynasty. This edition is now reprinted with the addition of an Introduction by Pamela Atwell, author of British Mandarins and Chinese Reformers: The British Administration of Weihaiwei (1989-39) and the Territory's Return to Chinese Rule.
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Read information about the authorAcademic, diplomat and tutor to the last Emperor of China. Johnston was born in the Morningside district of Edinburgh, the son of a lawyer. He entered the University of Edinburgh, but discontinued his studies there to take up a place at Magdalen College, Oxford (1894). In 1898 Johnston joined the Colonial Office and was posted to Hong Kong, becoming a District Officer in China. Johnston became famous as the tutor to Pu Yi, the Last Emperor of China and as the first foreigner to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing. In 1919, Johnston elected to take on the teaching of the 13 year old, having a great influence on the emperor, whose trust and friendship he gained. As Chinese Nationalism swept through the country in 1924, Johnston was forced to flee. He returned to Britain, becoming the Professor of Chinese at the University of London.
In 1934, Johnston looked for a residence in Scotland to retire to. He found a house on Eilean Righ, a small island in Loch Craignish, some 9 miles (15 km) NW of Lochgilphead. He moved there with his enormous library, which included a Chinese Encyclopaedia in 1734 volumes and a complete collection of Buddhist scriptures in 1500 volumes.
Johnston died in Edinburgh and was quietly cremated at Warriston Crematorium, with his ashes scattered on his beloved Eilean Righ.
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