Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recently Heard - Morrison of Peking Related Trivia

Heard a few things recently that rather interested me given that all concerned George 'Peking' Morrison. I reckon Morrison was a bit of a fraud, a hateful gossip who destroyed careers on hearsay, not half as clever as he thought was and a lackey of the British Foreign Office. Edmund Backhouse and JOP Bland did most of his work for them - he then simply appended the necessary 'thunderbox of empire' rhetoric the Times demanded and then swanned off again gossiping, philandering and hunting small defenceless animals. Still:

The Earnshaw Books reprint series is publishing JOP Bland's Houseboat Days;

Someone is finally translating and reprinting Backhouse's Manchu Decadence which only came out in French I think and was deemed too spicy (or maybe just too fantastical) for an English readership at the time;

The Austalian author Linda Jaivin is writing a novel based on Morrison and particularly his obsesssions and affair with Mae Ruth Perkins, the American socialite he knocked about with for years.

So two reprints from the men who mostly wrote and researched the overrated Morrison's copy and a book about his darker side - excellent

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